Is there such a thing as TOO MUCH protein for the girls?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by baltimoreharps, Apr 2, 2009.

  1. baltimoreharps

    baltimoreharps Chillin' With My Peeps

    553
    0
    139
    Mar 27, 2009
    Cabarrus Co.
    I feel bad about saying this when I see alot of the threads about "My hens aren't laying" or "Egg production seems down" so I'm counting us as blessed.

    We got our first small flock 12 days ago and from day one they've been laying machines (or at least it seems that way to us). Out of 6 hens (2 are too old to lay and one is suspect, leaving only 3 or 4 layers until the 2 new coops are built this weekend) we've been getting a steady 3 eggs a day. We've had a couple of days of 1 or 2 but almost like clockwork, 3 a day.

    I've been attributing this to the protein we give them. They get the standard Layer Pellets (16% protein) in their feeder and all the fresh greens they want as their coop is moved daily. I read on one of the posts that pond fish pellets are great for blitzkreiging the production (30% protein).

    Some time ago we bought a bunch of boxes of low carb spaghetti in a close out (10 cents a box). We had one box and thought it tasted horrible. I was reading the box last week and noticed the box was 224 grams with 104 grams of protein for 46% protein. The girls love it cooked (al dente of course) and the egg production as been steady.

    Since the pasta has 54% more protein than the fish pellets, we thought this may be the reason but I wanted to make sure that TOO MUCH would do no harm. I can't see any reason that it would but would rather make sure.
     
  2. crazyhen

    crazyhen Overrun With Chickens

    3,195
    80
    254
    Aug 26, 2008
    mtns of ,NC.
    I am not at all sure. I would think too much of anyone thing could throw things out of line . In a human it can cause liver and kidney disease. jean
     
  3. kb010

    kb010 Out Of The Brooder

    I'm sure that it's possible for a chicken to get too much protein. Human and other animals' bodies act similarly, and humans can certainly get too much protein. Essentially what we're talking about it an electrolyte/mineral imbalance. It takes calcium to neutralize the acid created to digest protein. If a human or chicken diet does not have (at least) a replacement rate of calcium, their body will steal it from the bones (or in our case the egg shells). The kidneys can also be taxed in the process.
    Now I'm not really an expert on chickens, I am more speaking toward the stand point of humans, however, chicken digestion isn't that much different than a human.
    I would try to avoid overdoing the protein. Certainly keep up the idea of greens, though, as they restore lots of important minerals and vitamins. Think quality, not quantity.
     
  4. PunkinPeep

    PunkinPeep Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,642
    19
    229
    Mar 31, 2009
    SouthEast Texas
    It takes calcium to neutralize the acid created to digest protein. If a human or chicken diet does not have (at least) a replacement rate of calcium, their body will steal it from the bones (or in our case the egg shells).

    Based on that, couldn't you kind of use the strength of the egg-shell as a way to know whether they're having a problem with calcium deficiency?

    I'm a newbie, so i have no idea, i'm just curious.​
     
  5. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    16,271
    778
    406
    Nov 18, 2007
    Florida
    My Coop
    Quote:Based on that, couldn't you kind of use the strength of the egg-shell as a way to know whether they're having a problem with calcium deficiency?

    I'm a newbie, so i have no idea, i'm just curious.

    [​IMG] My girls have a dish full of free choice oyster shells available to them 24/7, but I still have one of my older hen whose shells aren't as strong as the rest. I found one broken in a nest box yesterday and could tell by the egg that it was hers. They are huge eggs but for some reason the shells are more brittle than the rest of the girls.
     
  6. baltimoreharps

    baltimoreharps Chillin' With My Peeps

    553
    0
    139
    Mar 27, 2009
    Cabarrus Co.
    Quote:Based on that, couldn't you kind of use the strength of the egg-shell as a way to know whether they're having a problem with calcium deficiency?

    I'm a newbie, so i have no idea, i'm just curious.

    [​IMG] My girls have a dish full of free choice oyster shells available to them 24/7, but I still have one of my older hen whose shells aren't as strong as the rest. I found one broken in a nest box yesterday and could tell by the egg that it was hers. They are huge eggs but for some reason the shells are more brittle than the rest of the girls.

    Our girls also have the oyster shell plus the calcium they get in their layer pellets. So far, the shells are solid. We've joked that it seems like we need a hammer to open the Dominque's eggs. They get fresh waster at least once a day if not twice. They seem healthy and happy as can be. Knock on wood!
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by