Increase protein?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by purecountrychicken, Dec 17, 2009.

  1. purecountrychicken

    purecountrychicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I keep reading that chickens need a lot of protein in the winter. I was wondering if I added protein powder to their water if that would be ok? It would be the protein powder you buy for humans. Any thoughts?
     
  2. Andi

    Andi Chillin' With My Peeps

    It would probably work. I don't think I'd do it simply because I change the water so frequently that it would be a waste of $. You could consider adding it to yogurt, oatmeal or some other food that it could soak into. Even if you took some of the feed and soaked it in apple cider or water and added it to that.
     
  3. digitS'

    digitS' Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Chickens need adequate protein for body maintenance and egg production. Feeding them a lot extra protein in the winter makes only a certain amount of sense.

    "Research indicates that light breed hens require at least 17 grams of well-balanced protein per day." Poultry Sciencists at Auburn University

    If she eats .22 lb of 16% protein feed each day, she gets her 17 grams of protein.

    A quarter-pound of feed each day for a LB hen is a commonly quoted number here on BYC. My hens aren't leghorns and they don't live in a warm winter climate, either. Their feed consumption rises dramatically with the cold weather. They eat about one-third more when temps are in the teens and lower. (I think they hit some kind of "capacity" level when daytime temps stay at sub-zero.)

    The hens are eating all this food to try to gain calories to stay warm. But, as they eat more feed - their consumption of protein goes up.

    A one-third increase for a leghorn (maybe not your best cold climate breed) will give her 23.5 grams of protein from her 16% protein feed. If her diet is 18% or 20% protein - she will be pulling in even more grams of protein. A quarter pound of 20% protein feed has over 28 grams of protein. One third pound of 20% feed provides nearly 38 grams of protein. Remember, she only "requires" 17 grams.

    Steve
     
  4. ruffles

    ruffles Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Been giving my seven egg chicks cracked corn.

    Am contemplating sunflower seeds, they get veggies daily,

    It is below zero here in Massachusetts with the wind chill , I added more hay and shavings to help the ladies keep warm tonite . We may have a snow storm this Sunday.

    Any other foods I can add to the chickens daily ration of pellets,Ventura Brand, cracked corn and veggies.?/

    They began laying eggs about two weeks ago, they are six months old,


    Sandi
    Massachusetts
     
  5. Chris09

    Chris09 Circle (M) Ranch

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    I wouldn't use it.. There is a lot of stuff in it that chickens don't really need or need extra of..
    Not knowing the protein amount that you are feeding right now or the feed you are feeding I would say you could give a little soybean meal or fish meal.


    Chris
     
  6. purecountrychicken

    purecountrychicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 11, 2008
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    The feed a been using is 20% protein. I was trying to figure out if they are missing something in their diet because since it has gotten colder,,( high 20's at night) egg production has been cut in half. So I thought maybe protein was it. I also feed them a butter bowl full of black oil sunflower seeds.

    Thanks
     
  7. Tala

    Tala Flock Mistress

    Quote:Naw, it's just the weather. Either the shorter days or the temps.
    20% protein should be plenty, and BOSS are fine for treats.
     
  8. Chris09

    Chris09 Circle (M) Ranch

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    Weather change could have a lot to do with your drop in eggs also the shorter days.. You can try giving the the hulled sunflower seed instead of the black oiled sunflower seed the hulled sunflower seeds have a high protein amount at about 24% protein. You can also try giving some Floating cat fish food to them it has around 32% protein.

    Chris
     
  9. Chris09

    Chris09 Circle (M) Ranch

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    You beet me to it Tala... [​IMG]

    Chris
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2009
  10. briteday

    briteday Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 16, 2008
    Northern NV
    Just think...the winter solstice is in a few days...and then the days will begin getting longer again...yea!!! more eggs!!!
     

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