Do I need to increase protien?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by KDbeads, Nov 1, 2009.

  1. KDbeads

    KDbeads Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 20, 2009
    East Central VA
    My 3 EE pullets are around 6 months old, about 6 weeks ago I noticed they were eating every feather they could find, not pecking each other though, but if it was a loose feather it was eaten. I immediately put them on grower since they had been eating layer and scraps for 2 weeks. Feather eating diminished but did not totally disappear . They have been on the grower for 6 weeks now and they are back at eating any loose feather they can get to as fast as they can get it. They also don't appear to be getting larger, almost stuck between banty and LF sizes.

    I'm using the Purina grower as it's the only kind I can get out here. They don't like it that much either.
    I do supplement with meat leftovers and trimmings on occasion.
    Not free ranging, in a run 8'x5'.
    We have had fecals run and no worms.

    What have I missed? What can I change? Changing the food is going to be a problem though, every place within 60 miles sells Purina.
  2. ella

    ella Chillin' With My Peeps

    It's normal for hens to eat loose feathers, it acts as a kind of insoluble fiber. If they start picking feathers that's a different thing.

    It's probably just because they're confined to a smaller area. Chickens, expecially pullets have very high energy and are always on the lookout for soimething new and different in their environment.

    It's also normal for their growth to slow way down at that age.

    Keep an eye out for other symptoms but they sound pretty normal. [​IMG]
  3. WestKnollAmy

    WestKnollAmy The Crazy Chicken Lady

    Apr 22, 2008
    upstate SC
    Buy some game bird food or a 5 or 7 way scratch. Grains are more filling and they love to find it by digging around. Could be boredom if they are not free ranging and you may want to raise some mealworms for them as well.

    I have my birds on starter (21%), whole grains and pellets are offered as well but they free range and most turn their beaks up at pellets. Only my debeaked girls like the pellets.
    At 6 months old I would offer Oyster shell. Even the girls that eat the pellets still eat some Oyster shell but then maybe mine are having a hard time picking up the proper grit while outside. Not that I think Oyster is any replacement for good grit.
  4. KDbeads

    KDbeads Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 20, 2009
    East Central VA
    Oyster shell/egg shell is free choice, guess I should have mentioned that! But they haven't touched it [​IMG]
    I guess more run enrichment is in order then huh? I have a suet cage in there which even covered with grasshoppers they'll ignore..... wonder if they'll be terrified of cabbage too...

    Hmmmm..... Been thinking about starting introduction/flock merge with the NHR pullets but they are nearly twice the EE's size.....

    Many things to think over.....

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