We've been speaking about the importance of providing your growing flock with balanced nutrition fit for his/her individual needs in our three part series Poultry Ages & Stages. Here we grow again!
Your growing flock might be getting a sampling of fresh vegetation and hearty bugs. This recipe will bridge the gap between their time in the protected coop and the green yards they are now beginning to experience.
Your growing birds require protein ranging between 15% to 18% during these next months of growth. At about 16 weeks, you can begin the transition to a layer feed. This change will slowly decrease their protein while increasing much-needed calcium intake. At 18 weeks of age, your hens should be receiving layer feed entirely. We like to supplement this feed with a mixture of chick-sized and poultry-sized grit, gradually moving to the larger size over several weeks. Always offer plenty of fresh water.
for growing waterfowl
Your growing waterfowl require a feed with protein ranging from 15% to 17% until they have reached laying or breeding ages. For ducks, a transition to layer feed can occur at about six months of age. Geese intended for finishing can remain on this feed until marketed at about 24 to 30 weeks; those destined for breeding will need to transition to a layer feed before mating - usually at about one year of age. Supplement this feed with a mixture of chick-sized and poultry-sized grit, gradually moving to the larger size over several weeks if your waterfowl do not have access to dirt and gravel. Always offer plenty of fresh water (including some for swimming).
for finishing turkeys
Turkeys ages 16 to 20 weeks require a feed with protein levels ranging between 14% and 17%.
Birds intended for the market can remain on this feed until that time, usually at 16 - 22 weeks of age (heritage breeds take longer at 25 - 30 weeks). If your turkeys are intended for breeding, you can transition to a layer feed after 20 weeks. If offered as a complete diet with limited outside access to dirt and gravel, please supplement with a grit source, and always fresh water.