Brown shaver being mean to the other one

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7 years 3 weeks ago #532295 by Tessa
I have two brown shaver hens who have been fine together. But since one had gone off the lay and is moulting, the other one has been so mean to it. It keeps chasing it away and it's even tried to pull out feathers! Really odd, as I hadn't come across that before. They are usually the best of buddies and usually walk around the garden as if they're joined at the hip. Not really sure what to do. Any ideas why this is happening?

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7 years 3 weeks ago #532305 by Stikkibeek
Because the moulting one looks different to what the other was used to, it could be a trigger to attack. With feather pulling, it could also indicate protein levels, and the one refurbishing her feathers will certainly be looking for more protein. Make sure the laying hen has access to good protein as well. Your hen feed needs to be a minimum of 18% and you can top them up a bit more by giving dog sausage, or cat food. Just check it is not too high in salt.

Did you know, that what you thought I said, was not what I meant :S

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7 years 3 weeks ago #532310 by Tessa
Yes, I did wonder if it was because she looks a bit different to before. When you mention protein, they do free range, so they get a lot of goodness etc plus I feed them peck n lay. Is that enough?

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7 years 3 weeks ago #532313 by Stikkibeek
What protein rating does peck n lay have, and is it animal or soya protein? With the colder weather lots of bugs will be dying off now (haven't seen a cricket for about 10 days) so I would expect protein to be going down.

Did you know, that what you thought I said, was not what I meant :S

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7 years 3 weeks ago #532365 by tonic
peck n lay should have enough protein but it may be that they need extra just now. They are very effective hunters so unless they have a large area they could have wiped out most of the insect life, and the frosts will do some also.

I would be cautious of using dog food etc to top up protein, the ones I checked are only 10% protein, whilst the chicken food will be much higher. So, if they are eating the dog food they may eat fewer pellets and could lower their protein intake.

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7 years 3 weeks ago #532366 by Hawkspur

tonic wrote: peck n lay should have enough protein but it may be that they need extra just now. They are very effective hunters so unless they have a large area they could have wiped out most of the insect life, and the frosts will do some also.

I would be cautious of using dog food etc to top up protein, the ones I checked are only 10% protein, whilst the chicken food will be much higher. So, if they are eating the dog food they may eat fewer pellets and could lower their protein intake.


What ones were only 10% protein? That figure surprised me so much I have just looked online at about 20 different ones available in NZ and the lowest was still over 20% with most between that and 35% and others went up to over 60%.

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7 years 3 weeks ago #532367 by Stikkibeek

Hawkspur wrote: What ones were only 10% protein? That figure surprised me so much I have just looked online at about 20 different ones available in NZ and the lowest was still over 20% with most between that and 35% and others went up to over 60%.

Yes and because some are quite high, it's why I suggested topping them up a bit. You can either give a moderate amount 2 x a week, (for two hens, a sandwich slice sized divided between both hens) or a little as extra each day (about a walnut sized bit each) for a week or two. It is only to give them a protein boost, not to substitute their normal food.

Did you know, that what you thought I said, was not what I meant :S

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7 years 3 weeks ago #532370 by Sue
I've looked at several makes of dog roll in the supermarket and were surprised how low they were in crude protein. I think Champ was one I looked at and here is the detail of Nutri Plus, minimum 9.5% protein. www.nutriplus.co.nz/Products/Dog-Roll/Beef-with-Rice-Dog-Roll Chunky
and Possyum are about 20 to 21% crude protein. People always like to look for a bargain and probably go for the cheapest-same applies to buying chook food-and it often turns out to be the one with the lowest protein and energy levels and the highest level of filler grains!

I too would be cautious to over estimate the amount of protein from bugs that birds are able to obtain from free range during the cooler months-they also soon deplete what is present in their foraging range. An ad lib supply of a good quality layer pellet is always the best back up and a few added treats of something like kibbled maize, sunflower seeds (for the linoleic acid beneficial to feather growth) and even just a tablespoon of mince as a treat would be sufficient.

Sue
Labrador lover for yonks, breeder of pedigree Murray Grey cattle for almost as long, and passionate poultry person for more years than I care to count.

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7 years 3 weeks ago #532373 by tonic
I must have looked at the cheap ones, it was int he supermarket and I was amazed that the companies think a meat eating animal only needs 10% protein.

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7 years 3 weeks ago #532374 by Anakei

tonic wrote: I must have looked at the cheap ones, it was int he supermarket and I was amazed that the companies think a meat eating animal only needs 10% protein.


A bit off topic but I have recently switched my dog to a raw meat diet. We tell people he has gone paleo :lol: The difference in coat and condition is amazing, and we weren't using the cheapest feed to start with. Just like human food, freshest unprocessed is best and it pays to read the small print!

Urban mini farmer and guerilla gardener

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7 years 3 weeks ago #532382 by Sue
I had another look at dog rolls in the supermarket this morning, Butch, Champ, Wag etc-all around 9 to 10%crude protein.

Yes my dog is also on a raw food diet-well almost. Have done a lot of reading on dog diets and how much grain and fillers there are in most of the dog kibble and 'cheaper' dog rolls. I do feed Orijen or Acana kibble as well, which is about 30% protein and has meat, fish and eggs as the major ingredients. Main thing it seems is not to feed raw meat and biscuits at the same time as the stomach acid levels are different to best digest the different types. Sorry, I know a bit of a digress from stroppy Shavers pecking each other!

Sue
Labrador lover for yonks, breeder of pedigree Murray Grey cattle for almost as long, and passionate poultry person for more years than I care to count.

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7 years 3 weeks ago - 7 years 3 weeks ago #532389 by tonic
Yes, my dogs have always been raw fed, with grain free dry food for when they occasionally go away for holidays. That is why I was so surprised at the protein levels of supermarket dog rolls, I was checking as a cost effective addition to my chickens protein, but obviously they were not going to be helpful.
Last edit: 7 years 3 weeks ago by tonic.

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7 years 3 weeks ago #532397 by Anakei
So back to the moulting chooks, mine are in various stages of moulting, though I have not noticed any rise in the level of aggression. Could I toss them a
couple of the raw food patties I feed the dog? They are beef and offal (frozen). Is there any problem for the chooks with them not being cooked? (the patties not the chooks :lol: )

Urban mini farmer and guerilla gardener

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7 years 3 weeks ago #532400 by Stikkibeek
Shouldn't be any problem at all as long as the bits in the patties are not large. Chooks can break up bigger pieces of meat, as my mouse hunting ones do, but gristle pieces might be too hard for them to handle and you wouldn't want a greedy one try to swallow a big bit (and choke) to stop another chook stealing it.

Did you know, that what you thought I said, was not what I meant :S

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