Protein,,Feed it.

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by rc4u, Feb 13, 2015.

  1. rc4u

    rc4u Songster

    Feb 3, 2014
    it seems that most starting out with chickens do the normal and feed 16% protein after there old enough to lay...many years ago i did that to but quickly learned that 20% gave me more eggs, especially in fall and in summer they have more thatn 5 thousand sq ft to get bugs and they fly the fence to get to the edge of the woods to get there gets well below zero here...i know many with chickens and when they comment on no eggs i just tell them more protein and they have always come back with good results..Now this isnt to start a war on "you shouldnt do that" its just my experiance...heck in winter i get the highest protein i can get usually 22%.. the other nite it was 35 below with wind chill or about 15 below ... and not all breeds react to more protein the same but most only costs 2 bucks a bag more...jeff
    1 person likes this.
  2. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    I use 20% protein unmedicated chick starter and then give a varying amount of seeds/grains as the rest of the feed, feeding more grains in the winter when they eat more to stay warm, and less in the summer. So the chick starter is the base of the feed.

    Yes- 16% can very easily be too low especially with all the treats everyone is giving these days.

    Flock Raiser pellets are 20% protein - another good choice but do give oyster shell on the side at all times- really for any type of feed this is prudent.

    There was a guy on BYC who was a commercial egg producer, who tweaked his feed to keep his eggs a certain size to sell. If they were too large that wasn't good. The higher the protein, the larger they got.

    However, the caution for those who don't know is that if the protein level is too high is can be associated with gout (though I have read too that some hens are just predisposed and maybe it isn't exactly causation but certainly is a risk factor).
  3. RonP

    RonP Crowing

    I think the 16% was established as a minimum requirement.

    I also try to keep it at around 18-20%.
    1 person likes this.
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Agrees....and started that right from the get go 18 months ago with first flock after reading it here over and over.

    ..and continue to encourage it:

    I like to feed a 'flock raiser' 20% protein crumble to all ages and genders, as non-layers(chicks, males and all molting birds) do not need the extra calcium that is in layer feed and chicks and molters can use the extra protein. Makes life much simpler to store and distribute one type of chow that everyone can eat.

    Calcium should be available at all times for the layers, I use oyster shell mixed with rinsed, dried, crushed chicken egg shells in a separate container.

    Animal protein (mealworms, a little cheese - beware the salt content, meat scraps) is provided during molting and if I see any feather eating.

    The higher protein crumble also offsets the 8% protein scratch grains and other kitchen/garden scraps I like to offer.
    1 person likes this.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: