Some Tips on Maintaining Poultry
1. AVOID FEED WASTAGE
Feed wastage is a costly problem that can be avoided. To reduce feed wastage it is recommended that a feeder be used to prohibit the hens from scratching feed onto the ground.
Hens will tend to flick feed out of the feeder with their beak so to reduce this problem we recommend you raise the height of the feeder to about head height. Locate the feeder as high as possible but ensure there is easy access.
We stock Red Hen grain mixes and due to the natural texture of Red Hen grain mixes, chickens will be attracted to consume the more attractive portions first and leave the least attractive until last.
When self feeders are used it is quite common for birds to accidentally empty the feeder chasing the more desirable portions. To avoid this messy habit, it is recommended that grain mixes be delivered for feeding on a daily basis. The chickens are then made to eat the majority of the daily ration before the feeders are replenished.
2. CONTROL PARASITES
A number of parasite control treatments are available from Hooves Paws and Claws fodder and produce store.
Make sure you physically examine hens regularly for parasites such as lice and mites. If detected on your chickens apply a treatment accordingly.
3. PROVIDE GOOD HOUSING
Hens must be maintained in a clean, dry, draught free hen house. It is preferable to have an outside run where the hens can free range. Protection from the elements and a comfortable environment are important for maintaining the overall health of your hens and achieve good egg production.
As hens prefer to roost at night, we recommend that the hen house be fitted with perches. Nesting boxes, lined with a suitable material such as straw or shell grit, when provided ensure that eggs can be kept clean, are accessible and remain dry.
4. USE FRESH HOUSEHOLD FOOD SCRAPS AND GRASS
Hens enjoy eating fresh household food scraps, grass and lawn clippings. You may need to restrict access to these in order to prevent nutritional imbalance.
Providing your hens with access to green grass which contains natural colouring pigments will enhance egg yolk colour and produce a rich and attractive yolk. This is a benefit of free ranging.
5. LOOK FOR PROTEIN BALANCE
We know that protein is an essential nutrient required by poultry for good growth and better egg production, but all proteins are not the same. This is because protein levels in a chicken feed can be a misleading indicator of how well that food performs the intended job - the quality of the protein can vary a great deal!
Protein is made up of amino acids. These need to be in the correct ratio with each other (balanced) if the protein is to be fully utilised and offer greatest feed benefit.
It is likely that any unbalanced 20% protein diet will not perform as well as a balanced 15% diet if the essential amino acids are below requirement.
The main amino acids that need to be supplied in a diet for laying or growing hens at the correct balance are:
- tryptophan and
If any of these amino acids are missing or in short supply the performance of the food will be limited.
6. MOULTING AND DAY LENGTH
Laying hens have a natural response to day length that affects the number of eggs laid. From Autumn to early Winter, as days get shorter, hens tend to lay less eggs or may stop laying altogether and then moult.
A moult is a natural cycle that all hens go through a number of times during their life. During a moult a hen will stop laying and shed a large amount of its old feathers, replacing them with new feathers.
As a moult finishes, a hen will start a new cycle laying eggs. Thus egg production is normally greater during spring.
This natural moult cycle can be modified by creating a constant day length. By illuminating the hen house with lighting, you can create a constant day length (approximately 16 hours). This makes it possible to prevent hens from reducing egg production during Autumn and Winter. An automated household electricity timer can be used to turn the lights on and off automatically.
Popular Chicken and Duck Food Products We Stock
Please check at time of purchase that these products are still in stock.
- AusPak Chook Mix (30kg)
- Chick Starter Crumbles (20kg)
- Darling Downs Layer (20kg)
- Duck & Goose Finisher Pellets (20kg)
- Duck & Goose Starter Crumbles (20kg)
- Gamebird Finisher (20kg)
- Gamebird Maintenance (20kg)
- Gamebird Starter (20kg)
- Golden Yolk (20kg)
- Hi-Lay Mash (20kg)
- Layers Premix 3:1 (30kg)
- Meatline Finisher (20kg)
- Meatline Starter (20kg)
- Poultry Grain Mix N/Harvest (20kg)
- Poultry Grain Blend Barastoc (20kg)
- Pullet Grower Pellets (20kg)
- Red Hen Free Range (20kg)
- Red Hen Free Range (30kg)
- Red Hen Layer (20kg)
- Red Hen Layer (30kg)
- Red Hen Meat Bird (30kg)
- Red Hen Pullet (20kg)
- Shell Grit (20kg)
- Showbird Breeder (20kg)
- Turkey Starter Crumbles (20kg)
- X Mix/Free Range (30kg)
- Xtra Egg (20kg)
- Xtra Egg (30kg)