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What feed can I buy with highest protein percentage?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

Okay, I have a few questions:

1) I have a flock of standard cochins (about 50) that are different ages. I have started feeding laying pellets because most of them are 7 months old. But, I have not had a single egg out of these yet. Should I keep feeding laying pellets to help with egg production or switch to something else?

2) I was just in TSC and saw a 5lb bag of feed for "show" quality chickens that is supposed to help with plumage and weight gain. It was 24% protein. I would like to primarily feed something like this to my chickens, but the problem is that it averaged out to $1/lb which would translate to $50/50lbs. I think this is way too much to pay, especially with this many chickens. Does anyone have any suggestions to get a high protein content in their feed? Or, do you know where I can find some feed like this for a cheaper price?

P.S. I am not really interested in mixing my own feed from scratch. I wouldn't mind adding something to the feed to help with protein.

post #2 of 18

the foods formulated for game birds have a higher protein content than those for layers or "flock raiser".  I think they range (depending on if it's for game bird chicks / growing or maintenance) from around 18 -24%.  I have different breeds, so I use the Purina game bird chow and mix it with the Purina Sunfresh flock raiser or the Layena.  smile   I keep crushed oyster shell & grit available separately so they can access it as needed.

Momma loves her babies!  8 cats, 45 inside birds, 3 guineas,  RIRs, BRs,  BOs ,  Lorpie girls, Golden Comets, OEGB  BBreds, bantam frizzle cochins,  3 white Silkies, EEs, some silkie/cochin mixes, silkie/frizzles, ducks (3 white Pekins, 1 buff Saxony & 1 Silver Appleyard), and 1 Blue Slate turkey who thinks she's a chicken...   (did I miss anyone?...)  Nope!  Now let's all have pie. 
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Momma loves her babies!  8 cats, 45 inside birds, 3 guineas,  RIRs, BRs,  BOs ,  Lorpie girls, Golden Comets, OEGB  BBreds, bantam frizzle cochins,  3 white Silkies, EEs, some silkie/cochin mixes, silkie/frizzles, ducks (3 white Pekins, 1 buff Saxony & 1 Silver Appleyard), and 1 Blue Slate turkey who thinks she's a chicken...   (did I miss anyone?...)  Nope!  Now let's all have pie. 
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post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by crtrlovr 

the foods formulated for game birds have a higher protein content than those for layers or "flock raiser".  I think they range (depending on if it's for game bird chicks / growing or maintenance) from around 18 -24%.  I have different breeds, so I use the Purina game bird chow and mix it with the Purina Sunfresh flock raiser or the Layena.  smile   I keep crushed oyster shell & grit available separately so they can access it as needed.


Do you think the game bird feed would be okay for cochins? Also (this may be a silly question) is it just the protein percentage that gives them their weight and nice feathers or is it something else? I just assumed it was the protein because on the "show" quality feed, it said 24% protein.

post #4 of 18

Yes, i have started buying game bird crumble, which is 24% protein.

Someone else here on BYC suggested it.  Several someone's actually, and they just offered calcium supplement (oyster shell or egg shell) free choice.

post #5 of 18

Protein is over marketed in this country.  We all think we need it to grow muscles and such.  Most Americans eat far more protein than they need.  Many times, we project onto our chickens what we think is healthy. 

Full grown chickens do no need extra protein.  Extra protein, just causes the kidneys to work harder.  Full grown chickens will not get much bigger anyway, no matter how much protein you put in their feed.

Your chickens will probably start laying when the days get longer.

post #6 of 18

Well, a lot of chicken owners have reported success in encouraging laying by increasing protein.  Perhaps it helps them get their "business" in gear when making the transition from not laying - to laying.

post #7 of 18
Thread Starter 

Thank you all for the replies. I appreciate the help!

post #8 of 18

I add a little gamebird layer to the mix... today I got 20 eggs out of 23 birds.  A record for us.  And the GC MARANs lays JUMBO eggs and more often now!

Former keeper of hens, life isn't much fun without chickens... but

 

"With God, ALL things are possible."

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Former keeper of hens, life isn't much fun without chickens... but

 

"With God, ALL things are possible."

Reply
post #9 of 18

Well, a lot of chicken owners have reported success in encouraging laying by increasing protein.  Perhaps it helps them get their "business" in gear when making the transition from not laying - to laying.


It is natural for pullets to start laying at 18-22 weeks, lay heavily for about 2 months, then cut back to 50% for the rest of their life.  My impression in this forum, is that people start panicking when the eggs drop off.  Since chick season is usually about 5-7 months before winter, egg production can fall off due to cold and lack of daylight.  Maybe the chickens are protein deficient.  It is also possible that the old feed lacked a vitamin, or just the excitement of new feed knocks a few eggs out.  But it still seems to me that people are trying to treat a natural cycle.

I don't think many on here are running an egg business.  Speeding up egg laying with extra protein, light, heat, etc. is simply going to wear the chickens out sooner.  If you are not getting enough eggs, get more chickens.

post #10 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pkeeler 

Well, a lot of chicken owners have reported success in encouraging laying by increasing protein.  Perhaps it helps them get their "business" in gear when making the transition from not laying - to laying.


It is natural for pullets to start laying at 18-22 weeks, lay heavily for about 2 months, then cut back to 50% for the rest of their life.  My impression in this forum, is that people start panicking when the eggs drop off.  Since chick season is usually about 5-7 months before winter, egg production can fall off due to cold and lack of daylight.  Maybe the chickens are protein deficient.  It is also possible that the old feed lacked a vitamin, or just the excitement of new feed knocks a few eggs out.  But it still seems to me that people are trying to treat a natural cycle.

I don't think many on here are running an egg business.  Speeding up egg laying with extra protein, light, heat, etc. is simply going to wear the chickens out sooner.  If you are not getting enough eggs, get more chickens.


I am not getting ANY eggs from my 28 week olds. None of them have laid a single egg yet. So, I think I need to do something different with feed. That's part of why I'm asking about protein. My older hens that have laid before aren't laying right now, but I assume that's because of the winter.

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