1.Mash a blend of several feed ingredients, ground to a small size but not to a powder
2.Pellets small kernels of compressed mash, causing birds to eat the whole blend, not pick and choose
3.Crumbles pellets broken up into smaller pieces
4.Starter a blend of feed for chicks and growing birds, usually in the form of mash; approximately the same as "Grower"; can be replaced with "adult" food as soon as chicks go for it, somewhere between 4 and 8 weeks of age
5.Grower approximately the same as "Starter"
6. Layer feed blend for chickens that are laying eggs, having extra calcium and protein added
7.Broiler feed blend for chickens that are growing as fast as possible, in order to be harvested for meat as early as possible
8.Scratch whole grains fed separately to chickens, usually scattered on the ground or litter of the coop; usually a mixture of grains, such as wheat, rye, oats, etc. (corn/maize must be cracked before using as scratch grain)
9.Free range: not controlled by fences, able to get to fresh greens and insects; as commercially used, this term allows fences, with minimum amount of space per bird being set by definition
10.Pastured poultry: hens kept in movable, usually wheeled, pens, moved daily over fresh pasture, creating delicious meat and nutritious eggs
11.Organic: inspected by government agencies, organic food sources must not contain traces of harmful chemicals; the term as currently used does not insure that poultry has been raised in the best possible way, only that it has near zero harmful ingredients
12.Pullets: female chickens in their first year of lay, or prior to their first moult
13.Hens: female chickens in their second year of lay, or after their first moult
14.Straight Run: a random mixture of male and female baby chicks
15.Cockerels: male baby chicks; male young domestic fowl
Grit: angular, hard crushed rock, preferably from granite, used by the chickens in place of "teeth" --- seashells and bone CANNOT substitute for grit; for confinded birds, grit should be offered several times a month at least; it should be of the right size for the age of the birds allowed to free range don't need to be offered grit -- they find their own ideal sizes and types to suit themselves
Corn: American term meaning maize corn, or "corn on the cob" (in England "corn" means what grain means in the US, that is, all food grains)
Grain: American term meaning any small, hard seeds, especially grass-family seeds (called corn in England); provides energy, B vitamins, phosphorus, and the whole grains are a fair source of protein, too
Bran: the outer coating of a kernel of grain; extremely high in silicon, which slows down its decomposing in the soil; cheap by-product of milling, often given away free by large mills
Germ: the embryo plant inside a kernel of grain; very nutritious and high in protein; wheat and rice germ (also called "rice polish") are a saleable by-product of milling
Middlings: an old milling term for the parts of the kernel that are milled off with the germ, and probably contain both the starch and bran (please email me if you have more specific information :-)
Calcium: provided by sea shells, crushed bone, and fresh or dried greens --- amounts need to be measured closely, if not free range; must be provided in higher quantities as soon as chickens begin to lay eggs
Protein: any food high in amino acids, used to build tissues; protein quality is determined by the "completeness" of the amino acid varieties in the food source; all meats, eggs of all kinds, milk, cheese, nuts, seed germs, and soy beans are high protein sources
Amino acid: a molecule that is one building block of protein; there are many different amino acids, most of which can be manufactured in the body; the few that cannot must be supplied by foods, and are called "Essential Amino Acids"; a food that supplies all 8 essential amino acids is called "complete"
Vitamins: an old, general term meaning "life-giving"; a chemical found in nature or made by man to imitate natural ones; new vitamins, and new uses for known vitamins, are always being discovered
Minerals: non-life-created chemicals found in nature; these and vitamins can be added to dietary regimens to improve health; sea water contains all the minerals of the earth, in their natural forms and safe amounts; "trace minerals" are those needed in relatively very tiny amounts, and can be highly toxic if these amounts are exceeded; "macro-minerals" are those needed in large amounts, such as calcium, phosphorous, and magnesium
Kelp: sea-weed, plants that grow in the sea; contains all the minerals of the earth; all kelp is edible, and can easily be dried and fed to chickens by clipping a sheaf of it to something in their area (also, this replaces any need to add salt to their rations)
For more http://www.lionsgrip.com/chickens.html
This is from STRANGE THINGS IN THE FEED?
For some reason, a belief sometimes exists that hormones are added to poultry feed in order to stimulate production. This is false. No hormones have been approved by the government for addition to poultry feeds, and even if they were, they would not be used. The mode of action of such compounds is extremely complex and no benefit of hormone supplementation to feeds has been demonstrated. To the contrary, if rapid growth were possible through the use of hormones the result would probably be disastrous. Just like the teenager who undergoes a sudden "growth spurt," the chicken fed on unnatural growth promoters would experience severe problems with leg joints, and in all likelyhood would suffer a high mortality through syndromes such as ascites or sudden death syndrome (heart attack).
Thus, while a number of unfamiliar terms may appear on feed labels, there is no reason to be concerned about their safety. In fact, stranger sounding words can be found on the side panel of most boxes of breakfast cereal.
Nicholas M. Dale
Extension Poultry Scientist
For the whole article