nutrition

Natural chicken diet: key to healthier and more sustainable feed

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Find out what our chickens’ favorite diet is and how natural pasture feeding can improve their health. At the farm of our supplier, Quico (La cajola) in Solsona, the animals enjoy an ideal space for pecking. Do you know what they love the most? Finding the protein they need in their diet. In this article you will learn all about feeding poultry in their natural habitat.

A natural and diverse diet

In their breeding space they love to eat grass, plants and clover, but what they love most is finding rich sources of protein in the soil. They love everything from beetles and grasshoppers to fly larvae, maggots and even ticks. These insects not only provide them with a delicious source of nutrition, but also give them the opportunity to practice their natural foraging instinct. Thus, they find worms, centipedes, mealybugs and other organisms visually invisible to the human eye, supplementing their diet with a diversity of animal protein and forage naturally, thus reducing dependence on cereals.

It is important to note that chickens are omnivorous animals and require a balanced diet to remain healthy. In fact, they have a featherless face to facilitate cleaning after feeding meat, which is completely natural for them.

Their anatomy is similar to that of scavenger birds, such as vultures, and interestingly, the T-Rex, a famous carnivorous predator, is believed to be adistant relative of these birds.

The need for protein is crucial for poultry, and their instinct drives them to seek it out. If it is not provided in their diet, they may begin to peck at each other for a variety of reasons, such as stress and boredom. Unfortunately, this is common in confined mass production facilities, where the lack of space and freedom can increase violence among them. To avoid this, factory farms often cut off the birds’ beaks, a shocking solution.

Animals deserve respect, as living beings, and just like us, chickens need their space and freedom to carry out their natural activities, such as foraging for fresh food and living outdoors.

Benefits of fresh forage in poultry feed

The inclusion of fresh forage in the diet of poultry is crucial to provide a source of B vitamins and carotenes, which chickens convert into a bioavailable source of vitamin A. In addition, the omega-3 fatty acids present in the forage accumulate in the fat of the birds and exposure to the sun ensures the presence of vitamin D. Properly raised chickens also contain a higher amount of essential amino acids such as arginine, leucine and lysine, resulting in a denser meat rich in phosphorus, calcium, selenium, zinc, iodine and magnesium, minerals vital for the maintenance of good health in our bodies.

The importance of natural feed in broiler farming

Chickens are not ruminants and cannot survive on grass and ground feed alone.

Therefore, it is essential to supplement their diet with feed. In the cajola, chickens are cared for with a natural diet consisting of soybeans, wheat and corn. These ingredients are pelleted in a customized manner for each stage of the animal’s growth. As the chickens grow, the feed is ground less and whole grains are added to their feed for a softer, juicier meat palate.

Responsible and sustainable production

Poultry were domesticated in Southeast Asia before 6000 B.C. But it is important to advance the quality of production without neglecting the social, nutritional and physiological welfare of the animals. This is an opportunity to promote sustainable and responsible production, both for the environment and animal welfare. At pirineo en boca, we ensure that you take home a product of the highest quality, raised with respect and awareness, allowing you to enjoy much healthier and nutritious food.

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