1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Giving them Lentils and sprouted red wheat

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by myloveforchickens, Feb 23, 2011.

  1. myloveforchickens

    myloveforchickens Out Of The Brooder

    19
    0
    22
    Feb 21, 2011
    Sandpoint, ID
    I have just began to give my 13 hens a handful of lentils with their crushed eggshells. Is this to much protein for them in the dead of winter?

    Also, i have began to sprout a jar of red wheat to give them along side their laying food. It seems to me that their yokes are more orange since i have been giving them sprouted food. Is all this too much protein or just right?

    They seem happy and are pretty spoiled! Just wondering if I'm feeding them to much protein? I'll cut back once the snow melts and spring and summer arrives. Any thoughts?
     
  2. brandislee

    brandislee Chillin' With My Peeps

    510
    13
    133
    Feb 15, 2011
    Southern Minnesota
    Absolutely no experience here (I'm getting my first chicks the end of next month), BUT I was just reading about this. The general consensus of most is that you can't give too much protein (a few disagree with this concerning cocks and various breeds, but I can tell you that the majority say more protein=good and have good stuff to back it up). Especially in the winter, when they aren't eating worms and bugs to supplement the protein in whatever feed you give. Sprouted wheat is an excellent food source for the winter from what I've read since not only does it increase the protein in the grain but it provides "greens" that they are probably lacking, making better eggs (hence the yellow yolks). I did a search on here and I think the terms were "can chickens get too much protein" and found some interesting perspectives.

    My only thought would be to sprout the lentils, also, or at least cook them. I've also been reading a lot about feeding lentils and peas to increase protein. The chemical in legumes that isn't good for chickens (can't remember what it's called) is significantly lower in peas and lentils, so they aren't toxic. However, I read somewhere (I know, I'd be so much more helpful if I could remember exactly where I read these things, but I do know that this one was an actual study, not anecdotal) that cooking field peas as opposed to feeding them dry/raw increased egg production, which makes me think they get more protein from them if they are cooked. Sprouting should work in the same way. I am still working on my feed mix, but I'm pretty sure I will feed cooked peas and lentils as part of the protein (as well as an animal source, just not sure what yet), and that I will supplement with sprouted grains in the winter. I know it sounds like a lot of work, but I plan to cook like 5 days worth and keep them in the fridge, so I'm not having to cook for them every day. Plus, since the peas aren't toxic when raw if I ever have a day when I am out and don't have time to cook some (like it takes that much time [​IMG]) I can just feed them raw that day.

    Hope that helps a little and that you also get some advice from someone with actual experience!
     
  3. myloveforchickens

    myloveforchickens Out Of The Brooder

    19
    0
    22
    Feb 21, 2011
    Sandpoint, ID
    Thanks for the advice!!!! Very much appreciate it.
     
  4. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    You can give too much protein.....after a certain point you're just wasting your money because they don't need it. Plus too much protein can also give them the runs. Roosters don't need very much calcium, but they do need a good protein level, especially when they're breeding hens.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by