English Orpingtons Requiring More Protein?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by ColtHandorf, Jul 22, 2019.

  1. ColtHandorf

    ColtHandorf Crowing

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    I had never heard this and stumbled across this little excerpt:

    "The English Orpington is a heavy soft feathered bird. It requires high levels of protein year round to keep it’s downy plumage in excellent condition."

    on a website from an old member here and was curious if those of you who kept and bred English Orpingtons (or any other large well-feathered breed like Cochins or Brahmas) noticed that they required more protein.

    Currently they are getting a layer pellet and doing quite well on it. Should I be mixing something into their feed to up the protein (like a grower feed)? Or would it better to switch them All-Flock, which I believe has a higher protein and offer calcium on the side in the form of crushed egg or oyster shells?

    I'm just curious what others think, as they are molting and it looks like I dropped five or six feather pillows into a wood chipper and blew it all over the yard. I'd love to encourage some new fluffy feathers to come in. Especially on the hens. @speckledhen for your expertise with large breeds. I'm not sure who else can chime in as the Orpington Breeder of Old have disappeared, but if you can think of anyone else feel free to tag them.
     
    speckledhen and BlueBaby like this.
  2. BlueBaby

    BlueBaby Enabler

    You really have to check the bag's by reading as to how much protein it has. I have seen bag's of flock grower that had 16%.
     
  3. ColtHandorf

    ColtHandorf Crowing

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    Well the breeding birds are currently on this:

    https://www.nutrenaworld.com/product/naturewise-layer-16-pellet

    The chicks and started birds are on this:

    https://www.nutrenaworld.com/product/naturewise-chick-starter-grower-feed

    The local feed store also has these available:

    https://www.nutrenaworld.com/product/naturewise-feather-fixer-poultry-feed

    and

    https://www.nutrenaworld.com/product/naturewise-all-flock-feed

    The All-Flock certainly has the higher protein of the feeds suitable for feeding adult breeding birds. But is that protein really going to do anything to help them out? It doesn't seem all that much higher. And my birds "free-range" in a very large fenced in yard throughout the day so they are getting grass and bugs and whatnot in addition to their feed.

    They do have the gamebird feed available at the feed store as well:

    https://www.nutrenaworld.com/product/country-feeds-gamebird
     
  4. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude

    Generally, big heritage breeds and just super large breeder quality birds do need extra protein for optimal growth and feather quality. Mine get the 22% Super Layer from Tucker Milling all the time. And their "scratch" is a 13 grain mix that has 16% protein, including animal protein. all by itself, not just corn scratch.

    Game bird feeds generally have higher protein content. But, a feed that contains good animal protein sources is best, especially for penned birds. Mine free range on a rotating basis, but I still give them all higher protein feeds as a matter of course. The cost difference between 16% and 22% is negligible.

    I have big breeder type Brahmas and heritage line Barred Plymouth Rocks (the Stukel line hens are as hefty as the Brahma hens)
     
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  5. ColtHandorf

    ColtHandorf Crowing

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    That makes sense. The layer feed you're able to get sounds great. Mine don't get but a scoop of scratch once a day in the evening to get them back into the pen. I don't think it's as good as yours but it's not just corn thankfully. The feed store also has this brand available:

    http://texasnaturalfeeds.com/?gclid...G2DFi9qDgvA2HZNphHU8xTLFtgsff84kaApczEALw_wcB

    The protein content really isn't all that much higher than what their getting and the price is just at or a bit over double what I'm paying for their current feed. I imagine that is because it is soy and GMO free, not for the additional protein.

    I wonder if it would be worth shipping in some feed that is higher protein...
     

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