what amount of protien and why?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Barnmaradotte, Aug 31, 2011.

  1. Barnmaradotte

    Barnmaradotte Chirping

    Jun 13, 2011
    So right now I give the hens some 16% and was wondering, what's the point of 18-20% layer if 16 is enough? will bumping the protein up help with egg production and size? thanks.
  2. ninabeast

    ninabeast Songster

    Apr 10, 2011
    Upstate New York
    I'd like to know the answer to this, too...
  3. Economics come into play, as well. Is the increase in cost justified?

    Yes, normally, an 18% protein will provide them with slightly more where-with-all for feather production and egg production. Many folks prefer it. But the law diminishing returns comes into effect. 24% protein isn't going to produce even more and larger eggs, and so on.

    A chicken needs a balanced diet for over all health. 16% layer feed provides them adequate, balanced nutrition.
  4. A.T. Hagan

    A.T. Hagan Don't Panic

    Aug 13, 2007
    North/Central Florida
    If you are just wanting a good production of table eggs (as in to be eaten) then a balanced 15-16% layer feed will do that if it is fed as the sole ration. Not a lot of scratch, treats, or anything else other than free range and green feed.

    If you want to produce eggs that will give you a good hatch rate of strong, healthy chicks then use a feed that is balanced in the 18-20% range.

    More than 20% doesn't really get you anything that would justify the additional expense.

    On the small scale in backyard flocks you may not notice much of a difference either way. As the flock size grows you'll begin to notice the difference.
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2011
  5. lorain's fids

    lorain's fids Songster

    Jul 9, 2011
    New Jersey
    Thanks for clarifying this, as I was wondering the same thing about the level of protien. This week I have to purchase my first bag of grower feed, now I will know what to look for in the protien levels in the different bags of feed.
  6. mitchell3006

    mitchell3006 In the Brooder

    Sep 18, 2009
    Bumping the protein up in summer seems to help a little on production. The birds go off their feed some in the extreme heat so the higher protein seems to keep them better. By going to a higher protein they get the same amount of protein while eating less food overall. I have tried it and seem to see a little difference. I can get 22% Layer for $1.00 more than 16%. It seems to go a little farther so the cost works out about the same.
    I do seem to have a better hatch rate using the high protein. I think Alan is right about that.

  7. rosegal

    rosegal Songster

    Dec 6, 2008
    Tustin, CA
    I can get 22% Layer for $1.00 more than 16%. It seems to go a little farther so the cost works out about the same.

    What brand is the 22% protein?Thanks
  8. ailurophile23

    ailurophile23 Songster

    Dec 21, 2010
    I find my hens more prone to feather eating and picking if I use the 16% protein - when I bump it up to 18-20%, this stops - definitely worth the extra $$ not to have partially naked chickens. [​IMG]

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