feeding during juvenile molt

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by beckys flock, Aug 21, 2014.

  1. beckys flock

    beckys flock Out Of The Brooder

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    My 3 hens are currently in juvenile molt (about 11 wks old). They are still on starter feed, some chopped organic veggie food scraps (small morning treat) & some free ranging greens/bugs. Knowing they need more protein during molt, I've added mealworms and grain mash. They seem to have cut down eating some of starter feed in preference to the worms/mash... but I'm unsure to give them too much. Does this mean they need more of these (or other) proteins than the starter might have, or am I spoiling them too much?
     
  2. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

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    I don't change anything about their diet during juvenile molt (or mature molts either, for that matter). I continue feeding their grain, and they also have access to free-range so can eat as much vegetation/bugs as they desire, or can catch.
     
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    What are the protein levels of the starter and the mash? They should be listed on the tag.

    I feed a 20% protein flock raiser crumble to all ages and genders, offer oyster and rinsed, dried, crushed chicken egg shells in a separate container for the layers. The higher protein feed is diluted by an 8% protein scratch grain they get everyday and kitchen scraps on occasion. Keeps things simple and pretty well balanced nutritionally.
     
  4. beckys flock

    beckys flock Out Of The Brooder

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    I dont know what amount protein in starter as it is in a generic style bag from feed store. They absolutely devour the mash & mealworms, but seem less interested in the starter mix (they DO eat it... but not as enthusiastically as the mash/worm mix)... so perhaps it does not have a high protein content! I will have to call feed store and inquire the content. I'm new to this, so maybe it's a lesson in "quality".
     
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    I believe it's law to tag any bag of feed with nutrient levels....it's often sewn into the bottom seam of bag, can be easy to overlook
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    double post
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2014
  7. beckys flock

    beckys flock Out Of The Brooder

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    All more reaaon to call feedstore and ask... cos I transfer the feed into containers when I get it. (I recycle old washed out plastic cat litter containers for this). I know it wont "prevent" a hungry mouse, but hope it keeps them away better than bag itself would... also easier to pour.... so, maybe I did overlook the tag!
     
  8. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    If it was a starter it's at least 18% protein. That is plenty but some prefer a little more than that and I use turkey/gamebird grower witch is 21% and pellet form. Your problem is they really like the meal worms and grains so don't opt for the starter feed. It's not a problem but you should limit the amount you give them so they consume your feed. Sure the meal worms are high in protein and that offsets the low protein grain mash and the mash if a good blend will have the proper amino acids and such they need but it begs the question why you'd be feeding so much of this "treat" when you've a fully balanced feed already purchased?

    The first 20 weeks of bird growth they are in constant molt. For that reason and growth of birds to adult size is why stater/grower blends are so high in protein in the first place. Layers only need 16%. I'd just give them meal worms as a treat and boost of protein once a day and keep them eating the purchased blended formula. Whenever digging I give the worms and crawlers to younger bird pen and less protein rich leftovers like rice from fridge to layers.
     
  9. beckys flock

    beckys flock Out Of The Brooder

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    Got some starter feed with better label- 20% (other bag almost empty anyway)..
    Will be slowly cutting down treats (probably too much of a Good thing). Free range and their feed should be enough. Maybe a treat is better in winter when they arent ranging. Thanks ya'll! Should have seen em attack a Grasshopper today.. oh how funny they were!
     

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