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Is this normal for non-laying hens? - Page 2

post #11 of 16

I think it's the females who have given birth, not the 'guys' RR.  ;-)

But it's also an individual living animal thing, and if one insists on a human comparison....

....some women gain extra weight when gestating, and some actually lose weight, irregardless of their consumption.

Some women can't hardly eat much at all during gestation, nausea early on (or all the way thru) and lack of internal space later on.....hahaha!

 

But, back to chickens.....

Not sure a chickens consumption is too much different when laying or not laying,

but they sure are slimmer when laying as they're using the consumed nutrition to produce the eggs rather than storing it as fat and/or flesh.

Butchering older hens has shown me that a laying hen has wayyy less fat on/in her body when laying than when no longer laying.

 

Agrees, I have also observed that they eat less during parts of molt as they 'don't feel so good'.

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply

Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.

Fantastic treatise to help decide how much SPACE your chickens need.

 

Chicken math is not just 'addition'...but also should include Division, Multiplication and especially Subtraction!!!

 

Quoting centrarchid:

"Make every effort to understand your chicken's biology and the environment that supports it."

Reply
post #12 of 16
Thread Starter 

Thanks all for the replies.  It does sound like it's normal for their food consumption to go down when they're not laying (and yes, my chickens do have feather loss issues - I'm not sure if it's related to molt or to something else)  I think my main concern is that it's not because they are eating straw and shavings (I did catch some today with straw in their gullets, so I'm convinced that they do eat it - One of them had a piece that I thought I might have to pull out - It seemed like it took her forever to get it down).  Perhaps it would be to their advantage if we tried wood chips or sand.  I will consider going there when we take the straw out.

 

My other concern is not letting the food get stale. I bought it in October, so I think it should still be good, but I will toss it come January if there is any left.

post #13 of 16

My chickens eat more of their commercial feed during winter, not less, regardless of egg laying.  There is no forage in the pasture, very few bugs etc.  The exception is when any of them are molting, then they do eat less, but otherwise feed consumption is up not down.

wife to long suffering husband who has built more miles of fence, barns, coops and enclosures then one man should have to, two teenage boys, current flock of 13 assorted hens, 1 big red roo and a list of other assorted farm animals. 
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wife to long suffering husband who has built more miles of fence, barns, coops and enclosures then one man should have to, two teenage boys, current flock of 13 assorted hens, 1 big red roo and a list of other assorted farm animals. 
Reply
post #14 of 16
Thread Starter 

Then perhaps I do need to get the feather issue fixed - Rule out any creepy crawlies, put them on higher protein feed, and set up a dust bath area that they can use during the rainy season :)  I will do that ASAP.


Edited by SusanD - 12/12/15 at 6:02pm
post #15 of 16
Two of my pullets lay 6-7 eggs a week. But for some reason they may be eating less of their feed? They get to free range. Maybe I am feeding too many veggies.
post #16 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by cafarmgirl View Post

My chickens eat more of their commercial feed during winter, not less, regardless of egg laying.  There is no forage in the pasture, very few bugs etc.  The exception is when any of them are molting, then they do eat less, but otherwise feed consumption is up not down.
Yes but you free-range. The consumption, based off available insects, would not differ in a coop. Laying eggs would.
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