protein levels

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Auscal, Aug 25, 2011.

  1. Auscal

    Auscal Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 29, 2010
    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?
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2011
  2. vstoltzfus

    vstoltzfus Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 10, 2009
    Lancaster County, PA
    Are they still laying well for you?
  3. Auscal

    Auscal Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 29, 2010
    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.
  4. Tracydr

    Tracydr Chillin' With My Peeps

    You could add a few scrambled eggs a week, along with the crumbled egg shells. Also, some milk or yogurt may help. Maybe try sprinkling the oyster shell on top of some chicken scratch until they get the idea, too.
  5. DMRippy

    DMRippy Pallet Queen Premium Member

    May 18, 2011
    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. [​IMG]

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by