Hank Will, Editor-in-Chief of GRIT Magazine, and Dr. Gordon Ballam of Purina Animal Nutrition explain proper diet through each stage of growth in a chicken’s lifespan.
Starting chicks and laying hens have their own unique nutritional needs. A chick’s diet should be optimized for growth with a blend of 18% protein and 3% fat; whereas, a laying hen’s diet should be optimized for egg production with a poultry feed that contains 16% protein and 2.5% fat along with added calcium.
While many people free-range their chickens, Dr. Ballam and Purina recommend that no more than 10% of a chicken’s diet come from table scraps or foraging. However, oyster shells can be added to their diet in the foraging summer months in order to produce stronger egg shells.
Here at GRIT Magazine, we are passionate about rural American know-how and helping people learn more about the crops and animals they care for. Check out Videos from GRIT to see more from our editors.