The Nutritional Requirements of your Backyard Birds

You’ve probably heard that you can feed your backyard chickens just any old scraps that you or your family aren’t going to eat. And while there might be a little truth to that, think of these chickens as protein producers for you. While they are small, they also have a big job of either laying eggs or growing into a meat bird for human consumption, so you want them to stay healthy. Therefore, the diet you give them is of upmost importance. That’s why feeding them a chicken feed that is fortified with the proper nutrients is vital.  

Just like any animal, chickens have the same basic nutritional requirements to stay healthy: vitamins and minerals, protein, carbohydrates, fat and water. During times of stress, some of their requirements might change or increase.  

Water is the most important nutrient as it is vital for all animals to survive. Make sure your birds have clean, fresh, cool water at least once daily. Water intake is directly correlated to feed intake; the more water a chicken drinks, the more it will eat, so you don’t want it to go without water. Also, remember, that chickens use water to cool themselves off during heat stress caused by summer temperatures. 

Birds get their energy from three primary nutrient sources: carbohydrates, fat and protein. Carbohydrates will make up the bulk of their diets in the form of cereal grains like corn, wheat, sorghum, barley, rye and millet. There are both digestible and non-digestible carbs that are included in chicken feed, and both are necessary for the birds to thrive. For example, starch is digestible, whereas cellulose is not. Cellulose and other complex carbohydrates will be listed on a feed label as “crude fiber.” All carbs have an important role in intestinal health, in moderation.  

Fat is important for both meat birds and those laying eggs for overall egg quality. Fats will often come in the form of animal fat or vegetable oil. Fats aid in the absorption of important fat-soluble vitamins and can improve the handling qualities, palatability and pellet quality of a feed. The chicken can absorb fats without expending any energy, so during hotter months you might substitute calories from carbohydrates with calories from fat to keep birds from feeling over-heated. 

Protein is vital, especially when the chicks are young, for them maximize their potential for growth and performance when it comes time to lay eggs. Protein is sourced from a combination of amino acids including methionine and lysine often found listed on the feed label, as well as those amino acids found in a corn and soybean meal diet. Added protein and calcium are crucial to your hens’ diets when it comes time to lay eggs. 

Vitamins and minerals are essential to chickens just like they are for all living beings to help absorb the other nutrients and have a quality life. However, it is rare to find a feed that has every nutrient, vitamin and mineral that a bird needs. Just like you might take a daily supplement or your daily vitamins, there’s a solution to make sure your backyard birds are not deficient either. 

Backyard Boost® Daily Essentials is the answer backyard chicken owners have been seeking to help keep their flock healthy and flourishing. It is a pelleted, natural protein supplement for all classes of poultry fully fortified with a prebiotic, vitamins, minerals and organic trace minerals to maximize growth and egg production and support overall flock health. 

Backyard Boost Daily Essentials is an all-in-one supplement that provides additional protein to support growth, feather quality and egg production, and it contains calcium and other nutrients for natural improvement of eggshell and yolk quality. Additionally, it contains Amaferm®, a prebiotic proven to increase feed digestion and absorption of nutrients to help maximize egg production and quality. Amaferm is also research-proven to help maintain body temperature, helping your birds stay cooler during the summer heat. Overall, the Daily Essentials will help improve gut health and well-being of your chickens. 

With just 0.5 ounce per bird per day, you can help your chickens get a balanced diet while meeting their nutritional requirements, meaning you will have healthy, productive chickens. The Amaferm will help your birds better utilize the feed you are providing them, while keeping their intestinal health at the tops of its game. 

Backyard Boost® Defense is another supplement that can help your flock during stressful situations. This liquid supplement promotes feed and water intake during times of stress and recovery to help support digestive health and a healthy inflammatory response. In addition to Amaferm, Defense contains the prebiotic MOS, and natural plant extracts to support the ability to recover from the effects of stress as well as organic Zinc, the antioxidant Vitamin E and B vitamins. 

You’ve invested in these chickens for a reason – companionship, eggs or meat. Make sure they are healthy enough to fulfill their obligation to you. 

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