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What to feed chickens to lay more eggs. - Page 4

post #31 of 318

Very interesting!

 

I wonder why if hens do better with 30% protein, the layer bags are only half at 16%?

 

idunno.gif

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Visit our Hen House & read how we put 2 pullets together successfully.

 

I'm so egg-cited! Have an egg-cellent day!

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My Member Page has photos of how we started ~ Does yours?
Visit our Hen House & read how we put 2 pullets together successfully.

 

I'm so egg-cited! Have an egg-cellent day!

Reply
post #32 of 318

Some younger hens need some amount of protein to grow, so higher protein will let them lay better. I mix my game bird starter with layer to 20-22% so it will benefit all young birds too.

post #33 of 318
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quyen Le View Post

Some younger hens need some amount of protein to grow, so higher protein will let them lay better. I mix my game bird starter with layer to 20-22% so it will benefit all young birds too.


Right. That's why I like flock raise. 20%. Great for them all and the roosters.

Nesting Hills Farm - Breeder of Heritage and Standard Large Fowl. 

Buff Brahmas and Black Copper Marans. More Breeds will be added soon.

Coming Soon : New Zealand Red Rabbits.

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Nesting Hills Farm - Breeder of Heritage and Standard Large Fowl. 

Buff Brahmas and Black Copper Marans. More Breeds will be added soon.

Coming Soon : New Zealand Red Rabbits.

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post #34 of 318
Thread Starter 

I'm thinking it's just the weather, maybe the winter season is making it hard for them to lay more than 2 dozen but we have like 20 more hens or even more about to start laying. So i think our egg production will deliver nicely here in the next month.

post #35 of 318

How many hens do you have and how many eggs do you have a day?

post #36 of 318
Thread Starter 

35 hens, and it averages between a dozen to almost 2 dozen.

post #37 of 318
Quote:
Originally Posted by ll View Post

Very interesting!

 

I wonder why if hens do better with 30% protein, the layer bags are only half at 16%?

 

idunno.gif

 

As I stated above, 16% is appropriate for most layer breeds in moderate temperatures.  Before peak production when the birds are still growing or during high ambient temperatures when their consumption is down a higher level of protein is more appropriate, but that's still only in the range of 17-18%.  A 17-18% layer feed would do the job, or perhaps a 20% mix cut by feeding  supplemental scratch on the side.

 

Where 16% is appropriate you can't be feeding large amounts of scraps and scratch on the side, it needs to be their sole ration, supplemental feeding only dilutes that ration.  It's like asking the mill to mix up a 16% ration and then asking then to dump extra corn into it.  The result is no longer a 16% ration.

 

30% protein would probably be hard on their kidneys as most of the excess protein would be excreted in their manure.  The excess nitrogen in the manure will generate high levels of ammonia.  Protein is expensive too...

post #38 of 318

I am really confused, so many suggestions on foods and light and pepper and all sorts of things, but I never noticed anyone asking or mentioning the type of hen the question was regarding.  I mean I have a dozen hens.  I can bank on 8 eggs per day, year round with an exception of moulting season....and mine happen to moult only once per year.  Now, I have four hens, their breeds tend to lay one egg every 3rd day.....But since Muffin lays pink eggs, I know she will lay two days in a row, one day off.  Her sister Mango, she lays green eggs and is spot on every other day.  My Orphingtons lay two days on, one day off....which is okay because I was informed by the breeder they tend to lay every other day.  The others tend to be about 300 eggs per year. 

 

Anyhow, if you are still curious, find out more about your breeds, they might be the correct ages for laying "prime", you might be feeding them correctly....but their breed might not be a daily layer.

post #39 of 318

We get an organic ration from the local mill.  It's a mix of corn, wheat, soy, peas, and vitamin/mineral premix.  We have a large flock of red sex-links for organic egg production.  Our current flock is about 40 weeks old and has been laying at peak for about three months.  They are sustaining 95% production on 15.5% layer feed.  Normally a 16% ration carries our flocks through the winter, but this flock is slightly heavier than previous flocks and is eating a bit more feed.  When I lowered the protein to 15% the average egg size started going down and we lost a couple percent of production for a few weeks.  I raised the level of protein in the feed to 15.5% and production came right back to peak.  The average temperature in the hen house during the winter is around 60 degrees.  If if it were colder in there they would be eating more feed and could get by with an even lower level of protein in the feed.

 

In the spring after the snow is gone we will start letting them outside to forage.  The additional forage and increasing temperatures causes a drop in production unless we up the ration to 16.5% or 17%.  That usually sustains them through the summer, as by that time they are well over a year old, their egg production is down slightly due to their age, and they don't need higher levels of protein to maintain rapid growth.

post #40 of 318

As udovitchtony and kuntrygirl note, you have to feed what is appropriate for your flock, but as I said, a general understanding goes a long way.

 

Lower protein layer feeds are appropriate for winter conditions or older hens.  Higher protein layer feeds are appropriate for young layers that are still growing and summertime conditions.  The range is quite small though, 16-18%.  As I noted in my previous post I see changes in production just by adjusting the crude protein by one-half of one percent, not several percentage points at a time.  Obviously such small increments are beyond those available in bagged retail feed, but my point is that if your flock is not producing well on a 16% layer ration, then a 17%, 18% layer feed or even a 20% flock raiser fed with supplemental scratch would be more appropriate than high protein feeds developed for other species.


Edited by Mac in Wisco - 2/15/13 at 6:37pm
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