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Problems caused by poor feed

Introduction

A deficiency means that the bird does not get enough of a particular nutrient. All animals can suffer from deficiency problems but in birds a deficiency very quickly shows signs of:

  • poor health
  • leg problems
  • poor feathering
  • egg production drops
  • eggs have thin shells
  • birds easily take infections

Protein deficiency

If the feed contains too little protein (animal or plant) the birds will become weak and may develop infections. They do not grow well and meat production is badly affected. Egg laying decreases or stops.

Mineral deficiencies

Lack of calcium in the feed can cause:

  • The bones of the leg to curve making the bird unable to walk properly
  • Soft shelled eggs or eggs without shells are laid

If birds lay eggs that have either no shell or a soft shell these eggs will be broken and can be eaten by other birds. If this happens the chicken can develop a habit of eating eggs which then becomes a problem.

To prevent these problems birds must be given plenty of minerals as powdered shell or bone. If birds are allowed to scratch for grain they will take in minerals they need from the soil in the run. A good source of minerals is to feed crushed egg shells to the birds.

Problems caused by a lack of vitamins

If vitamins are not present in the feed then:

  • Birds do not grow well, are weak, cannot move properly and the feathers are ruffled.
  • Chest problems can occur and birds have nose and eye discharges.
  • The toes curl inwards and birds have difficulty in moving.

Problems caused by a lack of vitamins

These problems can be prevented by adding commercially bought vitamins to the feed or providing the birds with green vegetables in addition to the feed. Vitamin deficiencies can cause birds to start feather picking which becomes a problem.

Source :Pashu Sakhi Handbook



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