Nutritional difference between white maize and yellow maize and the effect on poultry birds

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Have you ever thought of the effect of using white maize or yellow maize to make the feed of your broilers, layers, turkeys, quails etc.? Are you afraid that using white maize/corn grains or yellow maize/corn grains could affect the health or performance of your precious chickens? This article will answer your question.

What is the importance of maize in the feed of chickens?

Maize or corn as a livestock feed ingredient is very important in the feed of chickens and other poultry species. This is because maize is the major energy source in livestock feeds and it is very high in energy. As a matter of fact, all animals need energy to be for normal body function. Maize/corn is also the most common and readily available source of energy for livestock. Although, maize contains protein, but very low and of poor quality.

What is the difference between white maize/corn and yellow maize/corn?

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The difference between these two varieties of maize is color. White maize does not have carotenoids while the yellow maize has carotenoids. It is the presence of these carotenoids pigment that is responsible for the yellowness of yellow maize. Yellow maize is high in β-carotene, which is a source of Vitamin A known as Retinol.

What is the nutritional effect of feeding chickens with either white maize or yellow maize?

The nutritional effect of white maize or yellow maize grains on chickens is the additional supply of Vitamin A and yellowing of egg yolk if yellow maize grains are used to compound feed while the egg yolk remains white if white maize grains are used. There is no effect on energy supply or normal body function. Hence, as a farmer, you are not causing any harm to yourself or chickens if you decide to use either white or yellow maize. However, it is recommended to use yellow maize if available because egg consumers tends to have greater interest in eggs with yellow yolks.

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The rule is that the color of the maize/corn you feed your birds with determines the color of their egg yolks.

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