|Better Farming Series 13. Keeping Chickens (FAO, 1977, 48 p.)|
|How poultry make use of food and water|
55. In domestic poultry keeping, the farmer produces and prepares most of the poultry feed himself.
In this way he does not spend much money; he uses up what is left over from the family's food and from his harvest.
But he must take care.
He has to give all the birds their complete feed, and this means different feed to birds of different ages.
56. From birth to 8 weeks
Chicks need above all body- building foods.
You should give them water and a feed containing, for instance: in every 10 kg of meal:
7 kg of crushed maize and/or other grains, 2 kg of groundnut oil cake,
1 kg of a mixture consisting of remains of meat, fish or blood, of oil or vegetables, of bones and crushed shells, of termites.
57. From 8 to 14 weeks
The feed should be more plentiful. There should be in every 10 kg of meal:
8 kg of crushed maize and/or other grains, 1.5 kg of groundnut oil cake,
0.5 kg of a mixture consisting of remains of meat, fish, blood, grass, termites, vegetables.
58. After 14 weeks
Give only maize grain or a mixture of maize with other grains.
If the poultry are in a yard, you must also give them feeds that are rich in vitamins: grass vegetables; and rich in proteins: termites meat scraps fish scraps.
59. Laying hens
To make the shells of their eggs, laying hens need plenty of mineral salts.
To make the reserves in the egg, laying hens need plenty of proteins.
For instance, give in every 10 kg of feed:
8 kg of crushed grains (maize, sorghum), 1.5 kg of groundnut oil cake,
0.5 kg of a mixture consisting of meat or fish, boiled blood, grass and vegetables, and especially 300- 500 grammes of crushed bones, oyster or snail shells or egg shells.
60. During the first three months of life a bird eats about 5 kilogrammes of feed.
61. The food must be well mixed.
You must not make the mixture too long before giving it to the poultry, otherwise the food may go bad.
Feeding and drinking troughs and the drinking founts must always be very clean.
62. If a farmer buys poultry feed
· Either he buys all the teed
That is, a meal containing all the foods that poultry need to live and grow. He should not give any other food. This meal is costly. He must follow the seller's instructions and only give the necessary quantities.
· Or he buys only part of the feed - the concentrates
These are the kinds of meal that contain chiefly proteins, mineral salts and vitamins. If the farmer buys concentrates, he must also give crushed grain oil cake.
63. If you buy poultry feed, you have less work to do, but you may lose a lot of money.
Follow the advice of the animal husbandry centres.