My Hens need more protein/thinking of starting a worm box

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by 38farmgirl, Sep 1, 2013.

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  1. 38farmgirl

    38farmgirl Out Of The Brooder

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    My hens will peck and eat each others feathers. I have read that means that the need more animal protein. I was thinking of building a worm box to grow my own worms for them to eat. Does anyone have feedback on pro's and con's of doing that.
     
  2. TOP KNOT

    TOP KNOT Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feed them Japanese beetles. Get a trap and dump them out in the cool morning or cut the bottom out of the trap and place in the run. They go tumbling down into the trap then hit the ground....then the chicken gobbles them up!! I shake them off of my rose bushes for my girls in the evening or morning.(The beetles can't fly when its cooler out) I end up with a hoard of chickens around me!! Excellent source of protein!!!
     
  3. jdoane

    jdoane Chillin' With My Peeps

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    And an AWESOME way to get rid of Japanese Beetles!!!!!
     
  4. TOP KNOT

    TOP KNOT Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My roses have flowers again now that I take the girls to them daily for a beetle feast!
     
  5. New Chicken Lad

    New Chicken Lad Out Of The Brooder

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    Instead of the 'pain in the butt' and 'one more chore to do' of having your own worm farm, you could simply feed them a higher protein chicken feed. Feed for chicks or mixed flocks have a higher protein count than layer feed. Also, dried mealworms, scrambled eggs, greek yogurt, whole wheat pasta are good protein sources.. I've read on some other post that chickens can get I think the roundworm parasite from eating earthworms.
    Good luck, Helen[​IMG]
     
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  6. Michael Apple

    Michael Apple Overrun With Chickens

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    Earthworms are actually a vector for cecal worms as well as roundworms. They can carry the eggs which the chicken ingests when eating the worm:
    http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/vm015
     
  7. ChickensRDinos

    ChickensRDinos Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I farm my own meal worms. It is very cheap and very easy and if you can end up with TONS of worms. I really like it. There is a good article in the learning center about how to farm meal worms.

    Another big factor with pecking can be space so make sure your birds have enough room.

    Good luck.
     
  8. ChickensRDinos

    ChickensRDinos Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This is very true of earth worms that you just pull out of the ground. If you buy worms from a reputable red worm farmer and then farm your own worms in a controlled environment out of the ground I think it is not something you need to worry as much about it and you can end up with really beautiful compost.
     
  9. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

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    A cheaper short-term way to increase dietary protein is to mix in a little starter feed into ration if birds are adult. I do like mealworms.
     
  10. Michael Apple

    Michael Apple Overrun With Chickens

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    The cost of good quality feed rations are expensive and the time is limited for most folks who are still working. Birds that range pick up insects, seed, grasses, etc., so I don't see the point of ordering worms to farm yourself for an extra protein source, unless one has plenty of extra time on their hands. Boosting the protein levels can be achieved with dietary additions of buttermilk, canned fish, fish meal, game bird crumbles, or a starter/grower mixed in to laying rations. None of those previously mentioned are possible vectors for internal parasites.
    Meal worms are raised in house or bought dried. Seems much safer to me.
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2013
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