How much protien do chickens need

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by winekntrychicks, Dec 11, 2008.

  1. winekntrychicks

    winekntrychicks Pooper Peeper

    Jul 26, 2008
    Sebastopol, CA
    I believe I have feather picking going on. It just started they are 7 mo old. I have read other posts about increasing protein or salt to stop picking. Any advice for increasing protein?? Thanks in advance

  2. AngelzFyre

    AngelzFyre Songster

    Sep 18, 2007
    Pell City, Alabama
    At that age the minimum would be 16 percent protein and they should be on a good layer crumble or pellet with oyster shell and granite grit provided separately all the time. You could mix in a Flock Raiser crumble or Game Bird crumble for higher protein in the winter and while they molt etc. Also feeding scratch will help give them something to do.
    Provide some greens and veggies during the day to prevent boredom as well.
    Salt in excess is a bad thing in all birds, most feed provides the correct amount without adding any extra.
  3. digitS'

    digitS' Songster

    Dec 12, 2007
    ID/WA border
    Yeah, I don't know about salt either . . . very little will kill them

    The Chicken Health Handbook, by Gail Damerow, "A lethal dose of salt is 0.06 ounce per pound (94g/kg) of body weight."

    That's not much more than a teaspoon and they already have some salt in their feed.

    A chicken needs abut 17 grams of well-balanced protein each day. If something was 100% protein, that would be 1 or 2 tablespoons – depends on the water content, also.

    Increasing protein besides a higher protein feed? Meat of some sort . . . maybe you'd better cook it.

    Last edited: Dec 11, 2008
  4. Dandelion007

    Dandelion007 Songster

    Dec 7, 2008
    Durant, OK

    I'm trying to combat that problem right now. I've isolated the offenders. I plan to reintroduce after the feathers have grown back. Maybe they won't be bullies then.

    Feed wise, I've been feeding the higher protein duck & game feed. Kitten food has extremely high amount of protein. The kind I get has 36%. I've added some to their feed. I mixed in the coral shell with their other food. I'm trying to fool them into eating a little more of it. Although, they do still leave it in the bottom of their feeders. Hopefully, this regiment will correct any nutritional deficiencies.

    I also made up some natural "chicken butt spray." Right now it has blue food coloring, orange oil, tea tree oil & water. I figure the orange oil has to taste bad, tea tree oil help healing and blue is supposed to keep them from pecking. I noticed one chicken after pecking kept shaking her head. As long as it doesn't kill them and keeps them from pecking, I figure it's working. I'm just experimenting with the CBS so I may change the recipe. I'm sure some of the chickens are laughing at the white ones with bright blue butts. [​IMG]

    I've also been giving them hay everyday to give them something else to peck on. I read it can be a sign of bored birds. Never knew I enlisted to be chicken entertainment... Maybe I need to start doing an exercise program in front of the chickens. That should give them something to do. [​IMG]

    So far so good. They are growing back their feathers now. The real test will be when I add the perpetrators back to the pen.


    Prior to this doing all this, they were killing about 1 chicken a day but it's been a couple of weeks since I have lost one now.

    All I can say is I'm trying. And I feel your pain...

  5. Casa Pollo Magico

    Casa Pollo Magico Hatching

    Dec 14, 2008
    I had this problem and fixed it by giving them a small can of cat food every other day for a week. I have 6 hens and one Rooster.

    The feather eating stopped right away.

    I still give them cat food as a treat about once a week. Never anything with chicken in it.

    I really think it was a protein thing.....
  6. winekntrychicks

    winekntrychicks Pooper Peeper

    Jul 26, 2008
    Sebastopol, CA
    Thanks for the advice. I tried a salt remedy and cat food remedy along with the leaves that I already mentioned. So far so good. I have not removed any chickens which I realize is risky. I'm 99% sure I know who the perp is. I really don't want to have to purchase two types of food (chicken and cat) Can't they all just get along. I threw flock raiser
    food into the leaves for them to scratch at. They have a hanging feed bucket that I keep full at all times along with oyster and cracked corn. I am really surprised that this is happening at 7 mo instead of when they were chicks.

    The salt remedy was devised by the Wisconsin Experiment Station in 1942 and is supposed to be 99% effective.
    For a single morning, replace the birds usual water with one gallon of water with one tablespoon of salt per gallon. Replace salt water with fresh water in the afternoon. Wait three days then repeat.

    However; based on one of the first two answers in this thread I got a little nervous about salt being harmful so I only let them drink for an hour. Then I changed it. They were guzzling the water like I have never seen them do. I am guessing the salt made them thirsty so they kept drinking then it became a vicious circle.
  7. Ron

    Ron Songster

    Feb 22, 2008
    Southeast Texas
    For the same problem, I have mixed in some turkey grower and am using Avia Charge 2000 and it seems to be working.

  8. winekntrychicks

    winekntrychicks Pooper Peeper

    Jul 26, 2008
    Sebastopol, CA
    Quote:They've been on avia charge for about a month. The girl that was injured is healing really well. No further far. The remedies I have been trying are far I don't want to jinx it. [​IMG]

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