Chickens are raised primarily for their meat and eggs and hence, their diet should adequately nourish their body and be devoid of deficiencies to increase their egg yields and the quality of meat.
Domesticated farm animals generally tend to eat what they get without having a control over the quantity of food. Excessive consumption of food or a particular nutrient may be harmful than helpful. Sometimes, these animals end up eating what doesn’t suit their body.
You can buy commercial chicken food from the store. The diet for meat eating chickens is different from the breed raised for eggs. For example, egg yielding chickens require lot of calcium in order to lay eggs with strong shell. They also require high calcium intake after laying eggs to rejuvenate.
Oyster shells or dried egg shells can be crushed and sprinkled on chicken feeds. Other food items that that are rich in calcium include kale, mustard greens, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, milk, brewer's yeast, oats, peas, cooked beans, plantain, chickweed, chamomile, kelp, cabbage, raspberry leaves, red clover, dandelion as well as horsetail.
Chickens that are raised for meat should eat foods rich in protein. Some of the foods rich in protein are whole grains, alfalfa, duckweed, soaked soybeans, earthworms as well as comfrey. Comfrey is also rich in many other essential minerals like zinc, phosphorus, iron, selenium, potassium and calcium.
Any breed of chicken requires carbohydrates as it is the primary source of energy. Oats, barley, rice and wheat as well as certain types of vegetable seeds are rich in carbohydrates.
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