Feeding management of poultry


Feeding of poultry accounts for the 60-70% of the total expenditure on poultry production. The quality of feed and methods of feeding are important for efficient poultry production.

Feeding management of poultry

While feeding birds, the following features should be kept in mind:

Simple stomach unlike ruminants.

Due to absence of teeth, feed particles grinded to 710 mμ.

Nutrient levels in the diet: altered as per the season.

Short digestion time (4 hrs) demands high quality feed.

Imbalanced nutrition may lead to metabolic disorders and nutrient deficiency diseases.

Major nutrient required by the poultry:

• Water, carbohydrate, protein, fats, vitamins and minerals.

• Principal energy source: carbohydrate and fat.

• Fats are concentrated form of energy and yield 2.25 times more energy than CHO.

• Fats are also source of essential fatty acids viz. linolenic acid, linoleic acid and arachidonic acid.

• Proteins are essential for requirement of amino acids like non-

essential and essential amino acids. Essential amino acids (AVGMPHILLTT) must be supplied in the diet.

• Critical amino acids: arginine, lysine, methionine, cystine and tryptophan – must be supplied in diet.

• Vitamins and minerals: non-energy source but necessary for regulating the metabolic processes in the body.

Poultry feed ingredients

1. Energy feedstuffs: 

 Cereals unfit for human consumption, agro-industrial byproducts to manufacture feed of desired energy level and cheaper rations.

• Maize is the principal energy feedstuff, highly palatable and rich source of energy.

• Yellow variety preferred over red variety due to high carotene and xanthophylls pigment responsible for yellow colouration of yolk.

• Jowar, bajra and other millets such as ragi are also good source of energy but contain bitter substances – tannins.

• Barley and oats are high in fiber and can be used in grower and breeder feeding.

• Wheat and rice polish (pericarp) are rich in B-complex vitamins.

• Damaged wheat and rice grains spoiled due to rain and pest during storage in warehouses, are also used as energy feedstuffs in formulating poultry rations.

• Molasses is rich in energy and reduces dustiness and can be included up to 4–8 per cent. High inclusion: loose droppings.

2. Protein feedstuffs:

i. Vegetable protein feedstuffs: These includes groundnut cake, soybean meal, sunflower meal, sesame meal, cotton seed cake, maize gluten meal, linseed cake, yeast (distillery and brewery industry – rich in vit. B-complex), Penicillium mycelium (residual antibiotic) etc.

• Common protein feedstuffs are deficient in lysine and methionine.

ii. Animal protein feedstuffs: Fish meal (< 3% salt), meat meal, blood meal, bone and feather meal (2-2.5:5), and hatchery

3. Unconventional feedstuffs: 

Mango seed kernels, Lucerne and berseem meal (high in carotene, 3–5%), alfalfa meal (high in vit- A).

• Ever increasing prices and competition with human being for conventional feed ingredients makes it imperative to search newer non-conventional feedstuffs for poultry feeding.

4. Mineral and vitamin supplements: 

Common salt, oyster shell (grit), limestone, Dicalcium phosphate (DCP), steamed bone meal, ready to use commercial mineral mixtures.

• Too much salt will result in increased water consumption and wet droppings.

• Part of vitamin requirement comes from feed ingredients and vitamin mixtures.

• 3-8% fats are included in poultry ration.

• Fat rancidity is prevented by inclusion of 0.02% antioxidant (BHT, BHA, Ethoxyquin).

General principles for feed formulation:

1. All essential nutrients should be in adequate quantity.

2. Feed should be free from bacterial contamination.

3. Type of ration to be prepared depending on species and breed and

purpose of rearing.

4. Decision regarding energy and protein content of the diet based on

the requirement tables.

5. Trace mineral mix. and vit. premix added as per recommendation.

6. Common salt should be added @ 0.5% of the ration.

7. All the ingredients should be mixed thoroughly.

8. Finished feed not be stored for more than 1.5 months.

9. The diet should be balanced with respect to amino acids.

10. The trace mineral mixture and vitamin premix should be mixed with rice bran before final mixing.

Nutrient requirements for different classes of poultry
Nutrient requirements for different classes of poultry

Ideal Rations for poultry
Ideal Rations for poultry

Anti-nutritional factors in feed stuffs and their effects on poultry performance
Anti-nutritional factors in feed stuffs and their effects on poultry performance

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