Feeding laying hens game bird feed

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Abunari, Jun 8, 2016.

  1. Abunari

    Abunari Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I saw this bag of feed from a company called big v feeds for game birds. It looks like a mix of grains and pellet. If I were a chicken it would look good to me. Can you feed a laying hen game bird feed? Has anyone done this. Only difference I see is the high protein. :D
     
  2. Rock Home Isle

    Rock Home Isle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Protein is an expensive feed ingredient. So studies have been conducted to determine how much protein various types of poultry need at different points in their life.

    Your chickens can eat the game bird mixes with no adverse effects, they will metabolize what their bodies need and pass the rest.

    Game bird feed are expensive feeds to be fed to chickens. It's more intended for ....well, game birds and turkeys benefit well from the higher protein when the poults are growing out.


    I have my own methods of taking care of and maintaining my little flock of egg-layers. My birds get a mixture of Whole Grains, recently though, I have gone back to adding supplementary rations.

    Here is the traditionally suggested feeding of chickens.

    Starter Feeds
    Newly hatched chicks ages 0-10 weeks should be fed a chick starter diet with a protein level between 18%-20%. These rations are formulated to provide proper nutrition for growing baby chickens. Higher protein starter rations (22%-24%) are reserved for meat birds such as turkey, quail and pheasant. This higher protein level maximizes growth for broilers and roasters, but is not necessary or desirable for egg laying chickens.

    Grower Feeds
    At 10 weeks of age, a grower feed should replace the starter feed. Grower feeds are typically 15%-16% protein, and are designed to sustain growth to maturity. The higher protein content (20%), in starter/grower feeds is recommended for growing game birds. (and Turkeys)

    Layer Feeds
    Layer feeds are designed to provide optimum nutrition for birds laying eggs for consumption. Layer feeds contain 16% protein and have increased levels of Calcium, for proper shell development. Layer feeds should be fed starting around 18 weeks of age, or when the first egg is laid, whichever comes first.
     
  3. Abunari

    Abunari Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ok thank you. The game bird i saw just looked nice with a variety of whole grains, peas etc i thought it was a healthier choice than just pellet
     
  4. Brigabart

    Brigabart Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 27, 2015
    I feed my layers gamebird feed. It helped stop feather picking. I've been told high protein could hurt my birds, but I haven't met anyone yet who hurt a bird with too much protein. I'd love to hear whether anyone else has tried it and had problems. I figure free range bird get a lot of protein. I haven't noticed increased poop, so they must be using it. I add kelp,probiotics, and omega egg supplement, along with access to oystershell and grit. They lay gorgeous eggs, look sleek, and act happy. They get a little bit of crimped oats as scratch also. They were going through one-two bags of layer feed a week. They eat a lot less of the high protein food, so we only use two bags a month which saves a lot, even if the gamebird feed is a bit more. Ours is country feed brand, 28 percent protein.
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2016
  5. yellowherb

    yellowherb Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I feed Purina growth and plumage, which I believe used to be game bird starter but they changed the name. It's like 28% protein. We use it because we have button quail and occasionally a turkey poult or two as well as adult hens and chicken chicks. The chicks poop ALOT! But my hens are good, better even than on layer food. I have slow laying hens (sultans) and feeding layer foods I do not get many eggs but on game bird I get eggs from the pullets daily and every other day for the old girls. If you do feed gamebird food to laying hens make sure they can get calcium from another source like oyster shell if the food you are using does not have enough.

    @Brigabart I seen a chicken eating a feather once so I looked up why they would do that. What I found says that it's a lack of protein. And after watching them, they do like the "juicy" end of the feather most. I switched back to gamebird and the feather eater stopped eating feathers.
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2016
  6. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    Typically, it's very difficult to harm a chicken with too much protein. At the levels found in most feeds (even gamebird feed) you're not going to harm them. The higher protein feed might actually help your birds be more productive, especially if you like offer them lots of treats in addition to feed.
     
  7. Brigabart

    Brigabart Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Just an update... stick with layer feed which is typically 16-17 percent protein. If you need more, you can get layer feed at 18-20 percent also. The game bird feed gave half my birds gout.....
     

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