All right want your thoughts

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Shenanigans1, May 19, 2012.

  1. Shenanigans1

    Shenanigans1 In the Brooder

    New to back yard here. I have a older hen, about 5yo that lays 1 egg aprox every other day. Dont know type and dont seem able to post photos here. Now I have her and what looks to be 3 Rodeisland red hens. guessing about 16 -18 weeks old.
    Older hen seems to have adopped them. LOL they follow her around and she stan ds watch while outside. Kind of funny
    I am feeding them Purina Poultry grit, cracked corn, Oyster shell and poultry layer crumble. Mixed equal parts of all this together.
    Also use a scratch for outside.
    They dont seem to be eating much of the food but what little scratch I place outside is gone quickly. I have 2 large water tanks, a gravity water and a 5 gal bucket of water in the coop.
    They have a fenced yard outside the coop but too many dogs and yotes to free range. Dogs are how I ended up with the other three.
    Just asking for thoughts and suggestions. Oh and for bedding Im using shredded news print.
     
  2. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Songster

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    I'm glad you enjoy watching your hens. Yes the top bird does often take on the guard duty. Now for the negative. I'll bet that what they leave in the feeder is mostly grit and oyster shell after they pick out the corn and some of the crumble. Stop mixing the grit, oyster shell, with the feed in equal parts. They don't need that much grit and oyster shell. The best way to give them those supplements is in a feeder on the side. They will only take what they need. If your feeding a scratch which probably has corn in it, do you need to give them more corn with the layer crumble?
     
  3. Shenanigans1

    Shenanigans1 In the Brooder

    Thanks. Main food has little corn in it. Store said it was complete. My father had been feeding all cracked corn. I figured the complete was better with a mix of corn. Oyster shell I sprinkle and the sam with the grit. Scratch I use sparingly outsise.
    Today I stopped at the store for groc. and they were cleaning up in the veg. area. The manager packed a bag for me. LOL Radishes, blueberries, lettuce, a small mellon, cherry tomatoes. I dont think they like radishes though. LOL
     
  4. kizanne

    kizanne Songster

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    They will love radish tops any thing in the mustard family. Collards, radish, swiss chard. Mine go crazy for collards


    Back to your feeding issue. Layer crumbles are designed to be complete nutrition for a laying hen. Don't mix corn in. It is high in carbs and they don't need it they need protein to make eggs. Adding healthy items to their pen like collards, blueberries and such will give better eggs in nutrition and taste, mostly greens will add a dark orange egg.

    Scratch and corn is mostly used to give them something to do by throwing it on the ground it gives them some natural hunt and peck time. Often times chickens fed corn only either don't lay eggs very often or are able to range to add bugs as a protein source.
     
  5. Shenanigans1

    Shenanigans1 In the Brooder

    Ok, they do not eat much of the layer mix, about a med. coffee can every two to three days. Do not like radishes, grapes, green onions, celery (so/so), cabage. Do like tomatoes, lettuse, blue berries, apples. I go to a local groc. store every other morning as they are restocking. Get a nice big bag.
    The young hens are starting to fill out and have overall grown some. Older hen hasnt laied a egg in 4-5 days now. I really think she has taken the mother hen role. Will a hen stop laying while taking care of young birds and if so for how long?
    Guessing from photos that other hens are R island reds, around 19 to 20 weeks old.
    Thanks
    Rick
     
  6. Chris09

    Chris09 Circle (M) Ranch

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    What Protein is your Layer Feed?
    If it is say 16% protein I would cut out all treats, and offer very little in the form of treats, if your feeding a high protein feed then you can add a little treats like the corn, scratch and greens.

    A example of what I am talking about would be if you are feeding a 20% protein feed you could feed up to 20 to 30% "treats".
    One other thing I would do is take the grit out of the feed mix, just put it in a bowl and they will eat what they want of it.


    Chris
     

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