Do I still need to feed egg maker feed when not laying for the winter?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Quack-a-DoodleDo, Dec 19, 2011.

  1. Quack-a-DoodleDo

    Quack-a-DoodleDo Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 9, 2011
    Do I still need to feed my hens Egg Maker when they have stopped laying for the winter? Or is there something better to feed them? Thanks
  2. diggerthechickenman

    diggerthechickenman Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 2, 2011
    i switch to whole core , my grandfather said it helps keep them warmer so i figured unless they are laying y feed them layimng pellets. actually where i live the corn is alot cheaper. but mine free range also so i think they get a balanced diet . i plant turnips, kale, mustard for them in the winter and they love to "grazr" in the green patch.
  3. Stacykins

    Stacykins Overrun With Chickens

    Jan 19, 2011
    Escanaba, MI
    Whole corn is definitely not nutritionally complete, so I don't recommend it being their sole diet. And the idea that grains 'warm' birds more than other foods is incorrect. Any digestion produces energy, thus warmth.

    That said, most birds in the winter time are also molting, so the energy that is going towards egg laying is instead going towards their own bodies. They still need calories and nutrition, even if they aren't pumping out many eggs. I'd suggest you still feed them the same food, they need it to stay in good condition.
  4. Chris09

    Chris09 Circle (M) Ranch

    Jun 1, 2009
    If there not Laying then there is no need to feed the a Layer type feed [they don't need extra calcium at this time because there not laying].
    You can feed them a Starter/Grower, Grower or a Game Bird feed.

  5. DTchickens

    DTchickens Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 23, 2008
    Bailey, Mississippi.
    Quote:The idea that corn warms birds I don't believe comes from digestion producing energy, I've never heard it explained that way.

    Every time I've thought or heard of corn keeping birds warm, it has always been how fat corn makes them. Corn is carbohydrates, if they don't use it, it just turns to fat. Fat will make anything/anyone hot, ask any obese person and they'll be burning up in a room while people who are their correct weight will be fine.

    How well it helps I'm not sure, but I know in the summer birds with a little extra weight will appear to be burning up versus birds that are in shape.

    ETA:I do agree that it is not nutritionally complete, but if it is supplementing a free range diet perhaps it's alright.
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2011
  6. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 23, 2009
    I feed layer year round. Our flock doesn't stop laying completely, only slows down.
  7. diggerthechickenman

    diggerthechickenman Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 2, 2011
    well like i said my grandfather said it kept them warmer, ( can be tru can be false) and i agree with the amount of fat , thus being said i do not only feed them corn but add more of it to their scratch feed. and i also plant turnip mustard greens and they eat that all winter also . i apologize if it was taken that i suggested to only feed corn , that was not my intention. i was just sharing what i was told from an old man many years ago.
  8. ScottyHOMEy

    ScottyHOMEy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 21, 2011
    Waldo County, Maine
    No reason to feed layer (which is primarily mixed for the higher calcium, among other things) while they're not laying. And, in my book anyway, the argument that added carbs will contribute warmth (not just from the exertion of the gut in digesting it) is a sound one.

    But if the birds are in a molt, I'd focus on upping their protein while they're molting, from they 16% of a typical layer feed, to a starter /grower of 20-22%. Feathers are large part protein. The more you can give them, the faster they'll feather back in without sapping much if any of the proteins in their own systems. If you're in an area with remarkable cold, it would be important to feed them so they can do that quickly.

    If you have some that are laying sporadically, just keep some oyster shell where they will find it to replace what thay aren't getting from a non-layer-type feed.
  9. vjbakke

    vjbakke Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 21, 2011
    Just curious why they have stopped laying? Due to lack of light, or too cold? If you could supplement some light they may keep laying. If not then like others have said the don't need the layer feed. We have LED rope lights on the inside of the coop, set up on a timer. Just a friendly tip if it could work for you.
  10. can you hear me now?

    can you hear me now? Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 18, 2008
    Southwest Missouri
    I usually mix cracked corn in when winter comes if I choose for them to not be laying. Otherwise I keep them on layer pellets year round since it is still a good nutrition.

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