Do they have to have layer pellets?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by AMChandler, Mar 17, 2011.

  1. AMChandler

    AMChandler Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 24, 2010
    Missouri
    Our chickens free range during the day, all day, and we have some corn scratch in the coop. Almost out of scratch, do I need to get them layer pellets? They just started laying eggs, although I haven't eaten them yet. They also get fruit and veg and bread scraps.
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2011
  2. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Depends. For optimal health yes you want to offer layer feed. To do otherwise would require the hens to rob their own bodies stores of nutrients to produce eggs on days when their foraging hasn't been all that great.

    Just MHO. [​IMG]

    ETA: I have two free range flocks. Both flocks have a feed suitable for layers available in their coops at all times.
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2011
  3. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Short answer? Yes. If they are as efficient at feeding off the range as you suspect, the cost will be minimal. A small serving of pellets in the evenings, an amount they can consume within 30 minutes, is the sure fire way of getting maximum production out of them. Frankly, the corn is mere starch calories and after ranging, I don't really see the point, more often than once a week for something special.
     
  4. AMChandler

    AMChandler Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 24, 2010
    Missouri
    We've noticed that they don't seem to be eating much of the scratch anymore and prefer to wander around during the day. They put themselves up at dusk. Lately theyve been putting themselves to bed in a bush next to the driveway, so we have to collect them and put them in the coop! So I guess I'll get the pellets and have them out in the coop instead of the scratch.
     

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