Achieving maximum health and performance of poultry requires nutritionally balanced diets.
One of the common issues with regard to back yard flocks relates to poor or inadequate feeding programs that can lead to vitamin and mineral deficiencies for the birds.
Vitamins and minerals are very important components of a chickens diet and unless a formulated ration is feed, it is likely that deficiencies will occur.
FAT SOLUBLE VITAMINS
|Vitamin A||Decreased egg production, weakness and lack of growth.|
|Vitamin D||Thin shelled eggs, reduced egg production, retarded growth, rickets.|
|Vitamin E||Enlarged hocks, encephalomalacia (crazy chick disease).|
|Vitamin K||Prolonged blood clotting, intramuscular bleeding.|
WATER SOLUBLE VITAMINS
|Thiamine (B1)||Loss of appetite and death.|
|Riboflavin (B2)||Curly-toe paralysis, poor growth and poor egg production.|
|Pantothenic Acid||Dermatitis and lesions on mouth and feet.|
|Niacin||Bowed legs, inflamation of tongue and mouth cavity.|
|Choline||Poor growth, fatty liver, decreased egg production.|
|Vitamin B12||Anemia, poor growth, embryonic mortality.|
|Folic Acid||Poor growth, anemia, poor feathering and egg production.|
|Biotin||Dermatitis on feet and around eyes and beak.|
Minerals are also important to the health and well being of poultry. The following are some of the important minerals and symptoms of mineral deficiencies:
|Calcium||Poor egg shell quality and poor hatchability, rickets.|
|Phosphorus||Rickets, poor egg shell quality and hatchability.|
|Manganese||Perosis, poor hatchability.|
|Zinc||Poor feathering, short bones.|
|Cobalt||Slow growth, mortality, reduced hatchability.|
As indicated above, vitamin and mineral deficiencies can produce numerous health problems for chickens including in some cases death. Thus, to prevent nutritional deficiencies, or when deficiency symptoms are noted, feeding a balanced poultry ration with the required vitamins and minerals should be practiced.
Source: University of Georgia Coop. Services