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close this bookBetter Farming Series 13 - Keeping Chickens (FAO - INADES, 1977, 48 p.)
close this folderHow poultry make use of food and water
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentEnergy feeds
View the documentBody- building feeds: proteins
View the documentMineral salts
View the documentVitamins
View the documentClean water
View the documentSpecial needs of chicks, laying hens, and table poultry


43. The digestive system of poultry begins with the beak and ends with the cloak and anus. A hen has no teeth to grind its feed; it swallows down its food at once.

44. The food swallowed passes into the oesophagus and then into three different organs:

· the crop where the food is moistened,
· the stomach where the food begins to be digested,
· the gizzard where the food is ground up.

45. You often see hens swallow little stones. These stones stay in the gizzard; when the feed arrives in the gizzard, it is ground up by the stones.

46. After this the feed is digested. The digested part goes into the blood and feeds the whole body. The remainder passes out through the cloaca; this is the excrement

Digestive system of a hen