Changed feed - how long until I see results?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by riaketty, Jul 2, 2010.

  1. riaketty

    riaketty Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 23, 2010
    I just changed our feeding program from 90% scratch/10% feed to 100% layer feed. I'm hoping this will spur egg production (I got NONE yesterday for 40 freaking hens...). I also upped the amount so they have 24/7 food access.

    How long before I should see results? How long does it take for the layer feed to take effect? It's been 3 days, I'm trying to be patient, but I'd like to see SOME improvement.
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2010
  2. ChooksChick

    ChooksChick BeakHouse's Mad Chicken Scientist

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    You should see a big change soon! The difference in protein will make the girls' systems go nuts tomorrow or the next day.
     
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    How old are they?
     
  4. riaketty

    riaketty Out Of The Brooder

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    Quote:Oh, ranging from barely egg laying to probably a few years. It's a very mixed flock.

    I would guess at least 20 are prime laying age. Maybe 10 are too young, but that's a low estimate. A few are buffs who are just old bats.
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2010
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    That killed one theory but I felt I should ask. It is strange that you are not getting any with that many in prime age. Even with the food that out of balance you should be getting some eggs with that many at laying age. Sounds like you have an idea what you are doing but I'll ask a few obvious questions anyway. Are they hiding some on you, either in weird corners of the coop and run or if they free range, who knows where? Do you have an egg eater or two? It is easy for them to get in that habit if they have been laying soft shelled eggs due to lack of enough calcium, which they get through the layer. Are they going through a molt? It can happen any time of year for various reasons. Although it is possible, I kinda doubt you have an egg eating predator because they usually don't get them all or they leave some evidence, but can you rule out a human egg predator?

    Just a few thoughts. Good luck!
     
  6. riaketty

    riaketty Out Of The Brooder

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    Quote:Sometimes we get 4-5 eggs a day.

    Not hiding. I've been keeping them penned lately. No place to hide in the pen except the boxes or roosting area, or under the coop, which i've been checking regularly.

    Egg eating was my first thought but I stuck some marked eggs in there, they're still there. No signs of yolk present. IP cam shows no varmints stealing.

    A few may be molting, I've seen some rough looking feathers, but a bunch are still nice and sleek. No signs of mites or lice on a few of them, need to catch a few more to check.

    The feed is really the only other option that I can figure out. I actually really think it's the problem... they weren't being fed enough OR the right kind. I was feeding what we used to feed for 15 hens who were free ranging, NOT 40 hens who were cooped.
     
  7. ChooksChick

    ChooksChick BeakHouse's Mad Chicken Scientist

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    It's absolutely due to feed. Scratch is only 8% protein, and they need that protein to lay. I use 18-24% for my layers, because I sell hatching eggs and the higher the protein and nutrition in the egg, the more robust the chick.

    That being said, the reason birds stop laying when they molt is the body's demand for protein increases to produce new feathers, so the eggs go by the wayside.

    This is a fine plan, and I am sure you'll see an increase in production soon. The quality of the layer feed makes a difference, too- one 18% isn't really equal to another, and store brands almost always lack the quality of major feed product lines.
     
  8. ChooksChick

    ChooksChick BeakHouse's Mad Chicken Scientist

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    Any updates?
     

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