Question: Why is it important for customers to understand the components and ingredients of poultry feed, and what information is legally required to be included on poultry feed labels?

We asked Joanna Palmer BSc (Hons), a nutritionist for the Smallholder Range. Joanna brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to answer your questions, covering everything from feeding laying hens and breeding birds to the specific needs of peafowl, guinea fowl, and waterfowl.  


Understanding the main components of poultry feed and what ingredients are included and why, enables customers to make informed choices when it comes to selecting the best feed for their birds.

This choice should not only reflect the nutritional needs of the birds but also the customer’s own stance on important issues such as the use of genetically modified (GM) ingredients and the inclusion of artificial additives, growth promoters and drugs.

The production and labelling of animal feed is subject to strict legislation and all manufacturers must belong to an accredited assurance scheme and adhere to their rules. All poultry feed labels must detail: the type of feed and bird for which it is intended; a breakdown of the key nutrients; a list of ingredients, including any additives; feeding instructions; quantity of feed the bag contains and full traceability information including, batch number and best before date as well as the manufacturers contact details.

For more information on feeding your poultry naturally call the Smallholder Range nutrition team on 01362 822 902 or visit

This Q&A extract was taken from the March 2024 edition of The Country Smallholder. To read further questions and answers relating to poultry feed, you can buy the issue here.

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