Author Topic: Adding animal protein  (Read 4181 times)

Kelly Gore

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Adding animal protein
« on: June 29, 2018, 01:38:37 PM »
Good day to you all! I have a question on nutrition. Brief run down on my feeding practices. All my birds (except chicks) are feed Nutrena All Flock 20% pellet, free fed. A couple times per week, I get them 'scrap boxes' from the grocery store I work at. These consist of Romaine lettuce mostly with some cilantro, other dark greens and some fruit mixed in. I live in the desert, so pasture is not an option here. They are wormed twice yearly. My birds seem thin to me. Their keel's are pretty prominent. They are not sick, and are active. Just thin. I have been researching nutrition and I think they are lacking animal protein in their diet. Do you add animal protein for your birds? If so, what do you feed? Any advice? Thanks!

John W Blehm

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Re: Adding animal protein
« Reply #1 on: June 29, 2018, 04:21:23 PM »
...Do you add animal protein for your birds? If so, what do you feed? Any advice? Thanks!

I don't.  I know that when animals eat their own kind diseases, like "mad cow" and others that generally affect the brains have popped up.  This may be why many commercial feed companies stopped including animal proteins and many of us felt that was overkill.  I wouldn't recommend including dead chickens in chicken feed, but unincubated egg yolks should be fine along with proteins derived from other animals.

Years ago we believed the higher the protein the better, but science has found that having the "essential" amino acids means the % of protein doesn't have to be as high with some feeds as previously thought.  Proteins from plants don't have all these essential amino acids, so I assume they are somehow added to the feeds that lack animal proteins.  These feeds are meant to be a "sole ration" or "complete feed", so when folks supplement with table scarps, corn or other items they are diluting the "complete" feed which if overdone could lead to an incomplete diet.  Remember to add free choice grit whenever grains are fed, so they can be properly digested. 

Note that it is   

Kelly Gore

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Re: Adding animal protein
« Reply #2 on: June 29, 2018, 07:56:11 PM »
Thanks John! My layers have oyster shell, but didn't realize they needed grit. Newbie mistake. My first year with this many birds. They don't free range on the property like when I only had a few birds. I will try that!

Andrew Johnson

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Re: Adding animal protein
« Reply #3 on: June 29, 2018, 08:04:47 PM »
We regularly give our chickens any unused eggs. We feed scrambled with added fresh herbs from the garden or just boil them. As far as anything special, we do give them a few ounces of feed grade fish meal sprinkled in their feed per week. We are able to order 50lb bags from our local feed store. Once we started adding the fish meal, our flock definitely showed huge improvements towards standard weights, especially our laying hens. Good nutrition definitely pays off. Everyone will have their picks for feed, as do I, but knowing what is in it is most important.

Mike Gilbert

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Re: Adding animal protein
« Reply #4 on: June 29, 2018, 08:43:54 PM »
We regularly give our chickens any unused eggs. We feed scrambled with added fresh herbs from the garden or just boil them. As far as anything special, we do give them a few ounces of feed grade fish meal sprinkled in their feed per week. We are able to order 50lb bags from our local feed store. Once we started adding the fish meal, our flock definitely showed huge improvements towards standard weights, especially our laying hens. Good nutrition definitely pays off. Everyone will have their picks for feed, as do I, but knowing what is in it is most important.
Andrew, did you notice any difference in the flavor of your eggs after adding the fish meal to their diet?   I know that the late APA judge Thane Earle was blending his own ration using fish meal nearly 50 years ago. 
Mike Gilbert
1st John 5:11-13

Tailfeathers

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Re: Adding animal protein
« Reply #5 on: June 30, 2018, 03:47:19 AM »
I pretty much feed my birds a mixture of 60% Layena & 40% Flock Raiser with a half cottage cheese small container of catfood.  Before it was discontinued I would add a cottage cheese container of VigorPlus to that mix.  That stuff was terrific & I wish they still produced it.  Expensive but you wouldn't believe what it did to the size of eggs & adding weight to the birds.  In the winter, depending on how cold it is, they'll get 10-20% 5-way Scratch mixed in with the above. They get ACV & bleach in their water.

I rarely give scraps. Read some time ago that the commercial feeds are scientifically produced to give the exact balance chickens need for their daily diet & scraps can throw that balance off.  On really hot days I might buy the a watermelon & throw it out for them.  In the Fall they'll get a pumpkin or two.

I'm interested in hearing about the egg taste for those getting fish meal too.  Might try it but I do know that the food they eat can flavor the eggs.  Noticed it myself the few times I put a bunch of crushed garlic in their water.  Don't remember why I did that now but remember they eggs tasted even better!  LOL  Think it might've been for vent gleet but it was years ago & I can't remember for sure.

My birds have about 3 acres inside an 8' fence to free range so they get lots of grass, bugs, worms, etc. without my having to keep an eye on them all the time.  Still I lost 3 Buckeye gals this past week to a Bald Eagle.  ::) 
God Bless,

R. E. Van Blaricome
Seek Ye first the Kingdom of God, and all His Righteousness
- then these things shall be added unto you (Matt. 6:33)

Mike Gilbert

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Re: Adding animal protein
« Reply #6 on: June 30, 2018, 09:51:46 AM »

Royce, is there any reason to expect that Bald Eagle won't keep coming back for more?   Just curious.
Mike Gilbert
1st John 5:11-13

Andrew Johnson

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Re: Adding animal protein
« Reply #7 on: June 30, 2018, 07:57:51 PM »
Mike, honestly, I have not. But the only way I eat our chicken eggs is boiled, pickled or deviled. I have always preferred duck eggs myself and have passed that along to my wife and kids. Our Khaki Campbells and Welsh Harlequins give us, what seems like, and endless supply of eggs. We also raise Cayuga duck as well. My parents, however, do come by regularly and always bring cartons to fill and haven't complained. As I said, only a few ounces a week, maybe 2 or 3 at most between 80 adult birds. The growouts are not fed any in their feed, but can't say they don't sneak a few bites when it is their turn in free ranging.

