too much protien a bad thing? And questions about salt

kari_dawn

Songster
10 Years
Nov 2, 2009
2,402
76
246
North Texas
I keep reading that layers should have 16% protien, and that higher levels of protien (like in starter) are not good for them. Why? My girls free range, and eat TONS of protien...I just watched them playing chicken football with a glass lizard (poor little guy)...and they LOVE grubs and other bugs. They all look super healthy and nice and shiny and fluffy.

I also hear that salt is super bad for them, but then I am reading that some people add it to their feed mixes. Can someone please set me straight?
 
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ChickensAreSweet

Heavenly Grains for Hens
9 Years
Jun 8, 2010
15,100
699
398
Pacific NW- where the Douglas Firs grow
Salt is required in a feed mix. I use kelp meal for my salt.

Chick starter- NONmedicated (20%) is an excellent meal for adult hens, but you must add oyster shell on the side for them. Also you can feed FlockRaiser by Purina, also 20% if you add oyster shell. Also I might add that if they aren't receiving treats at all, and are living on ONLY the 20% protein meals then that might be too much protein for their bodies...I don't know. But if they receive treats then I have found it to be a fine feed in my experience.

Additionally, there was some information here on BYC - if you ask I'll look for the link regarding feeding high 20% protein to the teenage hens as they are maturing causing reproductive problems later in life. So the grower feed is usually more like 17% to keep them from maturing too quickly.
 
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kari_dawn

Songster
10 Years
Nov 2, 2009
2,402
76
246
North Texas
I am just in the infancy of researching feed recipies. Yours looks so much easier than many I have read. Why is it that some say salt in any amount is unsafe if it is essential in feed?

The reason I ask is because I have multiple ages in my flock, so everyone is on a starter, grower, raiser (it is supposed to be an all stage feed) with grit and crushed egg shells in a dish free choice as well as tons of greens and some fruits and other kitchen scraps. Yogurt, oatmeal, etc. The protien content is pretty high in the bag feed I buy...I don't want to do anything detremental to my gals.
 
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ChickensAreSweet

Heavenly Grains for Hens
9 Years
Jun 8, 2010
15,100
699
398
Pacific NW- where the Douglas Firs grow
I used to be able to search BYC and find the thread that mentioned the high protein/reproductive problems ...now I can't!

But I did find some general links for you if interested -

http://www.lionsgrip.com/chickensidealfeed.html
note the columns on left for additional articles

http://www.gov.mb.ca/agriculture/livestock/poultry/bba01s20.html
scroll down for salt

http://www.canadianpoultry.ca/chapter_ii.htm
scroll way down

http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ps029
I disagree with this one where they say whole grains are bad.

I hope this helps!
 

ChickensAreSweet

Heavenly Grains for Hens
9 Years
Jun 8, 2010
15,100
699
398
Pacific NW- where the Douglas Firs grow
I am just in the infancy of researching feed recipies. Yours looks so much easier than many I have read. Why is it that some say salt in any amount is unsafe if it is essential in feed?

The reason I ask is because I have multiple ages in my flock, so everyone is on a starter, grower, raiser (it is supposed to be an all stage feed) with grit and crushed egg shells in a dish free choice as well as tons of greens and some fruits and other kitchen scraps. Yogurt, oatmeal, etc. The protien content is pretty high in the bag feed I buy...I don't want to do anything detremental to my gals.

If you are feeding a commercial feed you don't need to add salt- they have added it for you already. I thought you were referring to making up your own feed mix. See my BYC page to see what I feed if interested!

In addition, the more protein you feed, the larger the eggs get usually. It is possible for the eggs to become too large and hurt the hen theoretically. So if your eggs are too large then you decrease the protein. But I have read a lot of breeders on here give high protein so that the hatching chick will be strong. So I would advise you read some old threads whilst searching protein on BYC to learn more as I am no expert, LOL.

And hopefully others will chime in.

Oh hi!!
frow.gif
I just realized you are the wildlife rehabber I have seen on here before!!

:)

Ok here is another thread...I didn't read any of it but some of the first page...you might enjoy it:'
https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/284971/too-much-protein
 
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kari_dawn

Songster
10 Years
Nov 2, 2009
2,402
76
246
North Texas
oh, I am only suplementing my feed at this point. I added BOSS for the winter, a little quinoa, and some other grains. No salt. I was just wondering why I had heard that it was so bad for them. What does the salt do for them? Is it like electrolites?

Your feed formula is actually what prompted me to begin researching mixing my own feed!

Thank you for the great information! Wow, I had no idea so many people actually read that little footer thingy lol
 

kari_dawn

Songster
10 Years
Nov 2, 2009
2,402
76
246
North Texas
I am slowly easing into the possiblity of mixing my own feed. I kindof feel the same about my chicken's feed as I do my dogs...commercial producers use the cheapest means possible to produce expensive feeds. They cut possibly good ingredients with a bunch of fillers, and charge me as if all of it is high quality. I would like more control over what my girls (and in turn myself) eat.
 

ChickensAreSweet

Heavenly Grains for Hens
9 Years
Jun 8, 2010
15,100
699
398
Pacific NW- where the Douglas Firs grow
oh, I am only suplementing my feed at this point. I added BOSS for the winter, a little quinoa, and some other grains. No salt. I was just wondering why I had heard that it was so bad for them. What does the salt do for them? Is it like electrolites?

Your feed formula is actually what prompted me to begin researching mixing my own feed!

Thank you for the great information! Wow, I had no idea so many people actually read that little footer thingy lol

They can easily overdo the salt, is why it should be measured, researched, and mixed into the feed. I used to have a salt free choice hopper but then discovered that they would gorge on it when I moved the container and it grabbed their attention.

They will turn cannibalistic for salt is what I have read if they don't get adequate salt.
https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/140605/is-too-much-protein-bad-for-adult-chickens
Here is another thread that might interest you!
 
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berniezahm

Songster
11 Years
Oct 24, 2008
209
4
111
Home Feeding Ideas and Solutions Discussion Thread ia a thread here on BYC that you may find interesting. Realize that not all information provided by all BYC members is necessarily correct, That was aimed at the thought "salt is bad." I assume the 16% protine question was for chickens, as some game birds do require a much higher protine content to properly grow and develop.
 

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