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Feed additives and supplemental feeding

I have been asked and I have seen a lot of information put out about feed additives and supplements. No one has played with feed mixes and formulas more than I have the last 50 years so I learned a few hard lessons that will spare you some grief.

Whole grains- birds will sort whole grains and eat what they prefer and waste the rest unless they are starved into eating it all. Feed a complete basic nutritional formula and limit the supplemental whole grains as they throw your nutritional balance off when added to a complete feed diet.

High Protein Diets and Suppliments- I learned this the hard way with my Moderns and OE Game Bantams years ago. Poultry can only utilize a fixed amount of protein and amino acids in their diet. The science is there and more is definitely not better. There are legal limits on additives for a reason! The birds will pass out the excess as they can’t store it and it is detrimental to their internal organs especially their kidneys. Feeding an excessively high protein diet may get the bird in show condition quicker but the trade off is a shorter life span and production window. You also will be cleaning your pens more often!

Treats- Waking down the aisle at TSC, there are almost as many chicken treats now as there are dog and cat treats. Limit the use of treats to cage training, etc. Excessive treats will throw off their nutritional balance as well.

In summary, feed a good solid complete feed that is properly balanced according to solid science and not some Internet expert with zero credibility. I attached a tag of a ration we formulated with our feed company and it has worked well for us. It contains all the elements that exhibition birds need to stay in top shape and be productive and live a long life.

Until the next time, enjoy your Easter Sunday and we will see you at the spring shows.

Matt Lhamon

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