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Ways to supplement protein in hens' diet

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by grullablue, Nov 15, 2008.

  1. grullablue

    grullablue Songster

    Feb 27, 2008
    Madison, Wisconsin
    For chickens that cannot be free-ranged during the day and may not be getting enough bugs and things to supply enough protein for them, what are other things we can provide for them to supplement with more protein in their diet?

    I have seen some people throw cat food to them, but what are other alternatives?


  2. the1much

    the1much Currently Birdless Hippy

    table scraps are GREAT!!!
  3. basicliving

    basicliving Keepin' the sunny side up

    Mar 20, 2008
    Shenandoah Valley, VA
    Crickets, meal worms, etc. are a high protein, fun snack that mine love. I raise the meal worms for them. But you can find that type of thing at a bait store.

    I also boiled up a batch of fresh cat fish for mine (no bones), and they went bonkers over it. Black oil sunflower seeds have about 18% protein and are something mine love occasionally. And if you're getting eggs and have an abundance, scramble up a few for them. Plain yogurt is usually a big hit too - I make MissPrissy's recipe.

    ETA - I've also read that some people feed their chickens tuna fish.

    Hope this helps.

    Last edited: Nov 15, 2008
  4. kinnip

    kinnip Songster

    Feb 24, 2008
    Carrollton, GA
    Mine are yogurt hogs. I also give them the rinds of hard cheeses (I go through more than my share of parm). I also lightly cook and chop any meat trimmings or bits left after making stock. They love meat. I have a cat who's been digging up my garden lately. I might try tossing him in there this week. [​IMG]
  5. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Commercial chicken feed generally has enough protein, unless it's being "diluted" by their eating a lot of other stuff or their protein demands are extra heavy e.g. molting.

    Meat scraps work well (like, freezerburned pieces, and little bits off cooked bones that are too small to bother eating yourself, etc). Or if you have extra eggs (this time of year probably not, but it DOES happen [​IMG]) you can hard-cook or scramble them and feed them back to the chickens. Some people raise or buy mealworms or crickets.

    There are also some other things with less, but nontrivial, protein in them -- yogurt and sunflower seeds come to mind.

  6. Kitchenella

    Kitchenella In the Brooder

    Oct 11, 2008
    Beitar Illit, Israel
    I got free fish heads from the fish counter at my supermarket. I cooked them and boned them and chopped them up. They love it. Next time I might just cut them open and see if the chickens eat them that way so I don't have to bother with the boning and chopping.
  7. halo

    halo Got The Blues

    Nov 22, 2007
    My Coop
    Ill throw them a handful of Calf Manna now and again. Very high in protein, full of vitamins and minerals, and smells divine.

  8. SandraMort

    SandraMort Songster

    Jul 7, 2008
    What's calf manna?
  9. halo

    halo Got The Blues

    Nov 22, 2007
    My Coop
    1 person likes this.
  10. the1much

    the1much Currently Birdless Hippy

    i was worried it was code word fer cow manure :|

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