Is 22% protein too much?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Circle W Farms, May 3, 2017.

  1. Circle W Farms

    Circle W Farms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am feeding Tucker Millings 22% Super Layer Crumbles to my RIR and Dominque's. I had a friend of mine tell me that was why too much protein for them because they will burn out and stop laying quicker. I have never heard it this. What do yall think?.
     
  2. PD-Riverman

    PD-Riverman Overrun With Chickens

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    I personally Would Not feed my layers 22%. I feed 16% and have great layers.
     
  3. Circle W Farms

    Circle W Farms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the reply. My entire flock is young(appx 6 months). The only reason I went with 22% was I was thinking of weight gain since they are dual purpose. They are all laying well but they have not completely filled out (thin in the breast). Am I trying to rush the filling out but will actually hurt their production in the long run?
     
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    How are the performing? How old are they and how long have they been laying? What else are you feeding them? Were they raised on a high protein diet?

    It’s not what is in one bite, it’s how many grams of protein they eat in total over the course of a day, and also how many days in a row they eat that much. If that 22% Layer is all they eat and it’s available free feed (not restricted) that’s one thing. If you feed a lot of lower protein treats or they forage for a lot of their food that’s another, they are not getting a 22% protein total.

    Studies have shown that high protein levels can lead to avian gout. But they are talking about a 30% protein level for that, not 22%. You should not have to worry about that.

    In general, what I’d expect at that high protein level is that you will get pretty large eggs. I don’t know how large they are compared to what a RIR or Dominique would “normally” lay. Extra large eggs can possibly contribute to prolapse, internal laying, or them becoming egg bound. Were they raised on a high protein diet? If so, their bodies should be larger than an average RIR or Dominique and be better able to handle that. With extra large bodies they probably need some extra protein to maintain those large bodies. Cutting back too much on protein could cause problems if they are adjusted to having it.

    High levels of protein can contribute to a hen releasing more than one yolk at a time. If two are released at the same time, you can get a double yolked egg. If they are released at different times you can get two eggs in one day. Since the hen’s shell gland normally only produces enough shell material for one egg a day, the second one can be soft-shelled or even no-shelled with just a membrane. If two eggs are in the shell gland at the same time you can get some pretty weird marks on the eggs even if both have thick enough shells. Are you seeing any of this stuff, double yolked, soft shelled or just weird eggs? If so you should cut back. A hen has a limited number of ova that become yolks when she hatches. Normally that’s enough to last her as long as she can lay, but if she is spitting them out two at a time, she can run out.

    They may be perfectly fine on that 22% protein feed. There are a lot of factors involved. If you do decide to cut back I’d not go all the way to 16% if they have been raised on a high protein diet. One way to do that would be to feed them a low protein treat, enough to get the average down.

    Good luck!
     
  5. PD-Riverman

    PD-Riverman Overrun With Chickens

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    Big Question, have you wormed them?
     
  6. Circle W Farms

    Circle W Farms Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They are performing good. I have 5 pullets (6months) and a consistently get 4-5 eggs a day. In the last 2 months I have had 2 wind eggs about a month apart. The eggs are normal size(large). I started feed the 22% in January. They have the 22% available free choice 24/7 and are not free ranged. I give them a handful of cabbage or grass about every two weeks. They started laying in November and were wormed with Wazine 17 at the end of last year.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2017

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