16% protein vs 20% protein

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by maryellen21, Feb 22, 2015.

  1. maryellen21

    maryellen21 Chillin' With My Peeps

    My hens are a year old . I had bought feed from the local farm for them at 16% protein . I was feeding nutrena 16% crumbles . The farmer told me that 20% protein is only for growing baby chicks and that adult hens laying eggs should not be on 20% protein... If that is true why does purina flock raiser have 20% protein???
     
  2. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    More or less it is correct. Whenever I keep birds under suboptimal conditions I also increase protein content. The Flock Raiser formulator may be using same logic even with laying hens as the assumption is the birds are outside in some manner or another. The Flock Riser is also for a mixed flock of juveniles and adults. Protein content is high enough for chicks yet not too high for adults. To push chicks I would go higher on protein which gets beyond the ideal range for adults.
     
  3. Nupe

    Nupe Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I use a 20% protein feed so I have more wiggle room with supplements and treats. For 18 chickens, I feed 2 cups of sprouted grains (about 3-4lbs) and a cup of scratch every day. Once the garden is up and running(come on warm weather!) they'll get some fresh stuff as well as grass clippings.
     
  4. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Agree with the above. Also, I've used a 20% layer feed that specifies on the label that it can be supplemented with up to an equal portion of grain. The end result would be a 15-16% crude protein.
    Not the best way to go because some amino acids may be too high while others could be deficient.
     
  5. Naser

    Naser Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I use 15% protein layers pellets "the only one available to me" and my hens free range on grass all the time and they get treats. and they seem to be fine.
     
  6. maryellen21

    maryellen21 Chillin' With My Peeps

    I live in northern nj so winters they cant free range with a foot of snow on the ground, they are confined to an enclosed pen area where they are technically outside in a sense. They eat 16% mash that is a super fine crumble made by the local farm here. I prefer to support my local farms as much as possible and i know where the feed is made and comes from.. I just wanted to make sure i was doing right by my chickens health wise. Once the snow is gone and the grass is back they will free range and eat the bugs, worms etc too along with their mash. So a 16% protein for year old hens laying is ok? Or can i mix the 20% protein mash in with the 16% and do that?
     
  7. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    They are outside where it is cold. Provide the richer feed or mix some in with current layer diet.
     
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  8. Nupe

    Nupe Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The 16% is fine as long as you don't dilute their protein intake with too many treats. If you do supplement with veggie scraps and grains, be sure to also include a protein treat. BOSS doesn't have quite enough and its also very fatty. The best protein supplements you can give them is cooked meat, fish or eggs.
     
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