Adding game bird feed to daily ration

miss maple

In the Brooder
Mar 22, 2017
23
11
22
Hi all,

For my mixed flock, I've been feeding a mix of game bird finisher(20% protein) and all-flock(16% protein) to get about 18%. They were still growing and going through a moult so I figured the extra protein would help. Now I'm getting to the bottom of the bin and am wondering if I should continue what I'm doing or switch it up. I want to make sure they're getting plenty of protein for egg production and finishing off their moult, but being a worried chook mom, don't want to give too much and risk giving them gout or something.

Only half are laying, as we're still in winter. They get plenty of veggie/fruit scraps and fermented feed, balanced with some mealworms and bone meal for fats and protein. They have access to grit/shell grit free choice and free range when I'm home. Am I over-thinking this?

Thanks in advance!
 

TalkALittle

Songster
5 Years
Dec 15, 2014
1,661
725
191
Massachusetts
Mine are on a breeder formula year round that is 18% and they do great on it. I supplement with a 22% formula during moult so I think you'll be just fine.
 

Egghead_Jr

Crowing
10 Years
Oct 16, 2010
7,482
3,548
436
NEK, VT
I use 20% year round. With that they don't get much by way of treats. Refrigerator culls is about it. Turkey and Game bird feed is an all flock and what we use, to get 20% here it's the finisher. Turkey/gamebird start is rather high in protein.

I agree with you that you're overthinking it. Seems you provide a lot of "treats" so would go with 20% and make life easy rather than mix bags.
 
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Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
27,532
20,843
907
Southeast Louisiana
I can help you overthink it even more if you wish, but I agree you are already doing a good job of that.

The studies I've seen on avian gout talk about protein in the 30% range. Personally I'd stay away from the mid 20's but gout is not a concern for you, not how you are feeding them. That was a good question, now you can relax about that.

With all the various things you are feeding them you probably don't know what you are giving them. Protein is not about what is in one bite, it's about how many grams of total protein they eat in one day. Even that is not true, it's an average over several days. And it is not just about protein, it's minerals, fats, vitamins, fiber, salt, calcium, and even what kinds of protein. They need a balance in all of these. If you wish you can try to micromanage all that but I'm not going to work that hard. I wouldn't get it right anyway. Since yours forage while they free range you lose a lot of control over it just from that. Told you I could help you overthink it.

If your goals are generally a healthy backyard flock for eggs and pets, my suggestion is like Egghead's. Go with one and simplify that part of it. With my goals I go with a lower percent but the 20% would work fine. It sounds like you may be happier with that. I don't know the quality of forage they have when they are free ranging but you can cut back on their other treats if you wish, or keep feeding them. It's not a big deal.

If your goals are show birds or something special, a special diet may be required. But for a general backyard flock it's just not that critical. They can handle a range of proteins and other nutrient levels. In my opinion, micromanaging them is more for your benefit to make you feel better, that you are doing everything for your girls that you can, rather than really necessary for them.
 

miss maple

In the Brooder
Mar 22, 2017
23
11
22
Thanks for the help guys! Definitely needed to be reeled back in a little. I suppose that in trying to provide a varied diet for them I wonder if I'm doing more harm than good... then start to over-analyse heheh.

I agree, Ridgerunner, that it's more about making myself feel better that I'm doing everything I can, rather than what's necessary for them. Glad I can just relax now :cool:
 

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