University of Maryland Extension

Maryland Poultry

Base Name: 
poultry

Fats: A Concentrated Energy Source

Animal and vegetable fats serve as a concentrated energy source and are the highest energy sources in feedstuffs. Fats contain 2.25 times the calories per gram than protein or carbohydrates. Fats contain 9 calories per gram while protein and carbohydrates contain 4 calories per gram. No dietary...

Protein: Built by Amino Acids

Proteins are a large complex class of nutrients made up of smaller compounds known as amino acids. In nutrition, amino acids are grouped into two categories depending on their requirement in the diet. Non-dispensable (or essential) amino acids are required in the diet because the body cannot make...

Carbohydrates: Inexpensive Sources of Energy

Carbohydrates in feed are composed of sugars, starches and cellulose. Cellulose (classified as crude fiber) is the insoluble portion of carbohydrates and cannot be utilized efficiently by birds. Carbohydrates make up the largest portion of the poultry diet. Carbohydrates in feedstuffs are...

Feeding the Right Ration

Nutrition is one of the most important aspects of production. Sixty to seventy percent of the cost of raising poultry is feed. A wide range of high quality commercially prepared feed is available from many sources. Birds must be fed diets that meet their nutritional requirements to achieve maximum...

Water- The "Forgotten Nutrient"

Adequate availability of water to birds is critical to bird health and performance. Water is sometimes referred to as the forgotten nutrient. It is considered one of the most important nutrients ingested and although it is inexpensive to provide, it is often the most neglected nutrient. Water makes...

Small Flock Nutrition

A good nutrition program is vital to a successful poultry operation. Nutrition is defined as the science of digestion, absorption, and utilization of the nutrients in feedstuffs. Birds efficiently convert the nutrients in cereal grains and other feedstuffs into various body components (skin,...

Free Ranging Birds

Free range traditionally means poultry are not fenced in or the fence boundaries are so large that it does not affect the birds movement. Ranging requires a fair amount of land. Allowing poultry to roam freely can make managing your birds more difficult. Normally, free range birds are fed minimal...

Confinement and Yarding

Confinement and yarding is when fencing is used to confine poultry to a smaller area than what they would normally range. This can also include housing to prohibit birds from venturing outside. In today's society, confinement and yarding is usually the best choice to raise poultry, especially if...

Providing Enough Space

Within housing structures, birds should be provided with adequate spacing for movement and exercise. The amount of necessary spacing will vary on the species of bird, size of flock, and temperature. Minimum space requirements is the least amount of indoor space a bird needs if it cannot or will not...

Construction- Specific Requirements

There are special requirements for raising birds for different production purposes. The basic requirements are the same with minor changes made for raising layers, meat birds, waterfowl, or ratites. Layers To achieve maximum production, layer birds raised on a floor pen should have two square feet...

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