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What protien level in chicken feed?

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1 What protien level in chicken feed? on Sun Jan 11, 2015 11:52 am

Bessie


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Hi all -

I have nine hens, ages 5 months to 3 years.

They get 17% layer pellets.  What difference does the %age of protein make to their general health and their egg laying?  

Do they need grit as well as free choice oyster shell?  They are outdoors in a large run every day, and are out in a 1 acre pasture when I'm home.  (We have predators.) The soil is quite sandy.

I don't feed scraps every day, but they get warm oatmeal mash if it's coldish out. They like cabbage, and my gelding's soaked beet pulp.  They go crazy for grapes and raspberries.  

Thanks  Very Happy

2 Re: What protien level in chicken feed? on Mon Jan 12, 2015 12:13 pm

okanagan_peppers

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They get 17% layer pellets. What difference does the %age of protein make to their general health and their egg laying?.....

The feed manufacturers have formulated the % for optimum use of the proteins needed, say for your layers and any excess amount of protein (above what is required for their general health or egg production) will be used as energy. stored as fat and be put out in nitrogen excreted in the poop. So you could end up with a fatter hen or a messier coop to clean out. Though IMO I think a little higher protein in our winter months is a good idea and I try to give a bit of extra to mine (making up for the lack of bugs).

Do they need grit as well as free choice oyster shell?
They should be getting enough grit if your letting them out every day, I would say it's a good idea to have oyster shell available for them if they need the extra calcium, they will know if they need it. The older they get the calcium needs will increase as well, they may continue to lay but the shells may start to become thinner and weaker which could result in a egg bound hen. Sad Different breeds will require more calcium than other breeds, the heavy egg laying breeds for example. What breed of chickens do you have?

The warm oatmeal mash if it's coldish out.... is great! Very Happy  I to do a lil oatmeal for them at times to.
and yah I bet they go crazy for grapes and raspberries  Laughing all good sounds like your taking great care of them.

3 Re: What protien level in chicken feed? on Mon Jan 12, 2015 8:42 pm

Bessie


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Thanks for explaining the protein information so clearly.  

I have 3 Ameracaunas, 2 Cuckoo Marans, 2 Black Copper Marans, a Barred Rock and a little red hen.  It's a good little flock.  Some of them are very tame, and others more aloof, but they all come running in from the pasture if they sense a treat. Very Happy

4 Re: What protien level in chicken feed? on Tue Jan 13, 2015 10:50 am

okanagan_peppers

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Nice rainbow of egg color Smile
and I love it when...... "they all come running in from the pasture if they sense a treat"

I give my chickens extra protein (boiled soya beans), carbs (corn) and nutrients (sprouts) every day, through the winter months and into the breeding season. This I know is more than the average person would do....just sharing my method Smile Years ago I had a small hatchery and I would use gamebird pellets (can't remember the protein %..it's been to long) for the winter months and into breeding season with added oyster shell free of choice. But now that I've moved and downsized majorly I can really spoil them Very Happy and I get better results.

so just in case...I didn't want to make you afraid of adding extra protein into their diet..... you have some really nice dual purpose chickens, a little slower growing than the production type so a little exra is OK. Just my thoughts...as long as they are happy and healthy all is good Smile

5 Re: What protien level in chicken feed? on Tue Jan 13, 2015 6:43 pm

Bessie


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Wow, I bet they like sprouts.  What kind do you give them?  And is the corn ground?

6 Re: What protien level in chicken feed? on Tue Jan 13, 2015 9:56 pm

authenticfarm

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Yes, always offer grit and oyster shell free choice.

http://www.partridgechanteclers.com

7 Re: What protien level in chicken feed? on Wed Jan 14, 2015 11:11 am

okanagan_peppers

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Bessie wrote:Wow, I bet they like sprouts.  What kind do you give them?  And is the corn ground?

Oh yah  Smile I've been sprouting chia seeds, wheat, BOSS, buckwheat and speckled peas so far. here's a nice link you might enjoy on sprouting  http://naturalchickenkeeping.blogspot.ca/2012/12/easy-ways-to-sprout-seeds-for-your.html

And for doing Chia seeds for those special chicks  Smile  a easy way is to use a coffee filter and wet it down, and place it on a plastic lid or dish, add about 1 - 2 tbsp of chia seed, try to spread them evenlly if you can, drip or mist the seeds with a bit of water, cover with a plastic bag (green house effect) place a dark area, until they start to sprout and get about 1/4" tall, then bring them into light to green up. First day babies aren't sure what to think but after that they get pretty excitted.  Smile  

As far as my corn process....I have to say that alot of stuff I do for my chickens are things that I either want to do or already do for me and hubby. I just haven't found a source yet for human grade feild corn. With foods nutrition going down hill we've taken different approaches to our food. Sprouting and fermenting. So as for the corn ... I use whole corn but I cook (simmer) it for a hour than let it sit for another 6 - 8 hrs. I cook up a weeks worth and keep it in the fridge, grinding it up every morning in a nut butter grinder. I cook it with wood ash which is called Nixtamalization origanlly done by the Aztec Mexicans. Here's a good link which explains more.  http://www.thenourishinggourmet.com/2009/03/nixtamalization-nutritional-benefits.html  Basically cooking it this way frees up essential amino acids and niacin that would otherwise be unavailable and/or undigestible.

But to keep it simple I would suggest getting the already cracked corn and soaking it over night or for 24 hrs it'll make it more easilly digestable for them. and I would just keep the corn feeding more as a treat feeding. Corn is not a good source of protein, but it is a good source for carbohydrates "energy"



Last edited by okanagan_peppers on Wed Jan 14, 2015 12:35 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : Corn is not a good source of protein)

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