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How much starter feed? - Page 3

post #21 of 27

I would chime in with Chris that the higher protein for adult layers produces healthier birds with better laying.

 

In winter I feed a 20% layer feed, while in summer I can cut back to 16% layer as the foraging is better on my limited range....even then, they tend to do better on a higher protein. Protein is also slower to digest which helps them generate heat in cold weather, another reason I feed higher protein in winter.

 

If you have lots of good range (translated lots of bugs and protein to be found), you can get by on lower 16% and save the money.

 

I do tend to be careful with my babies and keep them at 18% to no more than 20% protein so that I don't outstrip their growth, but I am growing heritage layer types.  Commercial layers tend to do better on the higher protein (20%) as they grow quickly.

 

My Buckeyes were raised on 22% and at times I pushed that to 24% then cut back to 18%...but they have a lot in common with meat birds (how much protein is hotly debated for that breed). The Buckeye roos were processed a little early (16 weeks), but trimmed out at about 3 to 3.5 lbs. Another 4 weeks, pushing the higher protein, and I would have had the projected 5 lb to 6lb weight.

 

So if you stay with layer types, and have limited range, a higher layer protein can keep a stronger, healthier bird.

 

I personally tend to land on Nutrena's Feather Fixer year round. It has a nice 18% protein, a bit cheaper than the 20% protein feed here, nice calcium (bot not the highest content so I feel safe to feed my adult roos, bag says safe for adult roos). I offer calcite grit free feed for those who may need a bit more calcium. 

 

I can easily get that vs. all flock which most places only want to carry in crumble in my area...and crumble, for me, is a total waste of money as it disintegrates to powder in no time in my Oregon humidity. I much prefer pellet after they are beyond the chick stage.

 

LofMc


Edited by Lady of McCamley - 2/13/16 at 12:03am
Keeper of 15+ layers, common to specialty types for colorful egg baskets. Brooding Queens: The Queen Mum Silkie and 2 Bantam Cochin handmaids. Preparing to breed my own Olive Eggers! Barnevelder roo with Splash Marans and CL for egg color and color coding :D Former 4H leader, GDB Puppy Raiser, Homeschooler. Current ESL tutor. Proud new grandma. Loving wife to a very tolerant husband.
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Keeper of 15+ layers, common to specialty types for colorful egg baskets. Brooding Queens: The Queen Mum Silkie and 2 Bantam Cochin handmaids. Preparing to breed my own Olive Eggers! Barnevelder roo with Splash Marans and CL for egg color and color coding :D Former 4H leader, GDB Puppy Raiser, Homeschooler. Current ESL tutor. Proud new grandma. Loving wife to a very tolerant husband.
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post #22 of 27
Personally for certain breeds and types of fowl, high protein is overrated. I know many who kept their protein low around 13-14 % after the baby stage to slow down growth. Once breeding age came it was mixed to get around 16%. Slow growth equals strong vibrant fowl. Strong joints, strong bones. Etc. in the moult protein was jumped up slightly. But using good animal proteins. Fish. Beef. Venison. Offal. Etc.

But for your typical run of the mill type layers and heritage types Where it's all about production or size and feather color. Strong bones and joints don't matter as much. Slow growth isn't promoted. High protein is a must. This is why so many have upped their fowls protein consumption. Plus with the idea that ranging fowl is healthier fowl. Nutrition generally suffers so a higher protein and other nutritant based diet is necessary to compensate.

All depends on what your fowl are. Your end result goals. And methods of husbandry.
post #23 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris09 View Post
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fleetwood77 View Post
 


What would you say is the advantage of 20% vs 16% layer feed? 

There is a would of difference between the two.

 

Better egg production.

Better egg quality.

Better feather quality on the fowl.

Quicker recovery time after a molt.

Over all better size of bird.

If feeding a un-medicated starter or a start and grow feed you don't have to switch the type of feed your feeding.

For the average backyard raiser there is a better "fudge factor" meaning if they over feed treats by a little bit there not killing to much of the proteins/ amino acids.

 

To me there are lots more benefits to feeding a higher protein feed but these are just a few.

That's my main reason, keeping protein and other nutrients up while 'treating' with scraps and scratch.....

...it makes things much simpler too, instead of goofing around with all the different 'age levels' of feeds.

