Merck Manual

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Feeding Methods in Poultry


Bruce Stewart-Brown

, DVM, DACPV, Perdue Farms

Last full review/revision May 2015 | Content last modified Mar 2022

For newly hatched birds of any species, a “complete” feed in crumble form is the program of choice, regardless of other considerations. A “complete” feed program for growing stock, particularly for laying and breeding stock, is also highly recommended. Advantages of the “complete” feed program over the “mash and grain” system include the simplicity of feeding, accuracy of medication, improved balance of dietary nutrients, and superior feed conversion efficiency.

Regardless of the system of feeding, recommendations of the feed manufacturer or the strain’s breeder company should be followed with regard to the feeding of extra calcium, grit, or whole grain. Fresh, clean water should always be readily available.

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