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Eating Habits

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Guzzlingguide, Jul 1, 2011.

  1. Guzzlingguide

    Guzzlingguide Hatching

    Jun 8, 2009
    My chickens are not eating very much of their laying pellets. Their egg production is off. I do feed them cracked corn every day and they attack it like they are starved. The same with any scraps we put it, ie bread, vegis, etc.
    Does anyone know if this is normal? Should I stop the corn?

  2. galanie

    galanie Treat Dispenser No More

    Aug 20, 2010
    I would stop the corn. They need for their food to be the largest percent of their daily intake. You could also try making a mash with it, just soak some in water till it's a paste.
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    [​IMG] Welcome to the forum! [​IMG] Glad you joined us! [​IMG]

    Obviously what they eat will affect their peformance. Looking at body weight and the weight of an egg, it is similar to a woman giving birth every week or two if a chciken lays an egg every day. The nutrition, especially protein, that is used to make eggs needs to be replaced.

    Layer feed contains all they "need" to lay eggs. Corn is probably a big component of that Layer feed, but it is mixed in a proportion with other things to get the nutritional balance right. By feeding them corn and treats, you upset that balance. That is not a big deal as long as you don't go overboard. The rule of thumb is to feed them no more treats in a day than they can clean up in 10 to 20 minutes. In your case, I'd stop or reduce the corn and feed them the scraps as treats. It is more varied and balanced.

    Think of the treats, especially the corn, as candy. Almost always, the flock prefers the corn over their regular feed. They will fill up on it and not eat their regular feed. There is nothing wrong with a little candy, but it should not be a major portion of their diet.
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2011
  4. savingpurple

    savingpurple Songster

    Apr 2, 2011
    NW Ohio
    In response to the answer, here is a follow up question....I feed my ladies treats alot, but they are always healthy ones. Grapes, broccolli, lettuce, tomatoes, fresh corn, cabbage, collard greens, kale, melon. Now are these bad to give on a regular basis? Should I be stopping this and letting them get back to the feed as the main source. I only give what can fit in a small suet basket. Every other day or so.

    Guzzlingguide...welcome to the forum.
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2011

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