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Big Bird Shares: I have noticed considerable difference in the protein requirements and preference between Border canaries and German rollers, Stafford. and Colorbred. I think the Columbus Fancy are more similar to Borders but still learning about that breed optimum. Borders prefer lower protein levels likely somewhere around 16 - 18% while the others like 20% and even higher during the first five days. Whether the hen feeds and the growth rate is best when you get their protein levels right.
For those liking a higher protein level, I offer 1/4 hard boiled egg daily each morning till the chicks are banding age in addition to the usual nesting foods. Normally, it is no greens for them till their chicks are banded and usually that is at five days. Should any of the chicks show red skin tone, I immediately drop the pure egg and offer greens and plain dry nestling food. (You can pretty quickly roughly figure out if the bred likes high protein by offering the 1/4 hard boiled and they will either eat it or not.) Adding the peas to the nestling food delayed the banding age by about a day to six days rather than five.
For Borders: Higher protein levels upset seem to even discourage hens from feeding. Even last year, I was grumbling about how my Border Hens were almost universially poor feeders. I am really impressed with how much better they feed if thawed frozen peas, 1 lb package peas to 6 cups nestling food, is offered from day one!
In fact, every Border hen is now a good to great feeder just by dropping the pure hard boiled egg for them and adding the peas to their nestling food! I have older Border hens that never fed last year or in their past and they are raising full nests of chicks with just that change! I am so glad I listened to them and hear them say "Peas Please."