What do chickens eat?
Ever wonder what chickens are fed?
Egg farmer Hubert from Oshawa, Ontario explains what chickens eat in this video.There isn't one specific formula for feeding hens. Chicken feed will vary depending on the availability and prices of the ingredients in the region where the feed is being manufactured.
For example, poor weather during the growing season will affect which crops are used in the feed.
Some egg farmers purchase all of their feed; others mix parts of it on their farm and buy other components such as commercial vitamin/mineral pre-mixes which they add to ensure the chickens get all the essential nutrients they need. Soybean meal is often used in chicken feed as it is a good source of protein and also provides some carbohydrates and fats. Fish and meat meal may also be used as a protein source. Wheat and corn are among the best grains for feeding poultry but barley, rye and even millet can also be used if in the right proportion. Oilseeds such as canola or flax are often used.
In fact, by adding flax to the feed, the chickens lay eggs with more omega-3.
A calcium supplement such as limestone or oyster shell is provided to help the chickens maintain strong bones. Chickens use calcium to create egg shells, so it's important that calcium is provided in the diet to replenish their supply.
Chickens that lay eggs are not given any steroids or hormones, no matter what type of housing system is used.
Medicine to treat a flock is not commonly used but if required, it is only given when needed.
Egg farmers know it's important to care for their hens and to feed them a nutritious, balanced diet in order to keep them healthy. After all, healthy hens lay wholesome, flavourful, high-quality eggs.