Strong chicks means healthy hens. This is why early nutrition is key, this is accoring to Patrick Biggs, PhD, a flock nutritionist for Purina Animal Nutrition.
“Lifetime success begins on day 1,” he says. “It all starts with chick nutrition and care. Baby chicks need 38 unique nutrients to grow into happy, healthy hens. Each of these nutrients, and the proper balance of them, plays a role in growth, performance and flock happiness.”
Industry research shows the long-term impact of early nutrition on lifetime health and performance. Photo: Purina
Success starts on day 1
Industry research shows the long-term impact of early nutrition on lifetime health and performance. The same holds true for backyard chickens. Feeding chicks for a strong start can better equip them for a lifetime of success. “Just like people and other animals, chicks need a strong start to grow into happy, healthy adults,” says Mr Biggs. “Many people begin raising backyard chickens for farm fresh eggs, but before the first egg arrives, early chick nutrition is the foundation.” Early nutrition develops the digestive tract and builds a healthy immune system, ultimately improving chick growth. Biggs says providing chicks with a complete starter-grower feed is key. “Chicks grow quickly, doubling their hatch weight in the first week and growing up to 7 times their hatch weight in the first month,” continues Mr Biggs. “This early growth requires the correct balance of nutrients.”
6 things to look for in a starter-grower feed
Each of the 38 nutrients in a complete feed plays a unique role in chick growth and development. Some nutrients directly impact bone, skeletal and chick growth while others work in tandem to support overall bird health and appearance. To support chick growth from day one, choose a complete starter-grower feed that includes these 6 things:
- 18% protein and 1.25% calcium for bone and body growth
- Prebiotics and probiotics for immune and digestive health
- Amino acids for muscle and feather development
- Marigold extract for brightly coloured beaks, feet and legs and overall appearance
- Phosphorous and trace minerals for bone strength
- Vitamins A, D, E, K and B for overall health and growth
Source: Purina Animal Nutrition LLC
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