Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Poultry Nutrition - Nutritional Needs For Juvenile Poultry

Today I'm going to cover the nutritional needs of young juvenile birds.   Let's say your chicks are 7 to 8 weeks old and have graduated from the brooder. They no longer have a need for a heat lamp or any source of heat and they're old enough to venture outdoors into the warm sunshine to scratch around in the dirt.
At this age we're still feeding a chick grower feed that is medicated.  This is very important if your juveniles were not vaccinated for Coccidiosis as day old chicks.  If your chicks were vaccinated then there is no need for medicated chick feed.  Coccidiosis is found everywhere just like bacteria is found everywhere.  Your chickens can be fine when you put them in the coop for the night and dead by the next morning. Coccidiosis can happen just that quick.  Signs to watch for are chicks that are lethargic, puffed up with ruffled feathers, acting cold, loss of appetite and blood or mucus in feces.  Keep in mind medicated feed is NOT medicated with an antibiotics. The feed has a medication called amprolium and it prevents and treats a harmful microscopic protozoan parasite.  Springtime has the perfect conditions for causing Coccidiosis, lot's of rainy, warm, muddy puddles to slurp from.   

It's a good idea to keep medication on hand to treat Coccidiosis, because when you need it you need it now not two days from now.  Corid is something we keep on hand at all times. After treating with Corid it's a good idea to give a good source of Probiotics and we have used Gro2Max for many years now.  It's best to sprinkle it in their food. Gro2Max can also help your poultry feather out faster and grow quicker.

While feeding a chick grower feed do not add grit or calcium to their diet. There is no need, just check your feed bag and it will  have all the ingredients listed on the bag and contains everything they need nutritionally.  If you go and add more calcium to their diet it can be detrimental to their health, too much calcium can cause kidney failure.

Around 7 to 9 weeks of age is a great time to introduce chick treats and one thing we really recommend are Chubby Mealworms, they will almost do back flips for a meal worm. They also enjoy table scraps and those leftovers in the fridge you hate to throw away. The only thing I found that they don't like would be onions, lemons and potato skins.
During these first 8 weeks or so of your chickens life they have already set up the pecking order and they know who the boss of the flock is.  Make sure your flock has plenty of room to roam and keep the boredom at bay to prevent pecking problems.  A couple of good boredom breakers are Forage Cake and Veggie Treat Balls, I really like the Veggie treat ball and have also had several customers say how much their flock enjoys it.

If you have questions about Coccidiosis or questions about using Corid your welcome to email me at larry_angie@chickenscratcpoultry.com

Have A Wonderful Day!

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1 comment:

  1. This post is absolutely brilliant! Thank you so much for sharing!