Layer feed formulation involves the selection of ingredients and their proportions to create a balanced diet for egg-laying chickens. The dietary needs of layers change as they progress through different life stages, so the formulation must be adjusted regularly to ensure that the hens are getting the right nutrients for optimal health and egg production.
Commercial layer feeds are available but often costly, but home-mixing can be a more cost-effective and cheaper way to provide chickens with a balanced diet.
What is Layer Feed?
Layer feed is a specialized diet for chickens that are laying eggs. It is low in protein and high in calcium to meet the nutritional needs of egg-laying hens. Layer feed should also contain other nutrients that are important for egg production, including vitamins, minerals and essential amino acids.
Layer feed is a specialized diet designed to meet the nutritional needs of egg-laying hens. Layer chickens need high-quality layer feed in order to produce healthy eggs. As earlier mentioned, the formulation of layer feed must be adjusted regularly to ensure that the hens are getting the right nutrients for optimal health and egg production.
A variety of ingredients can be used in a layer feed formulation, including grains, protein supplements, vitamins, and minerals. The proportions of each ingredient must be carefully balanced to create a diet that meets the hens’ nutritional needs.
What are the Ingredients in a Layer Feed?
The ingredients in layer feed vary depending on the specific needs of the chickens. However, some common ingredients include:
- Maize or corn
- Wheat offal or bran
- Rice offal or bran
- Soybean meal
- Groundnut meal
- Bone meal
- Vitamins & Minerals Premix
Layer Feed Stages
Layer hens need different types of feed as they progress through different life stages.
- Chickens in their first 6 weeks of life are called chicks and should be fed chick starter feed.
- Pullets that are 6 to 18 weeks old should be switched to grower feed
- Layers that are more than 18 weeks old and have attained 10% egg production should be given layer feed.
- Chicks that are not yet laying eggs should be fed a diet that is higher in protein (18%) and energy (2800 kcal/kg min.) than the diets given to older chickens.
- Laying hens need diets that are lower in energy (2700 kcal/kg min.), protein (16-17% CP) and higher in calcium (3.5-4% Ca) to support egg production.
- Chickens that are not laying eggs should not be given layer feed, as it can lead to problems with bone development and egg production. Instead, they should be fed a diet that is higher in protein and energy, such as a poultry grower feed.
To prepare a layer mash or pellets for layers, you need to consider a few things which include the nutritional requirements of laying chickens, the nutritional composition of the feed ingredients to use and the quality of the feed ingredients.
Layer feed formulation could be a herculean task for new poultry keepers, using a tested and proven layer feed formula can make the process easier. If you need a sample of a layer feed formula to produce layer mash for your broilers, use the one below:
|Palm Kernel Cake||6.5|
Disclaimer: Livestocking Blog or our authors are not responsible for any damage, loss or negative effect of using the above formula on your birds or animals.