To much protein, to little hens?


6 Years
Jan 5, 2016
Part 1. Ok, two questions but I'll ask them in separate threads. I just liked the title a little to much to not use it.

So, I have several different feeds of different protein amounts. There is starter feed (18%), layer feed (16%), grower (18%), meatbird (22%), gamebird (24%).

My flock consists of chickens, ducks, and quail. Next year, I would like to (maybe) add a turkey or geese if I think my neighbors will allow it. I am curious if there is any reason to not feed everything, say, gamebird. Is there "to much protein" for a chicken? How much of a difference does a percent make in the outcome of the bird?

I would like to feed the gamebird to my quail, ducks, and non-laying chickens and then, maybe, layer feed to the hens once they reach the age of laying.

We had quail and fed the higher protein gamebird crumbles. I’m not sure why you would want to use that for all for a few reasons:

1. Quail prefer (in my experience) crumble. Crumble and adult chickens = a big mess.

2. Game bird is usually more expensive and harder to find. Or moves slower off the shelves, so mill date may be older (but not always true).

3. Quail are more easily kept in cages and are generally not mixed in with larger birds, so keeping their feed separate should be pretty easy.

We have chickens, mixed flock, mixed ages, and feed them a 20% all flock pellet. Any chicks get crumble until they can eat the pellets.

Good luck!
Anything over 18% risks long term damage to kidneys and could trigger gout if fed for a long period. Feeding an all flock feed at 18% to all individuals is a better choice.
Chickens can handle up to 70% protein before getting gout.

Avian kidney disease
I thought quail, turkey, and some of the not-chicken birds needed the 24% protein?
Studies show that quail will do fine on 20% protein if the lysine and methionine levels are high enough. Waterfowl will do fine on 20% protein if the lysine, methionine and niacin levels are high enough. Turkey poults, guinea keets,quail and gamebird chicks should be on a higher protein (28% to 30%) for their first 6 to 8 weeks. The adults do not need the high protein but will benefit from higher lysine, methionine and niacin levels that cannot be found in chicken feed.
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Long term health and cost are all factors leaning towards moderation in applying protein levels.
Nobody should be feeding their poultry 70% protein for any length of time. Moderation is best in all things. Claiming that anything above 18% protein causes problems is ridiculous. Free range poultry regularly have a diet of well above 18% protein.
The adults do not need the high protein but will benefit from higher lysine, methionine and niacin levels that can be found in chicken feed.

Hehe... Wyoming. My family comes from Wyoming (meaning my parents, so... 50 some years ago). Always get a warm fuzzy when I see the state name. Anyway, so it sounds like I would be better off feeding the "all flock" type feed? I get it in crumbles, anyway, so that I can tell the difference at a glace from layer.

As to why I might want to consolidate feed has nothing to do with the birds but everything to do with making it simpler (not easier but un-complicated). I have the kids help me with chores and two of my children have autism so the simpler I can make it, the more I can involve my kids.


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