Tuesday, September 21, 2010


Mash: a blend of several feed ingredients, ground to a small size but not to a powder

Pellets: small kernels of compressed mash, causing birds to eat the whole blend, not pick and choose

Grower: a blend of feed for chicks and growing birds, usually in the form of mash; approximately the same as "Starter"

Starter: a blend of feed for chicks and growing birds, usually in the form of mash; approximately the same as "Grower"

Crumbles: pellets broken up into smaller pieces

Concentrate: a blend of protein-rich foods, plus any other nutrients desired; usually fed together with a grain ration

Scratch: grains fed separately to chickens, usually scattered on the ground or litter of the coop

Grit: angular, hard crushed rock, preferably from granite, used by the chickens in place of "teeth" --- seashells and bone CANNOT substitute for grit; for confinded birds, grit should be offered several times a month at least; it should be of the right size for the age of the bird (see Baby Chicks page); birds allowed to free range find their own grit; they don't need to be offered grit

Corn: American term meaning maize corn, or "corn on the cob" (in England "corn" means what grain means in the US)

Grain: American term meaning any small, hard seeds, especially grass-family seeds (called corn in England)

Calcium: provided by sea shells, crushed bone, and fresh or dried greens --- amounts need to be measured closely, if not free range

Protein: any food high in amino acids, used to build tissues; protein quality is determined by the "completeness" of the amino acid varieties in the food source; basically, meats, nuts, seed germs, and soy concentrates are protein sources

Amino acid: a molecule that is one building block of protein; there are many different amino acids, most of which can be manufactured in the body; the few that cannot must be supplied by foods

Vitamins: a general term meaning "life-giving"; see RECIPES section for which ones to use

Minerals: inert chemicals found in nature; kelp of all kinds supplies the complete spectrum of minerals

Free range: not controlled by fences, able to get to fresh greens and insects; as commercially used, this term allows fences, with minimum amount of space per bird being set by definition

Pastured poultry: hens kept in movable, usually wheeled, pens, moved daily over fresh pasture, creating delicious meat and nutritious eggs

Organic: inspected by government agencies, organic food sources must not contain traces of harmful chemicals; the term as currently used does not insure that poultry has been raised in the best possible way, only that it has near zero harmful ingredients

Pullets: female chickens in their first year of lay, or prior to their first moult

Hens: female chickens in their second year of lay, or after their first moult Straight Run: a random mixture of male and female baby chicks

Cockerels: male baby chicks; male young domestic fowl

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