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Does type of feed increase eggs?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by mooSa, May 4, 2009.

  1. mooSa

    mooSa Chillin' With My Peeps

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    For people with experience, i was wondering if the type of feed would make a difference in egg taste and egg number. For example maybe organic wheat would increase eggs?
     
  2. digitS'

    digitS' Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Let me tell you about my experience with wheat.

    When I first went off on my own and got laying hens an old fellow asked me what I was going to feed them. I said that there was a neighbor who farmed a piece of ground and sold wheat by the bag. I thought I would buy some of that for them. He said, "Well, that's all we used to feed them."

    I took them off the commercial feed that they came with and started feeding them just wheat. They promptly shut down on egg production. As long as I was feeding them only wheat, I don't remember them laying 1 egg [​IMG].

    Sure, you can keep a chicken alive on something like wheat. It may be a pretty darn good food for them, too. But, they really need something more to be as productive as selective breeding has made these birds to be.

    Eggs are formed from excess nutrients not needed for the hen's own maintenance. If she can't get enuf of what she needs, she certainly can't make eggs.

    Will her diet make a difference in the taste of her eggs? I sure think so! That's why I like my laying hens to have plenty of green growing food - like from my backyard lawn [​IMG].

    . . . just my 2¢.

    Steve
     
  3. DukeDawg528

    DukeDawg528 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I know that laying crumbles sure do make a difference...
     
  4. Stephen in SoKY

    Stephen in SoKY Chillin' With My Peeps

    Yes, it's an oversimplification.....but eggs are protein, water & calcium. If a hen is short on any 1 of the three production drops. I'm unaware of any single feed source that provides everything needed on its own.
     
  5. OKbirdwatcher

    OKbirdwatcher Out Of The Brooder

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    digitS' :

    Will her diet make a difference in the taste of her eggs? I sure think so! That's why I like my laying hens to have plenty of green growing food - like from my backyard lawn [​IMG].

    . . . just my 2¢.

    Steve

    Hi Steve![​IMG] Thanks for your 2cents.

    So you think lots of greens make the best tasting eggs?

    Do you, or does anyone else, have an opinion on other foods that will help produce the yummiest eggs? Or is green food the main thing?

    We have lots of clover and many other backyard weeds (which I once disliked, but now have a new-found appreciation for) along with the grass, of course. My problem is that I don't know if any of these weeds would be harmful to the girls. Heck, I don't even know what most of them are called, so how do I know if they're on the toxic list.[​IMG]

    I need a Weeds for Dummies [​IMG]

    I know.....google is my friend.​
     
  6. digitS'

    digitS' Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yep, I think it is fresh growing food that makes for good-tasting eggs.

    I'm sure that there are things that the birds really, really shouldn't eat and that will damage their health. But, I'm not terribly worried about them as long as they have some better choices.

    I gotta say that we know for a fact that millions of dollars are lost each year on the farm because livestock eat the wrong stuff. But, these are grazing animals for the most part. They eat a lot of plants - a chicken eats a lot of its grain-based feed. And, probably 99.99% of the chickens in this country have never seen a plant. That doesn't give us too much of a data base for plants toxic to chickens, but . . .

    The feed you have for your chickens is likely to be fairly nutritious and safe. If they've got it free-choice, it isn't as tho' they are starving and need to eat whatever else is available to them.

    I should be careful here because your backyard is different from my backyard and maybe even different from your neighbor's backyard. But, if the birds find something in the yard that is toxic, they probably aren't too inclined to eat it.

    [​IMG] Steve

    17 Common Poisonous Plants - ASPCA

    A call to your local Cooperative Extension office with a question about toxic weeds common in your part of the world should help.
     
  7. Big Chicken Little

    Big Chicken Little Chillin' With My Peeps

    When chickens are free to eat bugs around the garden there eggs sure do taste better.
     
  8. caralouise1974

    caralouise1974 Chillin' With My Peeps

    I think this answers my question from the Emergencies etc section... my poor hen who is laying up to four eggs a day (including lots of soft shells and accompanying egg binding) could be slowed down/stopped if we simply took her off complete layer's feed/pellets and fed her mostly grains, right?

    And this wouldn't damage her or adversely affect her health would it? I don't want her malnourished, I just want her to stop suffering with all this excessive egg laying.
     
  9. upthecreek

    upthecreek Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You need to offer free choice ground Oyster Shell all the time , this should take care of the soft shells & etc .

    I've got several pens with a couple hens and rooster that i can move around on the grass and weeds . Believe me if there was a dangerous weed/grass we never knew it , they go through that grass and weeds like a garden tiller and i move them to a new spot and the same thing over again (over & over) lol .
    They lay like crazy , delicious eggs with reall yellows !! I also move them into any area that i can not get into with my mower or weedeater . They blow it away !!!

    I will not say there's not any weed or grass that is dangerous to chickens but i would sure lean that way . Their stomachs gotta be strong but you know they won't eat a tree like a goat will(LOL) (come to think of it there are things that chickens will not eat) maybe they are smarter than we think !!

    Best of Luck
     
  10. OKbirdwatcher

    OKbirdwatcher Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks everyone. Green plants it is then!!! All they can eat. 'Cause it's all about those delicious eggs - at least for now.

    Steve, I'll check out those links. Thank you.

    up the creek,

    I know they're smarter than we think.
     

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