Originally Posted by Rebel Cowgirl
I know chicken feed already has a lot of corn in it, but to save money and be able to feed my hens better, could I mix a little cracked corn in with my laying pellets? Or anything else that you recommend? Will this affect their egg laying? They get Dumor laying pellets(Not free choice but every day that lasts them most of the day). Is this a good brand or should I switch? I've got 4 golden comets and 2 marans. They are about a year old. They're laying pretty well, but I want them to do better, because the golden comets should be doing much better than they are.
I've also got Muscovy ducks and guineas that are free ranged(the chickens aren't) that I feed the same thing, so it needs to be safe for them. Also, what do you think of "flock blocks" from Tractor Supply?
Layer feed is already about minimum protein for laying production....adding corn just dilutes that protein.
They should free access to feed all the time, or they may gorge on less appropriate things, like feathers picked off their flock mates bodies and/or eggs.
I like to feed a flock raiser/grower/finisher 20% protein crumble to all ages and genders, as non-layers(chicks, males and molting birds) do not need the extra calcium that is in layer feed and chicks and molters can use the extra protein. Makes life much simpler to store and distribute one type of chow that everyone can eat. I do grind up the crumbles (in the blender) for the chicks for the first week or so.
The higher protein crumble also offsets the 8% protein scratch grains and other kitchen/garden scraps I like to offer. I adjust the amounts of other feeds to get the protein levels desired with varying situations.
Calcium should be available at all times for the layers, I use oyster shell mixed with rinsed, dried, crushed chicken egg shells in a separate container.
Animal protein (mealworms, a little cheese - beware the salt content, meat scraps) is provided during molting and if I see any feather eating.