42 42 Crumbs – Starter Feeding coarse-medium mash diets with an adequate feed particle dis- tribution is recommended. The feed should be homogeneous and have a good structure so it guar- antees an even balance of coarse and fine feed particles thus improving nutrient intake capacity. A diet with an extremely fine consist- ency will reduce the feed intake of the birds and can result in a reduced supply of essential nutrients. Adding a minimum of 1.5–2 % of some oil/fat reduces the dustiness of the feed and helps to improve feed structure and palatability. Even more so in alternative systems, a high proportion of very fine compo- nents or a structure that is too coarse can lead to selective feed intake and an unbalanced nutrient supply lead- ing to a decrease of flock uniformity and may trigger undesirable behaviour (feather pecking, cannibalism, etc.). If an adequate mash feed cannot be supplied (hygienic reasons, inap- propriate equipment, etc.) diets can be supplied as quality crumbs or pellets. Pelleting and crumbs while sometimes improving daily gain and reducing wastage can increase nutri- ent intake but can also reduce the time spent feeding. Which in alter- native systems can lead to increased pecking behaviour. In addition, poor quality pellets or crumbs can lead to lower consumption due to the accumula- tion of fine particles and increased unpalatability. Coarse calcium particles and coarse fibre particles may not be feasibly in- cluded in pellet and crumbs and due to pellet structure, a lower gizzard activity is noted when birds are fed pelleted rather than mash diets. All these aspects alongside flock con- dition should be considered when making decisions about feed presen- tation. Time spending feeding for layers Pellets (%) Mash (%) Eating time 11.20 21.06 Savory et al, 1974 LOHMANN TIERZUCHT › MANAGEMENT GUIDE › FEEDING & NUTRITION The target should be to get 60–70 % of particles between 1.0–2.5 mm. Feed particle distribution > 3.0 mm 3.0–2.0 mm 2.0–1.5 mm 1.5–1.0 mm < 1.0 mm < 0.5 mm *Starter, % – <_ 20 20–30 30–40 <_ 15 <_ 5 Pullets, % – <_ 20 15–25 25–35 <_ 15 <_ 10 Layers, % <_ 10 25–30 25–30 15–25 <_ 25 <_ 10 10% 10% 35% 45% 45% 35% 10% 10% Crumbs – Rearing Mash Roller Mill – Lay Mash Hammer Mill – Lay