Do they need just straight layer feed?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by stone_family3, Dec 20, 2011.

  1. stone_family3

    stone_family3 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have 10 birds (8 girls/2 boys) they are eating a lot of layer pellets but have stopped laying (almost 2 weeks now). Can I mix something else into the layer pellets to make it a bit more cheaper?

    They get a lot of produce weekly and a lot of leftovers.
     
  2. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    You already feed them left-overs and produce. What you really need to find is a less pricey layer feed. You will only get that by finding a local feed mill, that grinds it's own. You can cut your feed cost by 40% at such a place, as opposed to buying bagged feed at a TSC or similar. Ask folks who are also from Ohio, near you, where such local mills are located.

    Our local mill sells layer feed for $10 a 50# bag, while TSC sells DuMor/Purina at $16 a 50# bag. This is where your focus should be for cost savings.
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2011
  3. stone_family3

    stone_family3 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have no idea where the nearest mill is, I don't use purina so I get #50 for $13. Also do roosters eat more then hens? My roos are new.
     
  4. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Your feed price is pretty good. Non laying hens can eat Raiser, Grower, etc. as can roosters. But, it is winter and they eat quite a bit to maintain body heat, thus, they need the calories. There just isn't a super cheap way to provide the grains they need. Corn is so much a bushel, as is milo, oats, soybeans, and sunflower seeds. The cost of feed is high and isn't likely to retreat anytime soon. The world wide demand for cereal grains is being pushed. Sorry to say, but hungry mouths, and yes, rooster mouths, cost money to feed.

    This is precisely why weighing out the hobby side with the economic side of reality is sometimes tough to do. Here, our flock is cost neutral (in winter) or slightly profitable (the rest of the year). It simply has to be that way. I enjoy it, but if done at an economic negative, it wouldn't be done at all.
     
  5. stone_family3

    stone_family3 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Honestly wouldn't mind it much if I could at least get an egg. I'm going on two weeks dry.
     
  6. stone_family3

    stone_family3 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Can I add in some uncooked oatmeal, grits, couscous, and quinoa?
     
  7. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Sure, not a problem, but how are any of those things cheaper, by the pound?
     
  8. Marcymom3

    Marcymom3 Chillin' With My Peeps

    You don't say how old your chickens are. If this is their first winter they should be laying. If they are older they are probably taking a break. Did they go through a molt? Maybe your egg production stopped because they aren't getting enough light. We put a light in our chicken coop that comes on at 3:30 a.m. and goes off at 7:00 a.m. We are getting 7-8 eggs a day from our 8 chickens.

    About the grains you mentioned, I doubt they are less expensive than layer feed.
     
  9. Chris09

    Chris09 Circle (M) Ranch

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    Where at in Ohio are you?

    You should be able to get Buckeye, Hubbard, Kent, and Kalmbach (although I don't recommend using Kalmbach)

    Chris
     
  10. BlazeJester

    BlazeJester Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Your layer feed should make up the bulk of the hens' diet. The more other stuff you feed them, the less layer feed they will eat and the less balanced their diet will be. You can feed a flock raiser (general adult poultry feed) and supplement with oyster shell that the hens will eat free choice. That may lower your feed cost.

    They need to have lots of water to lay eggs, so make sure they have plenty of clean water at all times.

    What it comes down to is that today is the shortest day of the year in the northern hemisphere. Even first year pullets may be taking a break at this point. Give them a month or so. Biology can be manipulated but it ultimately wins out.
     

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