protein levels

Auscal

Songster
9 Years
Oct 29, 2010
208
4
101
I changed from organic grower/starter crumbles (min 18% protein) to organic layer pellets (min 15.8% protein) at 18 weeks of age (about 6 weeks ago). The chickens started laying at 19-20 weeks of age. Within the past month or so my chickens seem to have "lost condition" - they just look lighter in weight, not as fleshy in the breast etc. I don't know if this is related to the change in food, or the start of laying. They also do get garden scraps, and free range on poor range.(this has not changed). I'm just wondering if I should be concerned. I'm wondering if the protein level in the new food is too low?

Any comments?
 
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Auscal

Songster
9 Years
Oct 29, 2010
208
4
101
They have settled into laying - a gradually increasing number of eggs which I am happy with - but, still fairly small though, average about 47 gm per egg. (I do have a problem with one laying quite few "squishy" eggs - but that may be a separate issue, I'm hoping that will settle down).

They do have access to oyster grit, but, don;t seem to be eating much, if any.
 

DMRippy

Pallet Queen
8 Years
May 18, 2011
14,981
542
381
Nashville
I have felt that way too. I don't like animal by products and the lack of animal protein in other feeds. I read that years ago layer feed was 20%. I have supplemented to up the protein some. Too much can cause problems. My marans have improved the most. I supplement with spent grains (30% alone) and will be adding mealworms from my worm farm soon.
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