Organic layer feed and protein suggestions

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by flopschocolate, Jul 28, 2016.

  1. flopschocolate

    flopschocolate Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 7, 2011
    Hello fellow chicken lovers, I have finally found a local organic layer feed that I'm pretty happy with but it's unfortunately only 14% protein. I have noticed a drop in egg production since switching to this feed. I would like to keep using it but supplement the feed with high protein grains. Any vegetarian suggestions? I read through some threads and most suggestions were along the lines of cat food, fish meal, etc. but I'm really looking for a grain, seed or nut that is safe to feed them on a daily basis.

    Thoughts about Millet or sunflower seeds? A worker at the pet store told me it's unsafe to feed large amounts of sunflower seeds bc of the high fat and everywhere I look someone else has a different opinion.

    I'm also open to any other organic layer feeds people are using out there that are higher protein.

    Thanks in advance for your two cents!
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    Sorry but there are no high protein grains. And any that seem higher in crude protein are woefully deficient in many essential amino acids - especially lysine and methionine.
    About the best you could do is if you could find sunflower meal. that is high in protein. You'd have to check the amino acid balance though.
    Chickens are omnivores which is why animal proteins are best for them.
    If you don't want to feed fish, pork or beef, try supplementing mealworms or crickets.
    If you try to get a high protein diet from strictly grains and legumes, without synthetic amino acids, you end up with a surplus of AAs that the chickens don't need and short on others. The excess is processed by the liver and excreted becoming ammonia in the bedding.

    If it were me and I couldn't get fishmeal, I'd treat with some canned mackerel every couple days. It is cheap and high in essential amino acids.

    Nature's Grown has an organic chick starter that is 19% protein. I just bought a bag. I'll look at the ingredient list to see how they achieve that.
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2016
    1 person likes this.
  3. balloonflower

    balloonflower Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 25, 2016
    Kamut and oats are the higher protein grains that I am aware of. Lentils and peas have higher protein if yours will eat them (mine do in ferment, but I've read that many chooks don't care for them dry). I don't know how balanced they are in the needed amino acids and micronutrients. Seeds do bump up the protein, but do contain higher levels of fats. Is there a target maximum for fats in a home mix chicken feed--the bags I've seen only list the minimum.

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