Protein & Chickens

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by mkearsley, Dec 15, 2010.

  1. mkearsley

    mkearsley Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 19, 2010
    South-west Idaho
    I have four hens (all different breeds) that are free range yearlong. Now that all of our beautiful snow has melted, they're foraging among the frozen leaves & grass for food, and also eating the dog's dry food (with him staring on in disgust). I've started giving them a handful of black sunflower seeds each morning when I let them out before I go to work. They really aren't getting any other treats than that, although I'll occasionally give them various table scraps or canned dog food mixed with canned corn, but that's rare. One is currently laying an egg every day or every couple of days. I've been supplying them with 20% protein crumbles. The store also has 16% crumbles. I've felt that the higher protein will keep them from attacking each other & their eggs, but I don't know if they actually need the higher protein since they're feasting on dry dog food & whatever else is in my back yard.

    Do you guys think that they'll do just fine on 16% protein crumbles?

    Once the bugs come back in the spring, will the higher protein deter them from eating the bugs?
  2. reahrendt

    reahrendt New Egg

    May 10, 2009
    I feed 20% in the winter months and 16% in warmer months.
  3. Organics North

    Organics North Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 30, 2009
    Wisconsin Northwoods
    I have heritage breeds, Marans and Ameracauna both free range in summer, they do not rely on what I feed very much then... BUT know in winter I feed 20%

    It is my humble personal opinion, that the 16% number is the bare minimum number for commercial layers, and personally feel heritage breeds can and will perform better with a higher number.
    Also many of the "treats" we commonly give are low protein, which will dilute that 16% feed even more..[​IMG]

    -24 F the other night not far from me and 1 in 4 birds are still laying...[​IMG]

  4. Steak and Eggs Farm

    Steak and Eggs Farm Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 1, 2010
    I heard that even though dog food is 33% (or so) protein that it is not the kind of protein that is for the chickens. However the high protein that you find in cat food is.

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