Egg laying and diet question

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by runsw/scissors, Aug 16, 2011.

  1. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Chillin' With My Peeps

    This is possibly a silly question.... but I'm really curious.

    My son's father who is much more experienced in chicken keeping says that if you feed your hen fruit they will experience a sharp decline in the number of eggs they lay. He says he read this in a book years ago. He also swears that his experience backs this up...

    Now, this man has many lovely qualities, but this constant harping on not feeding fruit to my hens is NOT one of them. [​IMG] I am getting just just 5 eggs a week from the one hen at this point. (I have 3 adult hens, 1 is new to my flock and hasn't started laying again, and the other raised 10 chicks and hasn't recovered her laying capabilities yet... the chicks are about 13 weeks old so any time now!) I normally feed them their layer rations in the am and then let out to forage about noon and have them back in the coop about 6pm. They get their scraps in the evening. Those scraps consist of whatever my son and I eat. So, they do get some fruit. This man carries on like I'll never get eggs if I feed them fruit. is this true? I appreciate any insight you might have.

    TIA

    runs w/ scissors
     
  2. Erica

    Erica Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 5, 2010
    At least he cares. [​IMG]

    Small amounts of fruit are only a problem if you're expecting the birds to thrive on it instead of something higher protein. Yes they will reduce laying, and it will happen quickly. However if their basic diet is fully formulated or if they have a lot of insects etc in the diet, a small amount of fruit isn't a drama.

    I will add though that it probably doesn't do much for them. Unlike humans, chickens manufacture their own vitamin C. [​IMG]

    cheers
    Erica
     
  3. runsw/scissors

    runsw/scissors Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thanks for the reply! Since I got the hens for both eggs and meat, I suppose I should lay (Ha!) off giving them any fruit at least until all my adult hens are laying again. although, what's whats a few less eggs here and there between friends?? [​IMG]

    Anyway, thanks again for the reply...
     
  4. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    Old wives tale.

    Might have some merit if that was all the chicken got to eat. But as a treat, I don't think it effects laying.

    Imp
     
  5. Jeffross1968

    Jeffross1968 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 14, 2011
    Smoky Mountains
    Not supposed to feed citrus fruit though, right?
     
  6. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    Quote:I have the same opinion of the citrus myth.

    Imp
     
  7. nwfl

    nwfl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 4, 2011
    Northwest Florida
    I have fruit trees, citrus trees, yaupons, veggie garden and herbs. My ladies and duck hens free range for several hours a day and eat a variety of herbs, leaves, seasonal fruits including cherry plumbs, pomagranates, figs. They lay well and eat plenty of feed. Oops, plums.
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2011
  8. Jeffross1968

    Jeffross1968 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 14, 2011
    Smoky Mountains
    Quote:I have the same opinion of the citrus myth.

    Imp

    Interesting. I've never thought about feeding citrus anyway....they do get peach and apple and banana from time to time. I guess if I were living in FL and had orange trees it would be important for me to know [​IMG]
     
  9. Kansas Gal

    Kansas Gal Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 15, 2009
    Hutchinson, Kansas
    I am having a REAL problem with my hens. I have 51 laying hens, ranging in age from 20 weeks (just starting to lay) to 22 months. Of all my girls, I am only getting between 5-8 eggs a day (one day, I got 10, but only once in several weeks.) I have been feeding 16% layer crumbles and scratch, but then, to 'treat' them, I cut up cantaloupe, watermelon, cauliflour, lettuce, etc. I would give them about 3/4 of a gallon freezer bag full every day. Other days, I cut grass clippings for them to eat. I am concerned I have 'treated' them too much, and this is why they are not laying. Also, however, we have been in an extreme drought here in Kansas, and temps have been in the 100s nearly every day for a month and a half. I spoke with a lady from a hatchery, and asked her if I should add more protein to their diet. She said not in this heat, and suggested only giving layer crumbles and scratch, and could add some grass clippings for them as well. The hens appear quite healthy. They have an area about 65' x 100' to run around in during the day, but there is no longer any vegetation in the pen, thus this is why I add the greens. I am trying to get my 'egg business' off the ground, and it is kind of hard when I get just a few eggs a day! Yesterday, I got ZERO eggs, today, 6. I don't understand it, unless this heat has affected all of them. They have access to fresh water constantly, and on really hot days, I empty out all the waterers twice a day and replace with fresh water, and turn on three misters, which they lay around. Does anyone have any suggestions for me? If it makes any difference, I have Red Stars, Bulvan Goldline, Australorps, Wyandotte, Jersey Giant, Cochins, RIR and Orpingtons. Any suggestions will be most appreciated!
     
  10. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    My first couple of thoughts are the heat. (But don't trust me on that- I'm in Seattle) or hidden nests. Have you searched for hidden eggs?

    Imp
     

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