Not getting enough protein??

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by livin-green, Apr 2, 2009.

  1. livin-green

    livin-green Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 17, 2008
    Clay, Alabama
    My second question for today....I started with chickens right about a year ago. From what I have read, they seemed to have molted later than most people's--seems like it wasn't until around January, which was the coldest part of the year...??? Anyway, this is the first of April and many of them still have bare backsides. Shouldn't they have feathered back in by now. Could this be because they are not getting enough protein? I feed higher-end layer crumbles that is "vegetarian"--no animal by-product. The tag lists 16% protein, is this enough during molting?

    If not, what is the best thing to give them to boost their protein? They get tons of extras: oatmeal with yogurt and flax, olive oil, fresh greens and lots of low-salt, low-sugar food scraps.

    Thanks!!
     
  2. Cats Critters

    Cats Critters Completely Indecisive

    Cat food is good for extra protein
     
  3. katrinag

    katrinag Chillin' With My Peeps

    Bugs, crickets, meal worms, cat food are all good sources of protien.
    With out picking on you it could very well be the feed that you are feeding them. Chcikens are omnivores and need meat protien.
     
  4. livin-green

    livin-green Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 17, 2008
    Clay, Alabama
    Quote:I know it probably is, but I just don't want to feed them stuff with "animal by-product" because you just have any clue what that is. It tends to be all the left over "garbage" from processing of market meat, which means animals with hormones, antibiotics, and who knows what else.

    If protein is the problem, I'd rather just supplement the extra protein myself. This way I know what it is. Do you guys think it is a lack of protein causing them to take so long to feather back out? What else could cause this?
     
  5. Wifezilla

    Wifezilla Positively Ducky

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    Aren't feathers mostly protein?

    If so, yeah, that makes sense.

    Can you buy fish meal to add to their feed?
     
  6. max101

    max101 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 16, 2009
    newcastle Australia
    If you want your chickens to love you forever feed them mealworms they totally love them. Mine run to me and if I need to gather them up I just shake a container and they are all there waiting lol
     
  7. Kim_NC

    Kim_NC Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 27, 2009
    Mt Airy, NC
    Yes, the 16% protein is too low for molting chickens. It takes all the protein their little bodies can muster to make feathers - that's why most quit laying for a time during molt.

    We feed 20% lay pellets free choice - and a 'treat' of 28% game bird crumbles. (LOL...I wet the crumbles and they act like it's hot cereal or something.) When they're molting, they get more of the 28% crumbles, plus 31% catfood as a treat.

    We also feed craps of veggies, greens, meat, etc. I keep these to 10-15% of their total feed because they lower their total protein intake (except for meat scraps of course).

    Back to your situation...
    The 16% protein in the feed is the minimum recommended for layers. Then it's being 'diluted' by the oatmeal (12%), greens (1-3%), olive oil (trace), yogurt (6-10%).

    Not that these things are bad for them, but just that they're lowering the total protein in the diet - when the base chicken feed is already on the low end of the protein requirement.

    Also, if I may ask a question and comment on the vegetarian-avoid-animal-by-product thing...
    Is the feed labeled organic, and does it have soy for the protein?

    If it's NOT organic and has soy then it's made from genetically modified soy. I avoid GMOs entirely. They are bad news - honestly, it's better to eat the meat by-products.

    Try this article on GMOs
    http://www.raw-wisdom.com/genetically-modified-food
     
  8. Wifezilla

    Wifezilla Positively Ducky

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    It's hard to get soy that isn't GMO even if you are trying to keep your soy GMO-free (stupid Monsanto)
     
  9. warhorse

    warhorse Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 15, 2008
    Cibolo, TX
    Quote:It's not simply about protein % but also about amino acids that plant protein simply does not have.
     
  10. livin-green

    livin-green Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 17, 2008
    Clay, Alabama
    Quote:I completely understand what you are saying about the extras lowering the overall protein % in the diet.

    The feed I'm using is not labeled organic, but it is labeled vegetarian. It does not list soy anywhere in the ingredients, so I'm not sure about this. I'll read over the article you suggested as soon as I get a chance. Thanks for the info.
     

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