Protein questions... more?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by WhiteMountainsRanch, Dec 29, 2010.

  1. WhiteMountainsRanch

    WhiteMountainsRanch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I always see thread after thread about people suggesting more protein for chickens, it's always yogurt, cottage cheese, eggs, etc... Why are we always concerned about more protein? Is the 16% in the lay feed not enough? If it's not, why don't we feed something with higher protein and supplement with calcium? Or why don't they make a lay feed that has say 18% or 20% in it?


    TIA!
     
  2. Yay Chicks!

    Yay Chicks! Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm not sure about all the reasons that people recommend more protein. What does seem to make sense is to give extra protein when birds are moulting to support the growth of new feathers. I'm sure you'll hear about any other reasons people might have.
     
  3. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

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    Some people have trouble finding a layer feed with more than 16% protein. Some places only carry feeds with soy and chickens don't do as well on all soy. Many people give their chickens some scratch or other treats, that lower the over all protein percentage in the diet and if they can only find 16% layer, that's low. Sometimes, like during a molt, they have a greater need for protein. Feathers have a lot of a particular amino acid in them that is lower in most plant based proteins and higher in animal based proteins. Sometimes, when chickens are fed a diet that's too low in protein, they have behavior, egg laying or feathering issues. Those are the reasons I know about. [​IMG]
     
  4. digitS'

    digitS' Chillin' With My Peeps

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    A hen uses the nutrients in her feed first for body maintenance and secondly for egg production.

    Wild chickens and earlier breeds of domestic chickens are genetically programed to only lay a few eggs each year. Modern breeds and production strains can lay far, far more eggs. However, they must have nutrients in their feed that would allow them to do so.

    There is a fair amount of water in an egg but if an egg is dried, it is nearly 50% protein. That protein has to come from somewhere and if a hen can lay an egg each day, her diet should be quite high in protein.

    The animal nutritionists tell us that a leghorn-type hen needs about 17 grams of protein each day; 13.5 grams is just for her egg. Poultry Science, Auburn University

    Steve
     
  5. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    SOMEWHERE, wish I could tell you where, I read that layer has the % of protein in it that we find because the commercials have researched it and concluded that either more or less reduces egg production.
     
  6. WhiteMountainsRanch

    WhiteMountainsRanch Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Then it would make sense to feed a food that has higher than 16% protein.
     
  7. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    Quote:Most likely. Some game feeds are as high as 25%, I believe. But I also feel it's best to do your research when messing with this, especially if they don't get a lot of their diet from foraging. There is such a thing as too much protein. And there are most certainly people on this board who know a lot more about nutrition than I do.

    Our layer around here is usually 14% or 15% so I've been giving them grower as well -- they steal the chicks' grower anyway. Believe I'll switch to grower, which is a little higher, and just offer oyster shell. Now if I could just find a local source for nonmedicated grower......

    If you want to get knowledgeable about this, here's a good source, though I'm sure there are many more:

    http://dlhunicorn.conforums.com/index.cgi
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 30, 2010

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