University of Maryland Extension

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, feathers, muscles, organs, bone, etc). A nutrient is a broad category of organic and inorganic compounds found in food that are essential for maximum growth, egg production, and feed efficiency. There are six categories of nutrients that are required in a diet to maintain and promote a healthy flock. These nutrients include water, carbohydrates, fat, protein, vitamins, and minerals.

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