Can I feed my mixed flock meat bird feed?

Relleoms

Songster
Jan 22, 2018
573
914
211
Iowa
I have 13 chickens; 2 male, 11 female, aged 8 months to 1.5 years. Most of the big girls are molting and only 4 are currently laying, and rather inconsistently at that. Because it’s gotten cold, most are staying in the coop most of the day, even though all have the option to be in the coop or the run. I’m attributing this to the molt. Their food and water are outside and I’m concerned they’re not getting enough to eat. Is it ok to feed them meat bird feed with 22% protein, oyster shell on the side, to increase the nutrition while consuming less? I shop at our local TSC, but usually struggle to find fresh feed, so I get the freshest they offer which lately has been feather fixer with 18% protein. The all flock is generally the oldest. They get wet feed & scrambled eggs (store bought, of course!) for treats. Thoughts? Am I overthinking this?!?
 

AlleysChicks

Enabler
Oct 10, 2016
15,206
38,607
1,142
Southern Ohio
Yes you can. I feed the game chick feed when mine are molting. The higher protein really kickstarts the feathers. Also I got a small 25lb bag of catfish food to mix a bit in with the feed. I’ve went through 4 bags of 50lb feed since the molting started here. Of course I’m feeding 3 coops and probably 50 birds.
 

GC-Raptor

Free Ranging
Jul 26, 2016
5,027
9,227
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Connecticut, USA
Most of the big girls are molting and only 4 are currently laying,
Is it ok to feed them meat bird feed with 22% protein, oyster shell on the side,
I would say yes while molting (based on others) even though I have never fed my adults or juveniles more than 20% Protein. It is cheaper than Feather Fixer.
I prefer 18 to 20% Protein for all life stages of chickens including molting. GC
 

EggWalrus

Free Ranging
Aug 14, 2017
2,241
5,430
577
Southeast Alabama
Yes you can. I’ve went through 4 bags of 50lb feed since the molting started here. Of course I’m feeding 3 coops and probably 50 birds.
I'm down to about 50-60 birds now too. I let mine free range from about 10 am till they put themselves to bed, but mine have been thru 4 fifty lbs bags since the first of the month. Plus I feed them speed wheat and they always act starved to death. They aren't skinny or under weight, they feel like they have the right ratio of keel bone to breast. I guess it's just them craving more because of the molt.
:confused::idunno
 

Relleoms

Songster
Jan 22, 2018
573
914
211
Iowa
Thanks all. Is there a danger for the non-molters and boys having more protein than they need? Or is it just a cost thing? Interestingly, the fat content is lower in the meat bird feed than the others. 3 girls & my roo are almost finished molting but I’ve still got 3 in the middle or about to start. I only go through 40-50 lbs every 2-3 weeks.
 

Relleoms

Songster
Jan 22, 2018
573
914
211
Iowa
I feed meatbird crumble at all times. It's 21% protein here. But it's the only feed available in my area that includes animal protein, and that's what I'm after. Lately I've been cutting the protein of it down a bit with whole oats.
What kind of animal protein? Normally my flock free ranges, but I think most of the bugs have died or gone to overwinter. I guess maybe mealworms would be a good source of animal protein (in moderation, obviously) too?
 

Relleoms

Songster
Jan 22, 2018
573
914
211
Iowa
I'm down to about 50-60 birds now too. I let mine free range from about 10 am till they put themselves to bed, but mine have been thru 4 fifty lbs bags since the first of the month. Plus I feed them speed wheat and they always act starved to death. They aren't skinny or under weight, they feel like they have the right ratio of keel bone to breast. I guess it's just them craving more because of the molt.
:confused::idunno
Well, I’m not molting but certainly craving more right now, too! Darn cold weather!
 

Mosey2003

Crowing
5 Years
Apr 13, 2016
3,040
4,918
391
North-Central IL
What kind of animal protein? Normally my flock free ranges, but I think most of the bugs have died or gone to overwinter. I guess maybe mealworms would be a good source of animal protein (in moderation, obviously) too?
The ingredient list doesn't specify, just says animal protein. I assume it's some sort of by-product. Yes, mealworms are a good source, but they're a bit pricy. So is the catfish food someone mentioned.
 

Relleoms

Songster
Jan 22, 2018
573
914
211
Iowa
What kind of animal protein? Normally my flock free ranges, but I think most of the bugs have died or gone to overwinter. I guess maybe mealworms would be a good source of animal protein (in moderation, obviously) too?
Duh, scrambled eggs are a source of animal protein! I already give my flock scrambled eggs as a treat, so no need to spend money on mealworms!
 

MANNA-PRO

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