Egg layers crazy for protein

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by LindaN, Sep 13, 2007.

  1. LindaN

    LindaN Songster

    Jul 28, 2007
    Perhaps you more experienced folks will think this obvious, but I've noticed that the two pullets that are now laying have become obsessed seekers of protein.

    It used to be that when I let "the girls" out to graze in the yard, they were crazy for greens and went from plant to plant tasting and eating. Now they still eat green stuff, but seem literally obsessed with digging up worms and bugs. They spend most of their grazing time scratching and seeking insects to eat. And they are less interested in the fruit, veg, and greens that I offer them.

    Oh, they still LOVE raisins, but they'd much rather seek out insects.

    I have one pullet that hasn't started laying yet, and it's funny to see how the dynamic amongst the 3 of them has changed. It used to be that Betty (the one still not laying) would hang around Maisy and compete with her for the fruits and greens I'd feed them by hand. Now, Betty is mostly wandering around looking lonesome as Maisy (laying since Sept. 8) and Selma (laying since yesterday, Sept. 12) obessively scratch around the yard stealing the best "scratch places" and resulting insects from each other.

    Selma used to be the shy one hanging back by herself. Selma still won't let me approach her at all, but she nearly ate out of my hand yesterday when I was offering them peanuts (unsalted, of course).

    Should I be actively supplementing their layer feed with more protein snacks? Or will they eventually settle down and become a bit less crazy about scratching up bugs?
  2. SandraChick

    SandraChick Songster

    Ah yess.....the protein frenzy!

    Just, think...every egg is a protein they need extra to put into the next one!

    I am a believer in meat protein as supplement. I do this by freeranging and giving meat leftovers.

    Enjoy your hens!
  3. thndrdancr

    thndrdancr Songster

    Mar 30, 2007
    Belleville, Kansas
    Mine have not just become obsessed with protein, its FOOD in general. Anything. I dont dare let the food bin run dry, even if I have other goodies out there, or they "cry". I have never seen anything eat so much.
    I gave them our leftover spagetti and meatballs from yesterday and it was too much for THREE of us to polish off, an those two chickens had it gone by the end of the day. I am sometimes stunned by how much they eat. They also started eating my spinach that they had left alone all summer, maybe the calcium content in it? They get oyster shell, but they attacked the spinach one day, finished it off in an hour like they were starved for it after not touching it for months. Sometimes they are just weird.

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