I can keep 50# bag of crumble and a 50# bag of scratch in one 30gal metal garbage can

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

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Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply
post #24 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dead Rabbit View Post

Personally for certain breeds and types of fowl, high protein is overrated. I know many who kept their protein low around 13-14 % after the baby stage to slow down growth. Once breeding age came it was mixed to get around 16%. Slow growth equals strong vibrant fowl. Strong joints, strong bones. Etc. in the moult protein was jumped up slightly. But using good animal proteins. Fish. Beef. Venison. Offal. Etc.

But for your typical run of the mill type layers and heritage types Where it's all about production or size and feather color. Strong bones and joints don't matter as much. Slow growth isn't promoted. High protein is a must. This is why so many have upped their fowls protein consumption. Plus with the idea that ranging fowl is healthier fowl. Nutrition generally suffers so a higher protein and other nutritant based diet is necessary to compensate.

All depends on what your fowl are. Your end result goals. And methods of husbandry.

 

You bring up a good point, point being it depends on the fowl you are feeing as to the amount of protein being used.

To be honest the only people that I know that dip down to say a 12 to 14 percent protein are gamefowl raisers and even they most of them will bump to a 19 to 20 percent protein mix during molt, and breeding season. 

 

NPIP # 31-516
Society for the Preservation of Poultry Antiquities http://sppa.webs.com/

Breeding Large Fowl Single and Rose Comb Rhode Island Reds to APA Standard


"I know of no pursuit in which more real and important services can be rendered to any country than by improving its agriculture, its breed of useful animals, and other branches of a husbandman's cares." – 

George Washington

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NPIP # 31-516
Society for the Preservation of Poultry Antiquities http://sppa.webs.com/

Breeding Large Fowl Single and Rose Comb Rhode Island Reds to APA Standard


"I know of no pursuit in which more real and important services can be rendered to any country than by improving its agriculture, its breed of useful animals, and other branches of a husbandman's cares." – 

George Washington

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post #25 of 27
Thread Starter 

My friend is feeding 16% in summer and 20% in winter. I think this would be a good plan?

 

The birds I am getting will be:

Black Australorp

White Plymouth Rock

Golden Laced Wyandotte

Easter Egger

post #26 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris09 View Post

You bring up a good point, point being it depends on the fowl you are feeing as to the amount of protein being used.
To be honest the only people that I know that dip down to say a 12 to 14 percent protein are gamefowl raisers and even they most of them will bump to a 19 to 20 percent protein mix during molt, and breeding season. 


Yes sir you are correct. That is a common method with gamefowl. You want them To grow slow and strong.
Generally it was practiced of bumping protein levels up to 16-18% once you put your brood yards together. And during moult up the protein the same.
This method works well with gamefowl. No reason it wouldn't be the same with other types. For instance the giant breeds should be grown slow. I'm talking true Giants. Ones that reach up to 18-20 lbs or more.

For production purposes and show or heritage types that's basically breed to a standard. Yes feed them hot for maximum growth and to make preety feathers. It sure won't hurt. But even then, with all that said, I experimented few yrs back with raising a batch of Cornish X. I fed them 16% laying crumbles. They still reach the desired size in the alotted amount of time. I also raised my flock of layers on 20 % crumbles the last couple of years I had a flock. Got that advice from this site. For decades I and everyone I knew fed the traditional 16% layer ration. I can honestly say I saw no difference in my fowl.

This is why I feel high protein usage is overrated at times.
It seems to have become a popular method in the last few years. I certainly don't see any issues with feeding hotter rations for your average fowl but not convinced it's all that either. Just my observations.
post #27 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fleetwood77 View Post

My friend is feeding 16% in summer and 20% in winter. I think this would be a good plan?

The birds I am getting will be:
Black Australorp
White Plymouth Rock
Golden Laced Wyandotte
Easter Egger

Just me but I suggest you bump the protein up before winter. Do it as soon as they start to molt. Then after they feather back out and they have no more blood feathers, than ease back on protein levels. Or not. Up to you. Personally I'm more a fan of feeding soaked whole grains in the winter . It adds moisture to their system w,hen they aren't naturally taking it in and I believe the digestion of whole grains is a natural heat producer
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