Protien and egg size

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by GoldenCometLady, Jan 17, 2011.

  1. GoldenCometLady

    GoldenCometLady Songster

    Apr 15, 2010
    Walker, West Virginia
    I have 11 golden comets who have layed like gangbusters since 15 wks
    I feed laying crumbles free choice 24/7. We started giving them fish from
    my sons fishing every day. We watched the eggs increase in size. But didnt
    really conect it to the fish. Just knew the extra protien was good for them.
    The only slack we notied in laying was with the decrease of daylight so we
    added light in the morning and production was up again to regular 8-11 eggs
    a day for 11 hens.

    Since it has gotten cold and no fish were coming in the production has not stopped
    only dropped a little,
    but the eggs decreased in size and began having dark bumps and spots on them.
    After the guys started deer hunting the trimings were going to the chickens.
    Now the shells have cleared up and the eggs are huge again.

    I guess the 16% protein was enough to lay but not to get the quality and size
    during the cold weather.

  2. juliawitt

    juliawitt Songster

    Aug 9, 2009
    Interesting idea. I am currently trying to supplement my girl's protein intake because of the same conclusion. My husband picked up a brand of chicken feed that I don't like. It is very popular, so I won't name it, but I personally don't like it. Anyway, 3/4 of my girls are molting. Egg production dropped in a big way and they look terrible. Many factors play in to this. The molt, decreased light and the cold. I understand that. However, I saw feather eating two days ago. So, I am trying to increase protein.

    Mealworms, lowfat cottage cheese and oatmeal. Set out a flock block, to give something to do besides feather eating. Well, energy level is way up and I got 5 eggs yesterday.

    I think you could be on to something. My personal conclusion is that with so many negative factors going on right now, protein need could be increased to a level higher than commercial feed.

    I'm interested to see any other's thoughts.
  3. mandelyn

    mandelyn Crowing

    Aug 30, 2009
    Mt Repose, OH
    My Coop
    I've been cooking for the birds to supplement feed costs. Beans are high in protein, and my husband eats them often since he's a vegetarian. So I'll make a big batch, soaking a boiling pot full for 24 hours, take half for the birds, boil them for 20 minutes, put them in the blender, and make a bean mash for them. If I have it, I'll add squash seeds, fruits, tomatoes, whatever I have that's chicken safe and expiring soon. Cooked rice too. All in the blender so it's easily digestible.

    The birds LOVE it, it's cheap, my eggs are giant (sometimes not fitting so well in the store L size egg carton), the yolks are a deep orange, and they haven't free ranged since November.

    Oh, and if fresh Spinach bunches are on sale, I get that. Organic yogurt, all kinds of things. Sometimes their treat plate looks like it came out of a 4 star restaurant.
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2011
  4. cybercat

    cybercat Songster

    May 22, 2007
    Greeneville, Tn
    When chickens start laying thier egg size is small. As they get older it grows to what it will be. Winter time can make it decrease as well as lower protien.

  5. BrewedInNh

    BrewedInNh Songster

    May 11, 2010
    Southern NH
    Quote:I've recently changed our diet to include more beans and lentils. I've been hesitant to feed the leftovers to the girls because I wasn't sure if it would cause any digestive or loose pooping issues. Has it caused any issues for yours?
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2011
  6. Ohhhdear

    Ohhhdear Songster

    Aug 15, 2010
    West Michigan
    I've also noticed the tendency for egg size to increase if more protein is added to my flock's diet. My girls get 16% laying crumbles 24/7 supplemented with hot mash made with horse sweet feed, laying crumbles, melted alfalfa pellets, scratch grains and a fistful of grit. I throw in last night's leftovers. When those leftovers include meat bones, gravy, lunchmeat, a rotisserie chicken carcass or other high protein food, the egg size increases for the next few days.
    I have also increased the daylight hours to 14 using an LED light bar strip in their coop on a timer.
    Nobody's been through a moult cycle yet; it will be interesting to see how quickly they go through it with added protein.
  7. cabincrazyone

    cabincrazyone Songster

    Dec 26, 2010
    NE Minnesota
    It's my understanding that beans are a partial protein, and when eaten with corn, the two make a whole protein. Perhaps Mandelyn's husband knows more about that.

    Anyway it's certainly easy to give the chickens both beans and corn together if it indeed does improve the nutritional value.

  8. cybercat

    cybercat Songster

    May 22, 2007
    Greeneville, Tn
    Cabin you are correct. Bean+corn makes 1 whole protien. Down side corn is not that great for chickens and one must be carefull feeding beans.

    For the bigger chickens duel purpose over 7 lbs should eat 18% protien. I feed 20%. It is really needed before a molt for feather need protien to grow right.
  9. patman75

    patman75 Songster

    One of my hens caught and ate a good size frog last summer. 2 days later she layied a huge double yoker.

  10. ARose4Heaven

    ARose4Heaven Songster

    Apr 16, 2009
    Flippin, AR
    Is Oatmeal or rice considered sources of protein? I have a lot of both.

    It was funny today..I gave my hens a cabbage for the first time. They were terrified of it when it was hanging, so I put it on the floor. For about an hour, they just Walked round and round it, like a bunch of Indians at a Pow Wow. I finally gave up, and went to the house. When I came back a couple hours later...the cabbage had vanished!

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