need more protein!!!

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Chick2chicken, Apr 7, 2017.

  1. Chick2chicken

    Chick2chicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have noticed that my chickens have gotten into pecking each others feathers. I have concluded that it is because they need more protein. They have 16% layer mash available 24/7. How can I give them more protein? What should I feed them?
    thanks
    Chick2chicken
     
  2. rookhomestead

    rookhomestead Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It might be that they just need more room. Or ones hogging the favored nest. I have 2 with feathers missing from between the wings. They've both tried to go broody, and in spite of having 14 nests to choose from, they use 3. I have 8 hens
     
  3. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    Are you giving them any scratch grains, or any other treats? What is the mill date on your current bag of feed? How big is their coop and run (x feet by y feet) How many chickens?
     
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2017
  4. rookhomestead

    rookhomestead Chillin' With My Peeps

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    8hens 3 rooster and 3 guineas. 4X8 coop with 14 nest boxes.it's 4-5ft tall. They free range 2 acres. Not sure the mill date, they go through a bag about 3 1/2 weeks of layer. I give cracked corn daily just scattered in the yard. The missing feathers is rather new. And my flock is just a year old.
     
  5. Noreaster Egger

    Noreaster Egger Chillin' With My Peeps

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    How much time to they spend in the coop? If it's just to sleep it's probably not a big deal, but those 14 in 32sqft could be stressed with any prolonged daylight periods in there. I'd keep an eye on the nesting box behavior. Some may be eating the plucked feathers, but that doesn't mean the causation is lack of protein.
     
  6. rookhomestead

    rookhomestead Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They come and go from the coop as they please. The door stays open! I think it's just spring-fever, it's my broodiest birds missing feathers. And my one guinea is a turd. I have chicks too so any leftover feed gets tossed out there too. Its 24% chick start. I'd like to think between the layer feed, 24% scraps, and the 2acres of forage, they get a proper diet. I'm not really concerned about it unless they develop a sore spot.
     
  7. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    I'm thinking you have a crowding issue.
     
  8. rookhomestead

    rookhomestead Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My (in assuming male) guinea has now started harassing my top rooster. I think it's time for that guinea to go!!
     
  9. mobius

    mobius Chillin' With My Peeps

    Along with a crowding issue, you may want to look at feeding dynamics. If the birds crowd around a feeder, there may be a lot of pecking. Some people feed in a gutter or a line on the ground to avoid this to make sure every one gets a fair share. Might be worth observing their behavior at feeding time. I stopped using bowls and feed randomly on the ground, believe it or not, so all birds have options.

    If it is protein, BOSS (black oil sunflower seeds) and/or mealworms would add that...
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2017
  10. rookhomestead

    rookhomestead Chillin' With My Peeps

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    They take turns at the feeder and also get food scatterd about. I think it's probably just a battle for the roosts or nests.
     
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