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Slow-growing game birds require tailored nutrition

All animal species need a balanced diet for health, welfare and productivity but what constitutes a balanced diet changes as an animal grows, matures and goes through different physiological stages.

For example, egg-laying chicken breeds require high levels of protein and energy as chicks. As the pullet grows, the optimum amount of energy and protein in the diet decreases and then increases again once the hen starts to lay. Macro mineral requirements also vary with age and stage of production. Over or underfeeding of these key nutrients can affect bone integrity, shell quality and/or animal performance.

Although commercial breeds of chickens have been selected over many years for improved production, there has been less intensive selective breeding of game birds. These birds generally gain weight more slowly or produce fewer eggs than commercial poultry species. As a result, the optimum diets for game birds may be different to that of the high-producing breeds.

The NRM Lifestyle range, which includes Meat Bird Crumble, Pullet Grower and Peck‘n’Lay, can be combined or used individually with other sources of protein- rich raw materials such as meat and bone meal for a wide range of poultry or game birds.

NRM Meat Bird Crumble is designed for young growing birds and is ideal for chickens, turkeys, ducks and pheasant. For small game birds such as quail, Meat Bird Crumble can be combined with meat and bone meal, which provides additional protein to help meet the high requirements of these birds. Offer both feeds as required until the birds have reached full adult weight. At that point their protein requirements reduce. NRM Pullet Grower is then ideal for the larger bird species as it provides essential nutrients but will not result in excessive weight gain. For small birds such as quail, Meat Bird Crumble can be offered in conjunction with rolled small grains. For non-breeding mature birds, NRM Pullet Grower is a suitable all-round maintenance feed.

In breeding birds, calcium requirements increase significantly due to the production of shells for eggs. A combination of Peck‘n’Lay mash and Meat Bird Crumble provide a good balance between the calcium and protein requirements of these birds. These can be offered separately, allowing the birds to select the appropriate combination to meet their nutrient requirements. In addition, offer free access to shell grit at all times.

All the poultry feeds in the NRM Lifestyle range contain added macro and trace minerals and vitamins to ensure that the requirements of the bird for these essential nutrients are met. In addition, our feeds are formulated to provide the fundamental “building blocks” of protein (known as amino acids) in the appropriate ratios to support muscle growth and egg production. The amount of protein relative to the amount of energy supplied by nutrients such as carbohydrates and fats is carefully controlled so birds do not become too skinny or too fat.