How to give your chickens the feed they deserve

Want to know which chicken feed is best for your birds? Look for the FeedSafe NZ mark.

It’s very easy to take chicken feed for granted. After all, it looks like simple stuff: a generic granola-looking hodgepodge of grains and meals that anybody could whip up with a spare hour and some pantry ingredients. But as any veterinarian or animal nutritionist will tell you, the science behind legitimate stock feed is far more complex than that.

Containing a precise mix of vitamins, minerals, crude proteins, fats and carbohydrates, animal feed has been carefully formulated by highly trained experts to ensure your animals get everything their bodies need. All the nutritional contents of certified stock feed have been calibrated to sit in perfect equilibrium. For example, vitamin D, calcium, and phosphorus must all be in the correct proportions if a hen is to lay eggs with good shells.

The wrong balance from a poor-quality feed means a bird won’t be getting the proper nutrition, which could affect its immune system and render it more susceptible to diseases, parasites or other health issues.

The question is then: how can poultry owners know what they’re buying is going to provide the best nutrition for their birds? The easiest way is to look for the FeedSafe NZ mark.

The official accreditation programme of the New Zealand Feed Manufacturers Association, FeedSafe NZ guarantees the quality of feed by testing the processes of New Zealand mills. Facilities, storage and additives are independently audited to ensure every part of the process functions at the highest standards. Once accredited, a manufacturer can use the FeedSafe NZ logo on their packaging, assuring animal owners the products they buy will help their birds – and other animals – live their best lives.

“No matter what animals you’re feeding, you want them to live well and be healthy, and what you feed them is an essential part of that,” says Te Radar, the face of FeedSafe NZ’s new campaign.

“If there’s one thing animal nutritionists agree on, it’s that animals do best when they get a diet rich in fibre, essential nutrients and protein.”

A lifestyle block owner and comedian, Te Radar says buying from a FeedSafe NZ-accredited manufacturer guarantees chicken owners the feed they buy is well-managed throughout its lifecycle from processing and blending to storage and transport.

It also means farmers can rear the best meat and produce the best milk and eggs, while spending less on costly vet bills as a result of poor nutrition.

“If we are what we eat, and for many of us, that includes animals and what they produce, then what animals eat should also be something we care about.”

For a full list of FeedSafe NZ-accredited manufacturers and brands, go to

NZ Life and Leisure This article first appeared in NZ Lifestyle Block Magazine.
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