Need to bump protein?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by GreenGoddess, Jan 9, 2010.

  1. GreenGoddess

    GreenGoddess Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 6, 2009
    St Pauls, NC
    Ok y'all, I have a good solution to those of you who have problems with feather eating or other problems due to lack of protein.. Go buy a bag of dried lentils and a bag of dried navy beans.. Out of all the beans available, they had the highest amount of protein in them.. You can take both bags and make them all at the same time or cut it in thirds depending on how many birds you have.. Soak them in hot water overnight and then throw in microwave for 30 minutes (or until tender).. You can either keep what you don't use right away in the fridge for a few days or freeze in portions and then just defrost.. (in summer, you could use the cold beans to keep them cool as you would frozen fruits).. I mix in some plain yogurt, oats and wheatgerm and cooked Whole grain brown rice.. It's a high protein treat and my babies love it! Of course, they still get their daily supply of layer feed and a little scratch.. But, my little barred rocks aren't eating the feathers off the ground anymore!!

    Goddess [​IMG]
  2. gsim

    gsim Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 18, 2009
    East Tennessee
    Good info. Cheap protein always wanted in poultry raising.

    (Might want to keep coop windows open after giving them those navy beans.) [​IMG]
  3. GreenGoddess

    GreenGoddess Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 6, 2009
    St Pauls, NC
  4. Kelsey Cathy

    Kelsey Cathy Out Of The Brooder

    May 23, 2009
    Is lack of protein the reason why my girls don't have any 'fluffy' feathers on their backsides anymore? I thought maybe it was a molt? I saw one peck one off another hen y/day and thought it was just a 'pecking order' thing. They get a high protein pellet and crumble (some won't eat the pellets [​IMG]) Tey don't free range ... I am on acreage without borders and with predators! But I did let them out y/day at dusk observed and they loved it!
  5. GreenGoddess

    GreenGoddess Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 6, 2009
    St Pauls, NC
    If they are pecking each others feather then I would definitely say you may have a protein issue going on.. I found that my babies didn't like the pellets either.. After wasting a good part of the bag because I was mixing it with starter crumbles since I had younger chicks and they would eat everything BUT the pellets, I bought them a bag of the layer crumbles and that seems to have solved the problem of wasting so much.. Something you may want to try to do is take the pellets and put them in an old pillowcase or sack of some sort and take the side of a hammer to them to break them up.. Just be careful you don't turn it into powder.. lol... With a pecking problem, I would first off make sure they don't have any mites or lice.. If that is not the problem, then definitely bump the protein.. It won't hurt and may help eliminate the problem.. [​IMG]

    Goddess [​IMG]
  6. medusabomb

    medusabomb Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 7, 2009
    When I accidently brought home a bag of pellets (which my chickens 'nor ducks will touch) I just soak a few cups in boiling water in the a.m. or p.m. and let it soak into a warm this freezing B.C. weather, they are loving it! I just dump it in a big plop on the ground, still steaming, and they GOBBLE it! Seems to up the egg laying ,too, i think the extra liquid helps.
  7. Cindy in PA

    Cindy in PA Overrun With Chickens

    Jul 8, 2008
    Fleetwood, PA
    Not sure if it is "cheap" protein when lentils are $1+ a pound. I do feed them in my scratch mix. The lentils do not need to be cooked. My chickens love the lentil sprouts outside their fence when I overspray while throwing!
  8. Uzuri

    Uzuri Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 25, 2009
    Drying beans are some of the easiest things in the world to grow, in my opinion, and so fun to harvest. We put in a package of black beans and one of cowpeas last year, they grew like crazy, and when the time came to harvest all you do is pull them off the plant, tie them up in a sheet and beat the snot out of them [​IMG] So if beans aren't cheap where you are, and you don't mine do-it-yourself, try planting.

    If nothing else, the threshing step is quite therapeutic.
  9. GreenGoddess

    GreenGoddess Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 6, 2009
    St Pauls, NC
    I give this to them as a treat.. I wouldn't feed it to them exclusively.. But I can make a bag of lentils, a bag of beans and a bag of rice last about a week with 11 chickens.. They all get plenty of protein and I think it all cost me about $4, maybe a little less.. Didn't realize you didn't have to cook the lentils but since i cook them with the beans, it works out well.. It's maybe not the cheapest thing in the world but I can definitely think of more expensive options out there.. And with it being winter, unless you are going to get them mealworms (which aren't very cheap unless you grow them yourself) or crickets then it's a good option.. Now, come spring when the bugs start coming back out, I will just let them free range and get their own bugs again... [​IMG]

    Goddess [​IMG]

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