Just have an interesting observation to make and wonder if anybody else has noted something similar. My little city feed store was all out of chicken feed last week. No starter, grower, flock raiser or even layer. Not even game bird. Nothing except of course the medicated, which I dont want to use because I need to butcher my Cornish x's like, yesterday. Anyway, I bought some scratch, since I figure they get alfalfa hay, scraps, lots of green fresh Bermuda and veggies. Won't kill them for a few days until they're butchered, right? Well, here's the interesting part. My 9 week old Cornish cross Pullets, out in 109 degree heat, are suddenly acting like real chickens! They are foraging, scratching for bugs, moving around a lot more and, get this, they are only panting when the temperatures get north of about 108 degrees!! I was just outside, current temperature is well over 100 degrees, 40% humidity because we're going to get some rain. The Cornish crosses are digging through the weeds I gave them and scratching for bugs. Sure, they're wading in their wading pools to cool off. But, what they aren't doing is laying prostrate, panting their heads off! I'm wondering if the difference is the decreased total dietary protein? Not that I'm endorsing raising chickens on scratch, but wondering if 18-20% might be too much? I butchered two yesterday, dressed weight was over six pounds for each pullet. Considering they've really never seen a day below 100 degrees and I've not pushed them to grow, I've pasture fed them and forced them to move around, I thought that was a great dressed weight. Organs looked healthy and just a light amount of fat near the vent. I'm really pleased with the way the meat looks, can hardly wait to taste one. I'll roast one up tomorrow night and see how they taste!