Nutrition for poultry

Providing the right nutrition is important for poultry growth, production and health.

Different energy requirements are required, depending on factors including bird age, production status and type (e.g. laying hen, meat chicken, duck, turkey).

Providing adequate nutrition is important so that the bird is able to achieve its productive potential and also for it to sustain health.

Feed that is of poor quality, not in the right form or does not contain the right levels of energy and mix of nutrients, can potentially cause nutritional stress and lead to other health concerns.

Nutrient requirements

A bird's diet must include a combination of carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, minerals and water for optimal growth and production.

Read more about the nutritional requirements for:

Drinking water

Poultry should always have access to plenty of cool, fresh drinking water. Generally, water intake should be about 1.5 to 2 times feed intake.

Drinking water must be low in salt. Salt is already provided in poultry feed, and drinking water with high salt levels may cause:

  • increased water intake
  • wetter droppings and wet litter issues
  • reduced performance.

Water provided for drinking, cooling and range irrigation must be free from microbial contamination that could potentially cause disease in poultry, or lead to food safety issues.

Check drinkers daily to ensure they are in working order. Drinker systems should be cleaned and flushed regularly to remove any microbial or mineral build up in the lines.

Test and treat water regularly to ensure that it meets specific microbiological and contaminant standards. The Australian Animal Welfare Standards and Guidelines for Poultry has more information on maximum feed and water space allowances.