Feed and protein

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by sbrown, Mar 2, 2013.

  1. sbrown

    sbrown Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 3, 2013
    Ok, I understand a little about about protein and importance of feed, having raised English Mastiffs for awhile. Most people say feed laying pellets. I recently fed my small flock 50lbs of laying pellets over the course of several weeks in hope of restarting egg production on some young hens, no luck. The next bag I bought was just Purina scratch grains. They just started laying again now however. Could just be the fact that days are getting longer? I noticed though that the layer ration has around 16% protein and scratch has only 8%. I feed my dogs a high protein feed, about out 27% protein and noticed the chickens would readily eat it if I ever drop any. Would it be ok to simply give them a few handfuls of my dog food every now and then so that they get a little extra protein. Any problems with digestion for them? Thanks
  2. GreenMountainEric

    GreenMountainEric Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 23, 2010
    Most likely it was just the timing. The scratch feed will lack most of what your chickens will need in their total diet. The dog food is probably not balanced for a chicken diet, but I wouldn't know if it is bad for them. The most important nutrients for a layer diet are Amino Acids, Calcium, and Phosphorous. The balance of those nutrients is as important as the levels of them. Everything else plays a part, but when it comes to chicken health, and proper production, nothing is more important than Amino acid balance, and the balance of Calcium and Phosphorous. Calcium is easy to supplement, but balancing the amino acids is difficult by supplementation. Your chickens will eat supplemental calcium as needed, but when it comes to protein needs, they are not as self-sufficient. Lack of certain proteins may also cause them to eventually peck at each other.

    I would switch them back to the layer feed, or try another layer feed, if the one that you tried, is not working.
  3. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

    Oct 16, 2010
    NEK, VT
    I recently upped my layer feed protein. Was a 16% and as the weather and day light are getting better and the egg laying was still low changed to an 18% protein, soy free blend (was only $1 more per bag). I'm sure it's a combination of higher protein and weather but in two weeks I'm at full production again.
  4. BGMatt

    BGMatt Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 28, 2013
    Battle Ground, WA
    GreenMountainEric is right about the feed, calcium and phospherous being important. And the minimum recommended protein is 16% (higher levels of protein, combined with methionine are great at helping birds recover faster from a moult).

    The prime factor however is simply light. To lay at max efficiency the birds need a total of 14 hours of light a day.

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