Roosters have always been the top choice for something to raise on backyard farms and even for commercial purposes.
They have become iconic symbols for early morning wake-up c0ck-a-doodle-doo. Many people also associate them with male virility as they have the habit of picking fights with other roosters and animals, sometimes even humans.
They do this because they want to protect their hens. These male birds and hens are omnivorous, meaning they eat small creatures and plants. If you want to raise healthy roosters, you must give them a diverse diet.
Roosters feed on both plants and animals that you either provide or scavenge on their own. If you feed your roosters a complete diet like the ones you can get from feed stores, they won’t need other supplemental foods.
These commercial feeds provide roosters with all the nutrients they require. Roosters that eat various foods like fruits, vegetables, insects, and grains should also get specially formulated supplemental feeds to keep their diet balanced. You can also give grits in excess about twice a month to help with their digestion.
Roosters thrive on a variety of foods including berries, lettuce, carrots, cracked corn, cauliflower, stale bread, cooked oatmeal, pumpkin, and more. If you provide them with feeds that already contain their dietary requirements, they won’t need supplemental foods.
You can buy these feeds in feed stores. They come in the form of pellets, crumbled, and mashed feed. Although roosters already have a habit of foraging around the yard, what they get from these sources isn’t enough to meet their nutritional needs.
Also, you shouldn’t feed roosters with undercooked or uncooked beans, avocados, or the rinds of raw green potatoes as these could prove fatal.
Chicken feed is ideal
Most poultry raisers today feed their roosters with chicken feed and there are many different types available. Remember that the kind of feed you give will affect the growth rate and health of your roosters.
For chicks, it’s recommended to feed them with starter feed. This feed contains 20% to 24% protein and has a fine texture that’s perfect for growing roosters between 1 to 20 weeks of age.
When your roosters reach between 6 to 20 weeks, you can switch them to growing feed. This one usually contains between 13% to 18% protein and it’s specially designed to help increase the growth rate of roosters.
If you’re raising roosters for breeding or for their meat, they will benefit much from this type of feed. But if you will only raise them for breeding, you should only feed them limited amounts of grower feed so they don’t get obese.
For adult roosters, you can feed them chicken scratch. This usually contains a combination of seeds, plant matter, and grains. There are many different types of chicken scratches that you can buy and the choice will depend on what you prefer.
For instance, you may opt for a mixture of cracked seeds and whole grains or you can choose to give your roosters chicken scratch in the form of pellets.
Can roosters eat layer feed?
Layer feed contains extra amounts of calcium that hens need for the production of eggs that have strong and hard shells. If you keep your roosters alongside hens that eat this kind of feed regularly, the roosters will eat the layer feed too.
The additional calcium in the layer feed won’t harm your roosters and they will still get the nutrients contained in the feed. But roosters shouldn’t eat layer feed until they are a minimum of 16 weeks old.
Before they reach this age, you should only feed them chick or grower feed that already contains all of the required nutrients for them to grow well and remain healthy. If you raise hens and you feed them layer feed, it can be a challenge to introduce a young rooster into the flock, especially when it comes to feeding times.
Can roosters eat pumpkin seeds?
Generally, it is okay to feed your rooster with pumpkin seeds as these have a healthy supply of essential nutrients.
But it’s recommended that when you feed your roosters pumpkin seeds, give them plenty of grit to help them break down the pumpkin seeds.
Also, the pumpkin seeds you give should have any sugar or seasoning coatings because these substances may cause harm to your roosters.
Can roosters eat bread?
There’s no harm in feeding your rooster’s table scraps, specifically bread. Roosters enjoy eating different types of leftovers.
Just remember that table scraps don’t constitute a healthy diet. You should only give these to your roosters in moderation or as a supplement. Bread and other table scraps don’t have as much protein as commercial feeds.
Since chicks need lots of protein to develop and grow properly, it’s best to wait until the roosters are around 3 to 4 months old before you give them bread. Also, make sure that the bread doesn’t contain mold.
Best food for fighting roosters
If you’re raising fighting roosters, you should already know that these male fowls aren’t picky when it comes to the food they eat. You should also know that feeding your fighting roosters with protein will make their muscles and plumage healthier.
This is why you must provide your roosters with nutrient-rich feeds for healthy immunity and growth. This isn’t the “regular feed” that’s given to regular roosters.
Instead, it’s a feed that contains parsley, sunflower seeds, oat groats, lentils, corn, millet, mealworms, and wheat. These ingredients are quite hard to find in one place for each day you need to feed your roosters.
A great alternative to ensure that your fighting roosters would get the nutrients they need is to choose commercial feeds designed specifically for these kinds of roosters.
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Before you decide to purchase roosters, you must first understand how much feed roosters will need to stay healthy. It is natural for roosters to peck around the yard in search of grasses, insects, and seeds but these aren’t enough to sustain their health.
They need a specific diet that includes supplemental feed. As a raiser, you must also consider several factors, the most important of which is to provide them with a balanced and healthy diet.