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fat chickens won't lay eggs???

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

I went to the feed store today and got wild bird feed, etc. and some scratch food. While I was there I asked how much layer food was since my girls are almost 16 weeks now and I know I will soon need to change them over. The guy said the layer was $12 for 50lb. which I thought was good...then he said "If they aren't laying yet why are you giving them scratch?" I told him they can't free range here so I give them some scratch , weeds, scraps, etc. to keep them busy. He said my chickens would get fat and would never lay...I never heard anything like this here on the forum so I thought I'd ask you all.
Of course this is the same guy who told me I had to keep my peeps inside for 6 months!!!

Jackie & the Chicks, English Setters and Kitty at Grandview
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Jackie & the Chicks, English Setters and Kitty at Grandview
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post #2 of 8

Yes, chickens can get fat and make egg laying difficult and a death defying act.

What makes a chicken fat? What makes people fat? Not enough exercise. Eating too much junk (high fat, highly processed, high sugar, high sodium).

Layer feed, greens, weeds, occasional scratch, low fat, low sodium healthy treats, veggies and fruits are fine for chickens.

SIX MONTHS?! lau

post #3 of 8

Well, I just realized it's been a few months since your post but here goes anyway.  It's best to give your young pullets a starting/growing ration until about 18 or 20 weeks.  Everybody's opinion is different.  Some say wait until you have a few starting to lay, some say 18 weeks.  The reason for waiting is the nutrient content in a laying ration is geared for a hen that is laying.  Feeding it to her too early can trigger her to start laying early.  So far as ranging and scaps, I'm not sure.  I've always started letting mine out at 4 to 5 weeks and have never had a health problem.  Scraps may be fine to as long as its only IN ADDITION TO  a good growing ration.  So far a a fat hen not laying?  The BEST chance for getting fat is on the starting/growing ration she's eating up until you switch her.  Six months inside? I think my girls would have killed me loooooong before then.  Maybe thats why he does'nt get eggs from his fat chicks...HAHAHA

post #4 of 8

I can't read....was lookig at you joined date....long day

post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 

Just posted about 20 min. ago but I can relate to your confusion! lol
I have 10 hens and I give them about 2 cups of scratch food each day. They always have starter/grower food available and I give them greens and table scraps too.
Maybe I actually am giving them too much...hmmmm

The comment about keeping them inside for 6 months kind of damaged my opinion of this guys chicken knowledge...or his SANITY! lol

Jackie & the Chicks, English Setters and Kitty at Grandview
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Jackie & the Chicks, English Setters and Kitty at Grandview
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post #6 of 8

We have 20 birds at the moment and they don't get 2 cups of scratch a day.  Personally, I'd cut back on the scratch.

Remember that the more stuff you feed them besides their commercial feed, messes with the protein levels. Not good for any chicken, especially not for a pullet going to point of lay.

post #7 of 8
Thread Starter 

YIKE! OK, much less goodies and more regular food.
Thanks for the input!

Jackie & the Chicks, English Setters and Kitty at Grandview
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Jackie & the Chicks, English Setters and Kitty at Grandview
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post #8 of 8

You could substitute healthier goodies instead of the scratch. Our flock loves yogurt or low fat, low sodium cottage cheese with crushed garlic, or with chopped veggies or fruits. And greens are always good... clover, dandelion, plantain, purslane, alfalfa, timothy. And our flock likes lentils and bulgar, so they get them too.

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