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All About Chicks – Chick Nutrition 101

The Basics:

Nutrition is fundamental in starting your chicks off right and setting them up for a healthy and successful future. We worked with NatureServe’s Chet Wiernusz, PhD, Poultry Nutritionist, to look at chick nutrition basics 101.

It all starts with picking a nutritional plan that meets the growing demand of a baby chick and that’s where Dr. Wiernusz says a complete formulated crumble feed can benefit chicks. A complete starter grower feed supplies complete nutrition in every bite to meet the demands of healthy, growing chicks. In a high-quality crumble form, you can help ensure good feed intake. It also means there is no need for additional supplementation of added products or additives.

Q: What is important to look for in a complete starter-grower feed?

A: Dr. Wiernusz,

  • Macronutrients

- Fats: Provide energy and essential fatty acids.

- Proteins: Required for synthesis of body tissue (like muscle). Look for 18% level to support early growth.

- Carbohydrates: Major source of energy to growing birds.

  • Micronutrients

- Vitamins: Drives chemical reactions for animals to use macronutrients. Support bone health.

- Minerals: Utilized for bone formation, electrolyte balance.

Q: What else should be taken into consideration when feeding a chick for the first time?

A: Dr. Wiernusz,

  • Water – “The forgotten nutrient”, arguably the most important nutrient since it is needed for every biological function. Fresh, clean water should be readily available to your chicks as they should drink often to keep bodily functions like digestion and body temperature regulation at normal levels.

Q: Should I feed additives in addition to a complete feed to my chick?

A: Dr. Wiernusz,

  • No, if you are feeding a complete feed that offers the proper balance of macro and micronutrients then there is no need for additional supplementation.

  • You will need to decide between a medicated and non-medicated starter feed. Your choice should be made on whether your chicks have been vaccinated against coccidiosis. Non-medicated feed should be fed to chicks who were vaccinated for the disease.

The Bottomline:

Nutrition is a crucial step in starting your chicks off right for a healthy future. Keep these tips in mind as you embark on your chick adventure.

  • All-in-one complete feed

- Balanced nutrition

- High quality crumble

- Protein content of 18%

- Vitamins for overall health and growth

- Amino acids for skeletal, muscle and feather development

- Calcium, phosphorus and trace minerals for bone strength

  • Plenty of fresh water

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