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Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by geebs, Jan 26, 2011.
Mine were 6 months old on Thursday. Still no eggs.
you may get a few eggs by thanksgiving.... then with winter you will get nothing til spring.... then they will go broody and not lay till they hatch and raise a few chicks... than after a few weeks of nice eggs they will go broody again and again all summer till they finally molt! Do I sound exasperated!!!! I am!!!! I love these birds but have not been impressed with the # of eggs I have been getting. Maybe next year will be better?
Be patient Marans are often late to mature.
Quote:I LOVE broodies so I won't mind a bit if mine take that route ...
One of mine started at 22 weeks but only 1 of 6. I did not get these birds for layers to sell the eggs... that is for sure! BTW they have a higher rate of blood and meat spots so I personally will not be selling these eggs ever! The few we have eaten all had blood. Hoping that will work out, but we will see.
This is just personal experience so don't blast me please....
My first FBCM started laying at approximately 22 to 24 weeks..there were a few stragglers but not many. They laid all the way through the first winter and then the next fall into winter they molted and didn't lay til Feb/Mar. Until this year..which is my 3rd with this line they were some of my best layers. The heat stressed them a lot this summer, and they of course are getting older so I expected laying to lessen.
What I've noticed with Marans and the BCMs in particular is that they need a lot more protein all through the year to keep up laying and for plumage to look in condition. They also consume more calcium than any of my other chickens.
When I kept their protein higher and started feeding a 16% 5way Scratch, they never missed a beat. Only 2 out of my crew ever were broody.
So, just a thought to try more protein if they aren't laying as well. It's worth a try.
Quote:x2 about the protein! I feed a 16% feed and add spent grains to up the protein to about 22% and saw a HUGE improvement. Combs straightened up and my birds are laying early for Marans, well 1 is anyway. I also use a 12% Scratch. Lack of protein may be the cause of a lot of chicken problems. Feather picking, egg eating, late layers, poor eggs. I read somewhere that they used to only sell 22% layer feed, maybe that was the right amount. My roos get Game Cock and spent grains and are HUGE! I may feed that mix to my breeders.
Mine right now are getting Flock Raiser which is a 20% protein and I've been recently adding Game Bird Crumbles "Startena" which is 30% protein, mixed in. Their 16% scratch is a "Rooster Booster" Performance which can actually be fed as the sole diet of 2.5 to 3.5lbs per 10birds per day...but I only use it to supplement and bump up the protein.
My feed guy told me I was nuts, it can't make that big a difference. I can tell you that yeah, I'm nuts probably. but it did make a huge difference in condition of my entire flock and the size of the eggs as well. When I switched back to Layena or other foods, down went production and condition and egg size.
So call me crazy...but my chickens look great, lay regularly and lay bigger eggs than they used to on less protein!
I agree. More protein=more eggs and bigger eggs. I feed layena pellets and flock raiser, usually they have free choice of both. (sometimes I am lazy and just put one or the other.)
Quote:This is pretty much what I do too. 50% layer / 50% gamebird crumbles, plus 100% free range on 14 acers with compost, bugs, horse poop, grass neighbors bird feeders, etc. Maybe it is because I live farther north, they lay so late and not in the winter?
Way to go, Clyde!! I guess I have to keep him, don't you think??
And his girlfriend Bonnie got Reserve of Breed. I went home very happy. Thank you all for your help!!