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Protein amount in layers; so many choices

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by mamatink7, Nov 29, 2016.

  1. mamatink7

    mamatink7 Songster

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    Our girls were hatched March April May and probably August (hatchery pullets got 2 wks ago @16-20wks old). All are on one type of feed recommended by the hatchery for winter egg laying. Prior to this was Feather Fixer as we had a rooster. This new recommended feed is 27% poultry feed. They suggested from time change to time change.
    IS this to high of protein for them? Ever since switching them over, egg laying has dropped drastically (not even our best layers have been laying--golden comets!!) They get omega 3 and oyster shell added to feed; girls not laying just skips over the oyster shell bits.
    Of course I could be reading to much into it and it's really the weather change and being cooped up that's making egg laying lower. We are adding lights this weekend to help with daylight.
    They also get scratch or corn kernels once a day or every other day. Don't believe ever to many treats to add 10% or more to the feed amt.
    TIA chicken folks
     

  2. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Crossing the Road

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    IMO, that's way too much protein. Did they tell you to use Multi-flock? There is a turkey and game starter that's about 28% protein, a chick and game starter/grower that's about 22% protein, and a breeder formulation that's about 18% protein, all are listed as Multi-flock. I'd go for the 18 - 22% protein. If you go with the 22%, that gives you some lee way so that when you give table scraps and other treats, the protein content is still above 16%, which is what is in layer feed.
     
  3. mamatink7

    mamatink7 Songster

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    thank you. It's their hatchery poultry feed (guess multi flock). Feather fixer was 18% but I didn't want to keep on that without having the rooster lol. Which would be 22%? Is layer feed to low for during the winter? They use their energy/ protein for staying warm rather than for laying eggs. I want to boost protein but not overkill it as I believe this one is. Plus to get it I have to drive 3hrs to hatchery both ways! I've been putting layer boost in their waterers as well (omega 3, electrolytes, vitamins).
     
  4. junebuggena

    junebuggena Crowing

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    Protein is for production, grains provide calories for energy.
     
  5. mamatink7

    mamatink7 Songster

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    am I doing something wrong? What's your suggestion? I thought I wrote it wrong.
     
  6. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Crossing the Road

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    You certainly don't need to drive to the hatchery! Sure, they'd love to have you going back there to get all of your poultry supplies, but that's totally not necessary.

    Feather fixer is not just for roosters. It is a higher protein feed than the layer. Where is the nearest feed store? They all carry pretty much the same formulations, simply have different names for them. They will carry a layer feed that is around 16%. That would be fine. Some folks won't feed layer unless the bird is actually laying eggs. That's a subject for an other day. If you want to give them a bit more protein, check out chick starter (be sure it's not medicated) grower or finish feed, or multi flock. Any thing that is 16% to 22% should be ok. If you buy a 22% feed, that gives you some leeway to give them some scratch, or household scraps which are usually lower in protein. If I'm giving my birds a high protein kitchen scrap (for example, letting them strip a chicken or turkey carcass after we've enjoyed a feast) I take into account the protein in their feed, and adjust accordingly.
     
  7. junebuggena

    junebuggena Crowing

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    Not wrong, you're just not understanding the different aspects of the feeds. Protein doesn't help them stay warm. Calories help them stay warm. And the primary source for calories in feed comes from grains.
     

  8. mamatink7

    mamatink7 Songster

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    lol yeah I love our hatchery but the drive isn't so fun. Our feed store is within 30 minutes away-45 min for the feather fixer. That's a great idea about redoing feed according to what scraps they got. Thinking they've been having to many changes lately--new feed, adding girls to the coop, change in the weather/daylight...
    If I add layena w oyster shell feed to the poultry feed, will that Lower the protein amt or should I just use more of this bag then start over? I hate this constant changing in feed.
     
  9. mamatink7

    mamatink7 Songster

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    thank you. Trying to see how to lower this 27% feed so I don't change their feed again.
     
  10. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Crossing the Road

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    If you did a 50/50 mix with 16% layer/and the 27% feed you have it would look like this: 1 part layer + 1 part 27: 16 + 27 = 43/2 = 21.5%. That would bring it down to an acceptable limit. Still above 16%, so you've got additional leeway to add some scratch and lower protein table scraps, and they would still have plenty of protein.
     

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