Chicken Treats for Boredom or Protein Defiency

winnscollision

In the Brooder
7 Years
May 30, 2012
22
2
24
I had a slight pecking problem and looked up some reasons for this. They have plenty of space so i kinda ruled that out. I found that chicken boredom and lack of protein were probably my problem. Though i am feeding laying pellets, its still just the minimum of protein needed to meet the standards. So i came up with a couple of things to solve both boredom and lack of protein.

First idea was a small 2 dollar hanging basket from walmart. hang it up in the run and put a head of cabbage in it. They will peck at it and it will swing around giving them something other than the ground to peck at, and they are getting a little nutrition at the same time. They love it and it lasts 3-4 days with 18-20 birds.





My next experiment was a chicken treat loaf. Here is the recipe: I made it with 2 cups laying pellets, 2 cups black oil sunflower seeds, 1 cup scratch feed, 8 eggs, 1 cup shredded cheese, 1 can of tuna, 1 cup chopped up carrots, and crushed up the eggshells from the 8 eggs. Added all of that together in a bowl and mixed it up. You want it thick but wet through out. if you need to you may need to add more eggs to it. The egg is what holds it together when baked. Put it in a deep baking loaf pan/dish and bake at 250 for about an hr or till pretty hard. The harder you make it the longer it lasts! Here are some pics of the process:





 

Chris09

Circle (M) Ranch
10 Years
Jun 1, 2009
10,999
544
328
Ohio
There are a number of thing's that can/will cause feather picking.

Lice and or Mites,
Boredom,
Low Protein Feed,
Poultry being fed a "vegetarian feed" with no animal proteins in it.

The Cheese, Egg and Tuna probably help with there need for animal proteins and so the feather picking/eating stoped.

What layer feed are you feeding?



Chris
 
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winnscollision

In the Brooder
7 Years
May 30, 2012
22
2
24
Yeah i knew it wasnt lice or mites as i keep DE and checked them and handle them regularly. Some where i saw that the feathers have protein in them and they are actually eating the pecked out feathers? Any way they had one they pecked at for two weeks straight and the bald spot kept getting bigger. After the hanging cabbage and treats, 4 days later you could see the feathers growing back and no one was pecking at each other. Its ashamed that feed is cut to the bare minimum of there requirements to be clasified as "layer" or "starter" for profits.
 

Chris09

Circle (M) Ranch
10 Years
Jun 1, 2009
10,999
544
328
Ohio
If it is a commercial feed check and see if it has animal protein in it.

Most hens will do well on a 16 to 17 percent with out feather pecking/eating as long as it has animal protein in it.


You are correct in that feathers have protein in them, in fact they have a lot of protein in them. When poultry feathers are dehydrated and turned into Feather Meal the protein amount is around 85% protein.

Feather Meal ---

Dry matter
92 %​
Crude Protein
85.0%​
Fat
03.0 %​
Crude fiber
03.0 %​
Neutral Detergent Fiber
--- %​
Acid Detergent Fiber
16.2 %​
Calcium
0.45 %​
Phosphorus
0.31 %​
Total Digestible Nutrients
63.0 %​
Net energy—Lactation
64.0 Mcal/100 lbs


Chris
 
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kizanne

Songster
8 Years
Mar 28, 2011
1,174
58
161
Tallahassee, FL
the cabbage is a great toy for boredom. I also have a couple chicken swings but they are more for my entertainment.


I grow mealworms and will just throw some on the ground or in the deep bed. They love them, they'll turn the bedding for me and they up their protein with a natural food source.

I feed 19% to my birds all the time and I know they give me more eggs than their description would make me think they should. I think 15% is too low.
I don't care that some company has researched it. They are looking for a minimum required for desired results because protein is the most expensive part of the meal. So I think your loaf is a good idea.

Kiz
 

Chris09

Circle (M) Ranch
10 Years
Jun 1, 2009
10,999
544
328
Ohio
I don't know who said anything about 15% protein but a lot has to do with what type of chicken you are feeding.

A 15% protein is just fine for most Heavy Breed and Gamefowl that are still growing but wouldn't be the best feed for a laying or breeding hen.
Also the quality of the protein that makes up the feed makes a big difference.

Example --
A 16% protein feed that has animal proteins in it is far better than a 16% protein feed that consists of all plant proteins.


Chris
 

jomoncon

Songster
9 Years
Sep 24, 2010
661
27
171
New Orleans, LA
First idea was a small 2 dollar hanging basket from walmart. hang it up in the run and put a head of cabbage in it. They will peck at it and it will swing around giving them something other than the ground to peck at, and they are getting a little nutrition at the same time. They love it and it lasts 3-4 days with 18-20 birds.

My next experiment was a chicken treat loaf. Here is the recipe: I made it with 2 cups laying pellets, 2 cups black oil sunflower seeds, 1 cup scratch feed, 8 eggs, 1 cup shredded cheese, 1 can of tuna, 1 cup chopped up carrots, and crushed up the eggshells from the 8 eggs. Added all of that together in a bowl and mixed it up. You want it thick but wet through out. if you need to you may need to add more eggs to it. The egg is what holds it together when baked. Put it in a deep baking loaf pan/dish and bake at 250 for about an hr or till pretty hard. The harder you make it the longer it lasts! Here are some pics of the process:

Thanks for 2 great ideas! I've been tying up my cabbages, but I think I have an extra hanging basket I can use. With hanging the cabbage, it only lasts a few hours with 8 girls.

I've copied the treat recipe & will try that for my girls. Thanks so much.
 

Sunflowergirl

Songster
8 Years
Feb 16, 2012
456
13
156
Quitman, Texas
Chris, do you have any names of any feed that has animal protein in it? Our TSC has DUMOR and PURINA. As far as I can tell, it is only plant protein. What does it say in the ingredients list to let you know it is animal protein? Thanks for your help!

I don't know who said anything about 15% protein but a lot has to do with what type of chicken you are feeding.

A 15% protein is just fine for most Heavy Breed and Gamefowl that are still growing but wouldn't be the best feed for a laying or breeding hen.
Also the quality of the protein that makes up the feed makes a big difference.

Example --
A 16% protein feed that has animal proteins in it is far better than a 16% protein feed that consists of all plant proteins.


Chris
 

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