Should I change my feed?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by fluffyxx, Oct 5, 2013.

  1. fluffyxx

    fluffyxx Out Of The Brooder

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    I have 10 hens. 9 in the pen and 1 who is now living in the basement, as she doesn't thrive in with the other girls.
    I am currently feeding the Dumor Layer 16% to my girls. The ones in the pen, I have been noticing a lot of picking at each other, and here lately they have been eating each other's feathers. I have quite a few hens with bald spots from the picking.
    This is the info from the TSC web site for the Dumor crumbles :
    Guaranteed Analysis:
    Crude Protein (min.) 16.00%, Lysine (min.) .70%, Methionine (min.) .35%, Crude Fat (min.) 2.50%, Crude Fiber (max.) 7.00%, Calcium (Ca) (min.) 3.80%, Calcium (Ca) (max.) 4.80%, Phosphorus (P) (min.) .50%, Salt (NaCl) (min.) .25%, Salt (NaCl) (max.) .75%, Ruminant meat and bone meal free.

    Should I switch to a different brand? If so, it would have to be one that offers crumbles, as my picky ladies do not like the pellets.

    Also, additional bit of info - they do have access to a fenced in yard. But, of course it is picked bare. They don't get out for free range. And I am using them only as layer birds.
     
  2. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    Could they also be molting? Dumor makes a 20% chick starter and Purina makes an 18% Flock Raiser, both crumbles, I would probably switch to one of those to see if a higher protein feed would help. Just offer oyster shell on the side to them. Feather picking can be from a number of things, boredom being a big one, if you can get a bale of hay, throwing a bale or some flakes in and some scratch/sunflower seeds on it will keep them occupied for quite awhile. Double check to be sure you don't have mites or something, this wet weather has really brought the bugs out.
     
  3. ChickenLegs13

    ChickenLegs13 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sounds like they're well fed. How big is this pen? You may have a space problem causing the picking.
     
  4. fluffyxx

    fluffyxx Out Of The Brooder

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    I know its not molting. As I've watched the little brats eat each other's feathers. I totally forgot I had posted this. But, I just put my loner girl back in with the flock. Done it tonight, so hopefully everyone wakes up as friends. [​IMG] Anyways, I plan on digging around in our barn & basement to see if there are any fun climbing items I can steal to put in their yard, maybe give them something to passify them.. a little anyways. Is it okay to switch to one of those feeds with my girls being of egg laying age? I already have some oyster shell, so I can give them that on the side as well. I'll also try to pick up some scratch feed for them. How much is okay to feed them of that? I also had thought about feeding some protein treats. Like eggs, etc.
     
  5. Pathfinders

    Pathfinders Overrun With Chickens

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    I've never been wild about Dumor, although I will note it differs from place to place, as it's made in several locations.

    Feather eating is generally a sign that your chickens are not getting enough protein in their diets, or that they need more space. What brand of feed are you using? If you read the tag, does it say only vegetable protein? Or does it show animal protein. I am a huge fan of using poultry feed that has actual animal protein in it.

    Feather picking is also sometimes a sign of cramped quarters, how much space do they have?

    There are a number of ways to include animal protein into your chicks diets:

    - Find a feed that includes it, like Purina's Game Bird feed line
    - Add in some cooked ground beef or raw trimmings from your local butcher shop if you can get them to give you some
    - Add in a small amount of high quality, non-poultry based cat food, such as Evo Herring and Salmon dry cat food: http://www.evopet.com/products/1431, which is about 50% protein
    - Add in some catfish feed pellets, which are generally about 35% protein.
    - Add some 30% Turkey starter mixed into your regular ration.
     
  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    The Dumors I feed lists “Animal Protein Products” as the fourth ingredient. Dumors is generally made by Purina but yeah, the different mills make different products under license for different labels. I think it is always good to check the label so you know what you are dealing with. Outside the USA the major brands are often owned by the same companies. Corporate ownership and licensing can get really messed up.

    I agree it could be from a lack of protein but from reading the OP I get the feeling that the feather picking is most likely from lack of space. Adding things for them to hide behind or under or perch on to get away from the others can maybe help.

    It’s fine to switch feeds. Just offer the oyster shell on the side so they can get enough calcium for the egg shells.

    I don’t know what you are feeding as “scratch”. If it is some mix and has a label, check out the percent protein and all that. It might be fairly low. That could be counterproductive if you are trying to raise the protein levels. On the other hand, if they are bored, you can entertain them by tossing some scratch on the floor. They’ll stay busy scratching around for the scratch.
     
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  7. Pathfinders

    Pathfinders Overrun With Chickens

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    Yes, I used to feed Dumor, back years ago when it had animal protein. When the mill that made it for our area stopped including it, I stopped feeding it.

    Good info Ridge!
     
  8. Michael Apple

    Michael Apple Overrun With Chickens

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    Dumor is a low quality, cheap feed. The biggest mistake one could make in the hobby or business of keeping chickens, or any other animal, is to use cheap feed. Numerous recalls from products like Dumor have happened over the last few years, and it isn't widely reported unless one pays attention:

    http://www.cargill.com/feed/recall/...-dumor-producers-pride-product-list/index.jsp

    http://www.fda.gov/Safety/Recalls/ucm313507.htm

    You can keep up to date as to which companies have a trend of being on the recall list:
    http://www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/SafetyHealth/RecallsWithdrawals/default.htm
     
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  9. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

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    Quote: Going by this list, Purina and Dumor aren't any worse than the others.
    Recalls are going to happen to ALL products that are regulated, and it's only logical bigger companies will have more
    [​IMG]
     
  10. Michael Apple

    Michael Apple Overrun With Chickens

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    Comparing bad to worse doesn't make bad any better. So the biggest companies shouldn't be held to a standard because they dominate the market in your opinion?

    Edited by staff
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 3, 2013

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