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PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2009 6:22 pm 
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Showy Hen
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Asking for opinions for and against. Do people believe that protein is one of the more important ingredients in a breeder ration that will give healthy eggs and chickens? If not what do you consider number one?

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Martin

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2009 6:30 pm 
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Golden Cockatoo
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only up to a certain point.................beyond which the higher levels of protein are excessive to the bird's needs and are converted to fat, which is detrimental to the egg laying ability of the bird.

according to a poultry nutritionist who spoke to our club, 17% is the optimal protein level for laying and breeding.

here is an article i wrote for our club's newsletter based on the talk he gave, any errors are mine. bear in mind some things like the selenium deficiency in the soil are wa specific.....hence the need for supplementation in wa feeds.


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2009 6:34 pm 
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Prime Pekin
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hi Drizzt,


too high protien can affect layers, i have over fed before and caused hens to become egg bound, i think you need to watch the amount you give, i have heard optimum for isas in commercial situations is around 18%, most mixes you buy are around 15-16%protien use one of those a top up with treats. there are many threads about this in husbandry feeding housing section.


Christian

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2009 7:05 pm 
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Proud Rooster
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Hi Drizzt,

I'm using both Riverina premium blue label layer and Barastoc poultry breeder pellets this year in all three of my breeds.

I'm not deliberately mixing them, it's just because I've had to get both in (and the Barastoc dealer just ordered them in when I inquired about them, so I had to take them).

I haven't paid much attention the the ingredients, I just wanted to use a breeder ration this year.

The chooks do seem to like both, and while they don't look any fatter than they usually are :P :P , they do seem in nice condition.

The eggs are starting to look very good, inside and out.

I must say that I'm dissapointed in the quality of the Riverina pellet, which has a lot of powder and crumble easily.

The Barastoc are a large, hard and shiny pellet, with almost no crumbling. If that's a good thing.

I normally use all Riverina products (with some ranging) from the cradle to the grave, but probably wouldn't go with these again just due to the crumbling.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2009 7:42 pm 
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Discerning Duck
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I wanted to change over to a pellet so purchased the Riverina and it went into weavels very quickly.
Until I can find the Red hen brand I will have to stick to the Barastoc mix.

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2009 10:08 pm 
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Discerning Duck
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Protein levels will effect egg numbers, will have a lesser effect on chick health. It's the vitamins and minerals which effect chick health more directly. Making sure the egg and developing embryo has all the trace elements it needs to form into a healthy, thrifty chick !

I feed no pellets at all, ever. I dont like them. Soaked and boiled grain is a far better option. Reason, and it's very simple, pellets soften and will run through a chicken overnight very quickly. To use the old term " Sticks to your ribs " it's the poultry world equivalent of a belly full of grain. They stay fuller, longer, they dont empty out as quickly, they do better !

Pre soaked or boiled is well assimilated well by the fowl AND it does not turn to moosh as pellets do in the crop of the bird, and make it's way through the tract quickly.

Sprouted grains are better again ! Protein levels are through the roof ! Sprouted corn, lucern, wheat, sunflower, safflower and lupins are prized as a feed by your fowl and are one of the best options available ( You can sprout in a bucket by "just" covering the seed with enough water )

Molasses is the "secret ingredient" used in many manufactured types of chook food. Mix it with water to give your birds a molasses drink, it's full of vitamins and gives them plenty of energy over the breeding season.

There is much talk today about us, the human race, eating more simple foods. Eating more foods that have been processed less. Mmm why is your chook any different :hmmm:

Your paying some feed company to process the crap outa your chook feed ! Geez guys, sometimes the simple things in life really are the best . . . . and best for you !

Grains, Molasses, household wastes including chopped up meat scraps. I also feed a little soaked lucern chaff ( i add my molasses this way ) they really have all they need !

