Both. Layer feed gives the hen the viatmins that she needs and oftentimes will increase egg production. That being said, I have read on several posts, that you do not want to feed straight layer feed to a pullet that has not began laying yet as it is not good to force her to lay too soon (before she is ready). I don't know all the reasons why, but that is what I have heard.
Not really. As above....It would if you were feeding a deficient diet and then switched to a complete layer feed. If you are already feeding a complete chick starter as most people would, then all it does is change the quality of the shell (for the most part, not getting into every little detail to save space) There are many differing beliefs on what feed and when. Mine never get a layer, they get a mix of other "complete" feed types with oyster shell free choice, for example
Guess I should have made it clear as to why I was asking. We've finally had some rain here and things are starting to green up. I've been cutting a lot of naturally occurring greens (read weeds) and giving it to them. They aren't eating as much of their scratch/layer mix, but egg production has fallen off in the last few days.
Adequate nutrition is certainly important in egg production, if the hen is not getting enough to eat, she can't produce eggs very well, so she will lay less or stop laying. There is no ingredient in layer feed that "makes" them lay. I personally find my hens lay better when they eat a more "old fashioned" ration of whole grains and animal proteins than on layer feed. Also, the eggs are better on a more varied diet. Layer feed is what is fed to commercial hens, and their eggs are not all that impressive. I think storebought eggs taste nasty. Eggs from birds eating a more varied diet have a richer flavor and are more filling, to me.
It is possible that a change in diet has decreased your production level. Most greens are low in protein, and you want them to be getting at least 16% protein. You're already decreasing your protein levels by mixing the scratch (low protein food) with the layer feed, so unless the greens you are feeding are alfalfa or other legumes, they might not be getting enough. Try adding more protein sources to their diet.
Depending on the brand of feed you are feeding there may be little or no difference between Starter, Grower and Layer other than Protein amount some medication in the Starter and Grower and Calcium in the Layer Feed.
im not experienced but as far as i know.. layer feed, to be exact, is a SUPPLEMENT. you see, and egg's white is made almost of protein, the shell is made up of lotsa calcium and the yolk is full of nutrients. now if an egg-laying hen only gets ordinary feed, bugs and grass.. where will she get her calcium and additional protein? LAYER FEED.
all of the above taken into account, winter, snow,clouds basically lack of light. after the winter soltice here in alaska, we are starting to gain light, but my 19 week old barred rocks still no trophy.,even a good fart egg would do
Layer Feed is a Complete Feed not a Supplement, a Supplement or Supplemental Feed would be like Manna Pro Poultry Conditioner, Manna Pro Calf Manna, Rooster Booster Poultry Booster, Rooster Booster Poultry Cell, Oyster Shells etc.
now if an egg-laying hen only gets ordinary feed, bugs and grass.. where will she get her calcium and additional protein?
If not feeding a layer feed then the extra Calcium (Ca) that a hen needs to produce eggs would come in the form of Oyster Shells and or Calcium Carbonate. Layer feed will range from 16 to 20 percent protein not much different than a starter or grower feed.