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Changing their feed - Is my thought correct?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by pgrommesh, Sep 19, 2012.

  1. pgrommesh

    pgrommesh Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 12, 2012
    Ohio
    So originally I was mixing 1:1 scratch with regular feed, because I liked that I could tell what they were eating and thought it would be better. I have since realized that this was wrong and I had the sneaking suspicion that they were not eating any of their chicken food and eating only scratch due to the amount they would eat and the mess they always left.

    So...
    2 weeks ago I was getting about 10 (12 Max) eggs per.day from my 16 hens all between 20 and 28 weeks old.

    I killed the rooster (He was a menace) and added a young rooster.

    I then began to reduce the amount of scratch i was feeding until monday when i eliminated it. Egg production is down to about 3 per day now and they are barely eating any of the regular food.

    They will start eating this nutrena all flock soon right? I just want to know if I'm doing the right thing, i feel pretty bad because they are eating almost nothing.
     
  2. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    If your feed is, say, 22% or 24%, then feeding scratch in heavy doses serves a purpose. On balance, one can make it 15-17% protein that way and the flock is just fine, as long as the calcium supply stays up.

    But there are two variables in your account. The killing of the senior rooster would prove to be unsettling to the hens, in most cases, and then the double whammy of introducing a new cockerel. All this creates disturbances in the force.

    Give them time. They'll adjust to a new flock mate and to different food. Sometimes they'll strike for as long as 4 or 5 days, but they eventually cave and eat what's served.
     
  3. pgrommesh

    pgrommesh Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 12, 2012
    Ohio
    Well last Friday they broke ans ate about 6 lbs of food.

    After the one day binge they have only gone through about 5 lbs of food in the last 7 days. I know they find a lot in the 2 hours that they get to free range but something tells me something is still not right. Egg production is still only about 3 per day. I am discouraged and will look for a different feed tommorow.
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2012
  4. mickey328

    mickey328 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 4, 2012
    Northern Colorado
    Ours don't free range but they're in a portable run on grass that gets moved about every 3 days or so. We only have 6 so we just put out 2 quart sized feeders full in the morning and they free feed. They are able to find a few bugs and grass and weeds, and we give them various things to supplement. They get yogurt, veg greens, oats, comfrey, kitchen scraps; it not only supplements their feed, it gives them something to do. For "scratch" we use spent brewing grains and they get about a cup or two available a day. Once the colder weather gets here and they need more carbs and calories for keeping warm, we'll give them regular cracked corn for scratch. One thing I do like to do us make sure they get supplemental protein of some kind pretty much every day. I really think it helps with egg production...we average 5 x large to jumbo eggs a day from our 6 girls.
     

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