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2009 10:23 pm 
i think meat protiens are very important, along with greens and exercise. i use riverina coarse lay with some birds, some get the choice of turkey crumbs in a separate dish when there are chickens around. the indians get dried dog food with riverina coarse grain and some riverina coarse lay.

you have to be careful with pullets before they lay as you do not want them too fat. not only do the get egg bound but they can lay internal eggs and die slowly of peritonitis..

i actually fertilize water and add dolomite to my grass to try and keep it through the dry season, in the wet i am mowing every few days. the clippings i give to the penned birds.

i know the turkey crumbs have coccidiostat in them but i cannot find an alternative but i feel extra protien is important for birds.....and lastly the freshest possible feed as you do not want you protiens to go rancid as it removes vitamins from the feed. also humidity, age, air and heat degrade the quality of feed very quickly. i try to have a high turn over of feed....i buy my feed at least once a week but it is up to the supplier to keep it fresh too.

k


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2009 10:27 pm 
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Gallant Game
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micki so many threads tell you its about the right balance how do you know with your grain mix if you have all the balances of minerals proteins etc?

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2009 10:42 pm 
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Discerning Duck
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My feed is 70% wheat. The other 30% is made up of the other bits. A good grade of wheat is essential but feeding chooks is not rocket science ! It's just common sense.

The wheat is graded by protein content, find a good grade that will satisfy your protein needs and the rest i let the chooks decide. Sometimes they'll go for more corn, sometimes more soaked lucern, they seem to know what they want n need ! I'll adjust with a scoop more or a scoop less depending on what they have eaten last !

Does not take long to find a real real good balance !

If your soaking and sprouting you have loads of flexibility in what you feed, protein is not an issue !

Cow pea or pigeon pea has monstrous protein levels, more when sprouted, there are loads of things to try, your birds will relish the variety, mine do ! When they see a bucket in my hands they think it's Christmas every morning !

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2009 10:46 pm 
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Gallant Game
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do your chooks freerange as well micki?

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2009 11:29 pm 
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Discerning Duck
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Yeah mine free range every second day. Pens near each other get let out on a rotational system. Some pens get out everyday cause they are far enough from others not to fight.

I can only go by my own success from changing to grain. I used waaaaay less feed compared to pellets. There is a massive difference cause your birds stay fuller for longer. Supplement with lucern chaff n molasses, sprout some. I use Dolomite lime too like Ruff, i actually sprinkle a little on wet grains and feed it.

I found on grain they were fuller longer and they stopped looking for excuses to stop laying !

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2009 11:40 pm 
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Gallant Game
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mmm molasses brings back memories mum used to get us to feed the chooks with pollard mixed with molasses and milk when we were kids i'm sure we ate just as much of it as the chooks did :rofl:
Back on Topic thanks Mick and Ruff

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PostPosted: Tue Jul 14, 2009 11:45 pm 
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Fiesty Fowl
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Micki is on the money with the sprouting.... I've reared pullets to point of lay virtually exclusively on sprouted lupins. The only other feed was scraps and free range every day...

Chilli, paprika and capsicum all have great vitamans also..!

I recently spoke to a dead set expert from a major feed company who downplayed the importance of protien, for him, it was more about energy levels...

Molasses is the key. But beware as it can taint the flavour of the egg....

This week I spoke to an older farmer out near Canberra.... He grows and eats his own chooks and has done for 60 years.... He bulks them up prior to eating with rice pollard mash... Again, high in energy....

Cheers,

Nath...


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 15, 2009 12:28 am 
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Fiesty Fowl
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I can't get my birds to eat lupins, both sprouted and unsprouted.

The old timers always swore by milk as a great conditioner and plenty of exercise

This year I'm planting Moringa Oleifera to feed to my birds. Probably the most nutritious plant source in the world

MP


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 15, 2009 9:12 am 
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Prime Pekin
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Sorry if this falls into the dumb question section...

Exactly how much is a ration? What do I feed per chook large/small.

Whats the protocol for sprouting, Just soak and leave or is there something else I should do.

I have been waiting for someone to mention the how too's :oops: but nothing yet so I figured I better ask?

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