Protein Supplement?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by LilChickCoop, Nov 15, 2010.

  1. LilChickCoop

    LilChickCoop Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What are some things I can feed the flock to supplement their protein levels?
    The reason I ask is that it appears I got them feed that only has 12% protein (my mistake and not my usual kind).... but now I am stuck with it until it is all gone.
    They do free range for a greater part of the day- will that suffice?
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2010
  2. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    There are treats you can give to raise the protein level. Scrambled eggs/hardboiled, sunflower seeds unsalted, split peas, peanuts, sesame seeds, nyjer thistle seeds (birdseed), pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, meat scraps, etc.

    Table scraps are good (not overly salty).

    Another option would be to get a bag of 20% protein or so "flock raiser" or "game bird" feed and mix it up with that. Some people talk about how they buy the extra high protein bags so they can offer scratch (10% protein or so) on the side.
     
  3. little brown hen

    little brown hen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I didn't know you could feed nyjer thistle how much can i feed to about 30?
     
  4. Jane Jill Jack

    Jane Jill Jack Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you have grubs and weed seeds, the chickens have plenty of protein. I don't give my chickens any supplements, just let them out mostly once a say and give them some grain, and they are healthy.
     
  5. LilChickCoop

    LilChickCoop Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mine seems happy, but I haven't gotten the first egg yet... One I know is just coming to laying age, 2 are roosters (they are excused), 1 should've been laying by now (the previous owner was swearing that she was layinga green egg every day), and the other 2 have only been integrated into the flock within the last few days (I think I shoud be getting eggs as soon as they settled- they are just coming off a moult!!!).. The free range during the afternoon (I have thoroughly checked the yard), their coop gets cleaned out at least once a day, and they are fed Purina Layena as well as offered many treats... Am I doing something wrong?
     
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2010
  6. celticravenz

    celticravenz Out Of The Brooder

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    What's the highest protein % for layers? I have 20%, is that to high?
     
  7. Mrs MIA

    Mrs MIA Chick Magnet

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    20% is preferable in the winter to give them extra energy for the cold weather. Even with 20%, I still supplement with fish and other protein sources when I can. [​IMG]
     
  8. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Protein does not give them extra energy. Things with calories in them do, like fats. Often in winter they will eat more food to get enough calories to stay warm so I think it is a good time to reduce the protein, not increase it. It is not about what percent protein they eat but what total volume of protein they eat. If they are not laying, they do not need as much protein. They do use protein to grow new feathers when molting, but not as much protein as when they are laying. Feathers don't grow that fast, but I still stick with the same protein level as when they are laying. Their bodies can only use so much protein per day. If they eat and their body processes more protein than they can use, their liver has to work extra hard to expel the extra protein from their body.

    Chickens are pretty resilient and can handle a lot of different situations. You probably won't see any bad effects from feeding them extra protein but I just don't see any real benefit to them by making their organs work harder than they have to to expel the excess.

    Since they free range, they will probably be OK. If it were me, I would mix it with a 20% to 22% feed until it is gone as somebody suggested. They are able to handle a wide range of conditions without suffering a lot of harm most of the time, but I like to aim at the target.
     
  9. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

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    What Ridgerunner is saying is, I think, wise. However I'm sure he didn't mean to imply that protein has no calories (would that it were so!) The way it works is simple enough: protein and starches have 4 calories per gram (which is a small part of an ounce) and fats have 9 calories per gram. So one bite of fat is about twice as fattening as one bite of meat or starch. The body turns starch into energy much more easily than fat or protein.
     
  10. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Thank you for being gentle. Here is the chart.

    Food component Energy Density (kJ/g kcal/g)

    Fat 37 9
    Ethanol (alcohol) 29 7
    Proteins 17 4
    Carbohydrates 17 4
    Organic acids 13 3
    Polyols (sugar alcohols, sweeteners) 10 2.4
    Fibre 8 2
    Erythritol 0.8 0.2
     

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