Tailfeathers

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Re: Adding animal protein
« Reply #8 on: July 01, 2018, 10:02:25 PM »
Mike, given my "luck", NOPE!  Haven't seen it since and am hoping the .223 booming will keep it away.  I get them every year around Feb/Mar so was surprised to see it this late in the year.  Pretty sure, even though it has its adult plumage now, that it's the juvenile that was with its mom last year. 

I initially saw something sitting up on a fence post down by the lower coop.  Got the binoculars & couldn't make it out at first but then saw the red head.  So I went to get the AR and when I come back it was waddling along like turkey vultures do.  Popped off a shot at it but missed.  It flew off & at the same time the Bald Eagle came outta a tree inside the fence.  Went down that night & it was picked clean.  That's when I found sign that 2 others had been gotten.  Probably the 2 previous days. 

Before I got the AR, I'd pop a shot off from the 12 gauge.  At first that did the trick but then the stupid eagles would sit in a tree and just look at me.  So then I started having to walk down closer to them.  Then I picked up some Screamers out at Boom City last year and that seems to work well too.

I've been told about the Country SSS policy but it'd be just my good fortune to have the Feds show up at my door if I ever tried that!
God Bless,

R. E. Van Blaricome
Seek Ye first the Kingdom of God, and all His Righteousness
- then these things shall be added unto you (Matt. 6:33)

Kelly Gore

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Re: Adding animal protein
« Reply #9 on: July 03, 2018, 09:17:12 PM »
I think I found another reason they may be a little thin. I went out to bring a broody in yesterday (going to be 110 here and didn't want her outside), and while looking her over, lice!  Ewww! I ordered elector psp and it will be here in a couple of days. I have never had this in my birds before. Do you treat on a schedule? I worm twice per year, so would this be the same? Poor girl is loaded with them. Others in that pen not too bad. Would this hurt the eggs she is sitting on? I don't want to wait a couple more weeks until she gets treated if I can help it. I also have a ton of 3 month old chicks. Okay for them?

Tailfeathers

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Re: Adding animal protein
« Reply #10 on: July 03, 2018, 10:13:52 PM »
Lice will definitely cause weight loss.  Never heard of "elector psp" so can't comment on that.  I've written on the subject of mites/lice a couple of times on here.  I'll leave it to you to search for it if you'd like but the short of it is I now recommend Fipronil for both.  Get the dosage for the largest dog (100+ lbs) and 3-4 drops per bird.  You'll wanna treat the whole flock regardless of what you use.  My experience with Fipronil has been one treatment and none required again.  Knock on wood.  Didn't even have to follow up in 30dys.
God Bless,

R. E. Van Blaricome
Seek Ye first the Kingdom of God, and all His Righteousness
- then these things shall be added unto you (Matt. 6:33)

Kelly Gore

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Re: Adding animal protein
« Reply #11 on: July 03, 2018, 10:55:29 PM »
Elector psp is for mites and lice in chickens. I have heard great things about it. Kills them on contact and has a residual effect. No egg withdrawal. Not harmful to the birds, dogs, cats, humans. The only down side is it's expensive, I found it for $145 per bottle at Valley Vet online. Once mixed you have years worth, so I think it will be worth it on the long run. I will let you know how it works!

John W Blehm

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Re: Adding animal protein
« Reply #12 on: July 04, 2018, 10:43:54 AM »
Do a search for "mites" to read some of the other topics here that Royce is talking about.

Besides using a topical liquid on my breeders I also use Sevin 5% Dust on both the birds and in their coops.  It "Kills over 65 insects on vegetables, fruits, ornamental and lawns", so it isn't intended for poultry...but does the trick.  I think it is cheaper and more powerful than "poultry dust".  If I notice mites/lice on a bird I'll sprinkle some Sevin on their skin.  From time to time I also sprinkle or dust the roosts/perches and inside the nest boxes...places where the little hitchhikers may go from one bird to another. 

Kelly Gore

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Re: Adding animal protein
« Reply #13 on: July 04, 2018, 03:47:27 PM »
Thanks John! Yes, since I have found them I have been doing a lot of research. I also, after the summer, will be enclosing their pens better. Right now I have chain link panels with hog wire on top, which keeps the birds in and owls and hawks out, but lets the smaller wild birds in. I have a 40' x 40' pole barn with a great roof on it, so they don't need a roof on their pens. I think this is how they got them. Now to have fun spraying over 100 birds and their pens. As soon as my psp is delivered, going to be a long night. Way to hot during the day here right now!

Kelly Gore

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Re: Adding animal protein
« Reply #14 on: August 01, 2018, 03:01:54 PM »
Just a quick update. The Elector PSP is awesome! 1 Treatment and done. Sprayed all the birds and their pens and have not seen anything for 3-4 weeks now. So 1 treatment. Yes, it does cost about $140 per bottle, but after diluting it, you use very little. Have plenty left over. Now I have one more question. I had a broody hen at the time, I didn't treat. Eggs were getting ready to hatch. She is separated, inside with her chicks. They are about 2 weeks old now. Has anyone treated a hen with young chicks? She needs to be treated but don't want to hurt the chicks. Thanks!