Chickens eat less on higher protein feed

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Cindy in PA, Jan 21, 2010.

  1. Cindy in PA

    Cindy in PA Overrun With Chickens

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    I found a study from the Alabama cooperative Extension that discussed feeding chickens. Now you all probably know this already, but in the chart they showed how many pounds per 100 chickens was consumed on different protein feeds. It went from something like 18 lbs./100/day on 21% to 24 lbs/100/day for 16%. So you would use an extra 60 lbs/100 per month if you used the 16%. So doesn't that mean that the cost of the higher protein would even out because you would use less? Now I just like the higher protein so I can throw them more grain, but if you fed each plain it wouldn't be that much more expensive. I found it interesting since we have had so many "protein" discussions.
     
  2. topeka

    topeka Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I might be reading it wrong but it looks like and extra 180lbs. per month on the 16% feed?
     
  3. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    I think it's like a lot of feeds. More filler means more net lbs eaten.
     
  4. topeka

    topeka Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I just ran the numbers. In my area to increase the protein % from 16 to 21% for 100 birds for a month would cost an additional $36.60

    (to save 180lbs of feed)

    IF............my numbers were correct [​IMG]
     
  5. pkeeler

    pkeeler Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It is hard to comment without seeing the study. Were these broilers? Ultra-fast growing broilers might convert extra protein to weight much more than heritage layers. In fact, since broilers grow about 3-5X faster than layers, any study on their protein conversion would be hard to extrapolate to layers.

    If we killed all our chickens, they would eat almost no feed [​IMG] So, there is also the question of whether extra protein is healthful.

    If 21% feed has the same vitamin D (or any vitamin) as 16% feed, and the chickens eat much less, are they becoming deficient in non-protein nutrients?

    At a savings of 6 lbs/100/day, that would be a savings of 180 lbs for 100 birds for a month. If you have only 10 birds, that would be a savings of 0.6 lbs/day or about 18 lbs per month. Since a bag of feed is about $11-12, you would be saving around $4/month or $0.14/day. Not really that much of a difference for a back yard flock.
     
  6. Cindy in PA

    Cindy in PA Overrun With Chickens

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    This was for laying hens. If you feed a 21% feed that is meant to be fed with scratch grain, I know they up the values of the vitamins to compensate. At $11/bag 16% & 13.50/bag for 20% you would save 13 bucks. The break even point is just below $15/bag for 21%. I used $11 for the 16%, but I would think Layena is more than that. My Game bird feed is $13.50 presently. Don't know what 21% Egg Producer is right now. We always hear that a chicken will eat from .25-.33 lb of food per day, so obviously it varies (we knew that). Just saying feeding higher protein is not as expensive as you would think. It probably has to do with the quality of food also. When I fed Layena 16% I used 100/lbs per month with 12 chickens, but Nature's Best organic (100) lasted 6 weeks. My Game Bird is lasting over a month also. Just found it interesting.

    ETA I can't spell!
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2010
  7. Chris09

    Chris09 Circle (M) Ranch

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    Cindy,

    I been using high protein poultry feed for some time. I like it a lot.
    I use a 21% non-medicated starter/ grower on everything (chicks, growers, layers and breeders)
    It makes it real nice because I never change there feed...
    I pay $11.75 per 50lbs. of Kalmbach 1044.

    Chris
     
  8. sommrluv

    sommrluv Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I used 20 percent almost exclusively, and it took us quite a long time to go through 50 lbs with 7 birds. I want to say 6-8 weeks. DH picked up the wrong feed by accident, and of course, being close to out, we just decided to feed it (16%).

    They went through 50 lbs, in about 2 weeks. no joke.

    I knew they weren't eating much of that feed, but THAT is ridiculous.
     
  9. Mac in Wisco

    Mac in Wisco Antagonist

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    Quote:No, you misinterpreted what the chart was trying to say. Hens will consume more feed in cold weather and consume less in warmer weather, as their energy requirements dictate. The amount of protein they need at a given age is fixed. Let's say 4 lb leghorn type layer hens need 20 grams of crude protein per day. To take in that 20 grams of protein when they are eating 18 lbs/100/day (due to hotter weather) then the protein level of the feed would need to be 21%. If they are eating 24 lbs/100/day (due to colder weather) then the level of protein in the feed would only need to be 16%.

    The bottom line is that since hens eat less in hot summer weather, the protein level in the feed should go up. In the winter when they are eating much more, the protein level in the feed can go down. In the summer this can be accomplished by feeding 20% feed. In the winter you can switch to a 16% feed, or supplement the 20% feed with scratch (which provides extra energy while reducing the overall protein level.)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 23, 2010
  10. Mac in Wisco

    Mac in Wisco Antagonist

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    Quote:That seems to be a popular misconception here, that anything other than the protein is "filler". I've heard people say that the remainder is "filler", that corn is just "filler", that adding wheat would be just "filler". All of the feedstocks used in making poultry rations have some sort of nutritional value. Each will provide a certain amount of protein, carbs, fats, vitamins and minerals (all the elements of nutrition) at a specific energy level (calories). The trick to formulating complete rations is mixing the feedstocks in the correct proportions to provide balanced proteins (all essential amino acids in balance) and balancing the protein against the metabolizable energy level. Once that is accomplished with the available feedstocks then any amino acid, vitamin, or mineral deficiencies are made up with supplements.

    Unless you are finding plastic pellets in your feed, nothing is used as a filler or bulking agent. All of the ingredients have nutritional value.

    Protein beyond what a chicken needs is passed on through the feces. (They are crapping out all of that extra expensive protein that everybody seems to think they need). The excess nitrogen can be damaging to the liver. The excess nitrogen passed on in the feces leads to higher ammonia production in the litter.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 23, 2010

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