Do I need to supplement my seed mix with pellets?

Discussion in 'Pigeons and Doves' started by LamarshFish, May 1, 2017.

  1. LamarshFish

    LamarshFish Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am new to pigeons. I have a nice seed mix I bought for my pigeons, and want to know whether I should supplement it (by mixing it in) with a higher protein pellet to up the protein. I'd like to avoid feeding any pellets if I can, just because I hear it produces more runny poops than an all grain feed does, but I would feed some pellets if I knew it kept my birds healthier, of course.

    My current feed is a pigeon/dove mix, 11% protein, 4% fat, 10% fiber, and the seeds are (in this order) white millet, red milo, red millet, whole wheat, canary grass seed, feed oats, cracked corn, oat groats, green split peas, safflower seed, calcium carbonate, orange oil, etc. Picture below with contents of my feed. This feed appears high quality and clean to me.

    I feed my chukars a game bird pellet that is 22% protein, and that is what I would supplement the pigeons feed with, unless somebody can recommend something better?

    So, should I supplement with a pellet for protein? If so how much, 50:50? Should I do this as they are growing and cease when they are adults, or do it all the time?

    Thanks!

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    Last edited: May 1, 2017
  2. biophiliac

    biophiliac Chillin' with the Peeps Premium Member

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    Good video on feeding! I think you could increase the protein by adding more of the peas? Maybe increase the safflower %?
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2017
  3. LamarshFish

    LamarshFish Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I hope it is that easy, because I can't seem to find good bags of all inclusive food. If it's as easy as simply adding peas or something to what I already have, I'd be good with that. Right now I am supplementing protein by adding in some of my game bird pellets, which are 22% protein.... but I have no clue whether this is bad to do or not. I assume it can't be that bad for them, it is just game bird feed pellets....
     
  4. biophiliac

    biophiliac Chillin' with the Peeps Premium Member

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    I hadn't heard about pellets producing runny poop. Your mix looks pretty good but maybe could use more of the higher protein parts to boost the protein to around 16% for your growing birds you are planning to breed. Don't know of a reason the game bird mix would not work fine to boost the protein also. Lots of people feed chicken layer pellets to pigeons.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2017
  5. Hokum Coco

    Hokum Coco Overrun With Chickens

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    Last edited: May 1, 2017
  6. LamarshFish

    LamarshFish Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks. My mix has cracked corn, but I do have a huge bag of whole corn I can add in what ever proportion I want, but I thought that really just adds fat and not the protein I'm looking for. I have read folks like to add whole corn during the cold winter months for the fat? But I wonder what difference there is with whole corn and cracked corn aside from the size?

    I am thinking of either continuing supplementing with a pellet for protein, or just adding something that is around 25% protein to the existing feed mix such as maple peas, granted I am able to find the darn things to order at a reasonable price....
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2017
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  7. purslanegarden

    purslanegarden Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think when adding supplemental items such as pellets, you can just put in a percentage. For example, 90% of your feed, 10% of another pellet feed. This way, you can give them a varied diet but not have some concern about what pelleted food might do to them (although like others, I haven't seen that pelleted feed changes their poopage). The protein needs also may depend on their purpose. The feed I found, says it is for racing pigeons. But my pigeons aren't for that.

    Also the birds do have different requirements at different stages of life, so adjusting the feed can be helpful then, too.
     
  8. LamarshFish

    LamarshFish Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mine are just about month old squeakers, so I was a bit concerned about the 11% protein, and that's why I've been feeding them a mix that is 2/3 of that seed mix and 1/3 my game birds pellets which are 22% protein. I'd really rather have one feed for them though. I think I have found it though, I found a store that sells a pigeon seed mix that is 17% protein.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2017
  9. jak2002003

    jak2002003 Overrun With Chickens

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    You don't need to add pellets. But, if you add them your birds will have more variety to choose from.. and the extra protein will help with any weaker squabs and make growth easier.

    Remember though, these birds are designed to be vegetarian and grain feeders, not eating high protein from animals.

    I like to feed normal chicken layer pellets mixed in with my grain mix.

    The main reason is not for protein, but so the hens get more calcium to make the egg shell and their bones stronger.

    I just add the layer pellets are breeding and molting time.

    If your birds are not going to be hard working racing pigeons, then you don't need to worry too much about their diet. They are hardy creatures and will thrive off the most basic diets so long as minerals and calcium are available to them (as well and natural sunlight and clean water).

    The food mix you have now seems perfect. I can't get proper pigeon food in my country, so mine just get a mix for pet doves, to which I add the layer pellets and split green dry peas. They thrive and multiply off this simple diet!
     
  10. LamarshFish

    LamarshFish Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have heard several people do this mixing of chicken layer pellets in with the pigeon grains. You do it during breeding/molting time--I thought that was what the crushed oyster shell is for? Do you not use that? If I use that, do I need the layer pellets, or is the crushed oyster a replacement for incorporating layer pellets?
     

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