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Is 26% protein feed ok for all chickens?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by dheltzel, Mar 19, 2015.

  1. dheltzel

    dheltzel Overrun With Chickens

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    I can only get unmedicated turkey feed if I buy a ton at a time. It works out to be similar in total costs to feed everyone 26% protein than to buy lower protein feed for the chickens and a bag at a time of 24% feed for the baby turkeys. I can also get some 18% feed to "cut" the higher protein feed if that is better for any of the chickens or guineas.

    What are the problems with feeding higher protein feed other than the higher costs? I've heard waterfowl (especially geese) need lower protein, but we don't have any of those.
     
  2. 1muttsfan

    1muttsfan Overrun With Chickens

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    How many birds are you feeding? While it may seem more cost effective to buy feed in large lots, if you're not feeding very many birds the feed will, as time goes by, gradually lose its nutritional content. Manufactured feed that you buy at the feed store such as Purina or Dumor are processed and packaged in a way that, until the bag is opened, maintains their nutritional quality. That is not true of feeds that are processed at feed mills. Those should be used by 60 to 90 days from the date they are milled.
     
  3. dheltzel

    dheltzel Overrun With Chickens

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    We'd go through a ton in 4 - 6 weeks, given our current stock, but we may expand a bit more in the summer. Does higher protein feed reduce consumption, does the bird realize they may not need to eat as much?
     
  4. 1muttsfan

    1muttsfan Overrun With Chickens

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    The primary limiting factor in how much birds eat is the energy level, primarily composed of fat, although protein and carbohydrates also contribute. Excess protien is processed and used as energy. Young growing pullets should probably not eat such a high protein diet as it may cause obesity, which sets them up for laying problems later. Ideally they would get around 16% protein. And layers would definately need extra calcium.
     

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