Protein Help

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Rusty66211, May 25, 2010.

  1. Rusty66211

    Rusty66211 Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 28, 2009
    What can I feed my babies to help with protein ? They get egglayer feed and then free range in the afternoon at night they get a loaf of bread split up between 25 hens. The reason I am asking is that they are trying to steal the catfood every time I open the barn.
    Last edited: May 25, 2010
  2. fiberart57

    fiberart57 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 31, 2009
    Use a feed with higher protein. I use Purina Flock Raiser at 20% whereas most layer blends hover around 16 or 17% protein. Also, bread isn't exactly nutritious for chickens; at least a regular meal of it. You'd be better off getting whole red wheat and/or race horse oats and making a mixture for some scratch. Red winter wheat is about 14% protein, so I've heard.

    The chickens will naturally gravitate toward protein foods like cat food, hamburger, scrambled eggs, etc. They're omnivores with a taste for meat so that's what they want.

    In the winter, I would feed mine a small bit of natural ground beef to give them a bit more protein through the winter. Now that summer's here and they don't need to keep so warm, they're off the protein but still get Flock Raiser.

    Free ranging doesn't mean they get a lot of bugs to eat. Mine have pretty much worked through the yard.

    Also, if you free feed, they'll regulate their intake to match their nutritional needs. Flock Raiser is more expensive than Layer food but I think that they eat less because it's more nutritionally dense.

  3. Rusty66211

    Rusty66211 Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 28, 2009
    thanks for the info I feed egglayer because the demand of eggs is so high but maybe i will switch to flockraiser
  4. Lazy J Farms Feed & Hay

    Lazy J Farms Feed & Hay Chillin' With My Peeps

    stop feeding the loaf of bread, it is diluting the protein intake.

  5. Rusty66211

    Rusty66211 Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 28, 2009
    ok but do you have an idea for another treat for them that does not cost me an arm and a leg ? I use the bread to lock them up in their coop at night . We have cayote's and other danger so I would rather they be locked up at night.
  6. A.T. Hagan

    A.T. Hagan Don't Panic

    Aug 13, 2007
    North/Central Florida
    If you're feeding layer ration and they're free ranging all day your protein is likely just fine. There's nothing else you need give them. A little bread per bird is not going to hurt anything either.

    They're eating the cat food because they like it. Every animal (to include us) likes variety in their diet when they can get it.
  7. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

    May 8, 2007
    I give mine sunflower seed as a reward for coming to the pen early, to be locked up.
  8. cybercat

    cybercat Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 22, 2007
    Greeneville, Tn
    If you want more eggs switch to a feed that is 20%. Check your yellow pages for feed stores. I had to call around but I found one that makes a 20% layer. Use something else besides bread for a treat. Oats,wheat or sunflowers seeds work well and can be bought cheap by the 50lb. bag. If you are out with chickens at sunset they will go in with out your help. I free range mine from sun up to sun set. I go down about 8:45pm to lock them in. If they are not all in by then they soon will be. I do not feed any treats to my chickens as they get enough by foraging around here. If I did that they would be all out of the coop to eat it and I would have to wait for them to get all back in.

    Chickens natually go back to there coop at sunset. No need to feed them to get in just lock them in for the night.
  9. Organics North

    Organics North Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 30, 2009
    Wisconsin Northwoods
    go by a cheap bag of back oil sunflower seed (17% protein) and sprout it! Sprouting increases protein by some percentage. (Google it)
    Your birds will enjoy the treat too.

    I personally stopped giving my birds left over bread, and tend to stick to meat fruit or vegetable treats on occasion.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by