Feed Mix Ratios

Trailbo

In the Brooder
9 Years
Feb 5, 2010
14
0
22
California
My question is in regards to mixing feed, oyster shell, and grit. Is there a ratio or percentage that one mixes said ingredients as to not make the mixture to stong in any one item? We just added 6 new hens (Barred Rocks) to our 5 previous Leghorns and RIR Roo one week ago, Feb. 27th. One of the BR hens laid one egg a day for 5 days and then stopped. Or maybe they are rotating egg laying duties amongst them, IDK. Just before the last egg we collected from the BR's, I noticed yolk on one of the leghorn eggs. I was told to add oyster shell in a seperate container which I did. But still no eggs now for 3 days. Yesterday I took it upon myself to integrate the oyster shell into the feeder mixed with the feed so they all get some and don't bypass the seperate container. This morning I went out and found two very soft shelled BR eggs. Ages range from about one year to two years old, as I was told by the seller. I think one is just starting to lay, hence the soft eggs. So one may be younger than originally thought. The leghorns dropped off production for two days, but are back up. We get regularly 4 to 5 white eggs a day. I suspected maybe the BR hens were eating eggs, but I am now thinking maybe the eggs are breaking and then they are eating them. Never had this problem before with the leghorns when they were alone. The BR's may be coming out of a moult, stressed from the move, and just getting aquinted to their new surroundings. My feeder is a gallon, or 3lb feeder which I try to keep filled all the time. What kind of ratio or measurements should I try for them to get all they should?

Thank you
 

FlashPointFarm

Songster
10 Years
11 Years
Jan 24, 2009
1,891
18
198
Iowa
If they are just starting to lay, you will get some odd eggs for a while.

Are you feeding a layer ration? That should have enough calcium in it.

The best luck I've had for this issue is to give either powdered milk or unmedicated milk replacer mixed with their layer ration for a few days. You could do regular milk too, yogurt... Lime works as well. A week of this and they should be fine. I don't measure, just a handful per scoop.
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ETA: If you give treats, you may want to back off on that for a while and see what happens.
 
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chicmom

Dances with Chickens
10 Years
Feb 24, 2009
8,696
284
316
Strasburg Ohio
Hey there Trailbo-

When you get new layers, there will be an adjustment time when the chickens will not lay eggs. Things won't be quite right for about a month, when they are used to their new surroundings, and have figured out their pecking order. I'm betting those first eggs you got were already in the new chickens systems, which explains why they layed 5 eggs and then stopped. This is totally normal.

As far as the oyster shell and grit go, I never add it into the feed. Trust me they will take it when they want it. I just offer it in separate containers and they do take it as they wish. Are you feeding a nice 16% layer mix? That will ensure proper nutrition for your layers. You will see in another three weeks or so things will calm down and those eggs will start coming again.

I believe your soft shells are because your BRs are probably younger than you were told. That is very common with newly laying pullets. And often times, those soft shelled eggs get broken, and that could explain the yolk.

Maybe you could collect once in the morning, and once in the afternoon....just so eggs aren't sitting around very long. If you do find broken eggs, just put some dummy eggs, or ceramic eggs around that the chickens will peck at, and have no luck. That may just do the trick and they'll often quit breaking eggs if that is the case.

Good luck to you!
Sharon
 

Trailbo

In the Brooder
9 Years
Feb 5, 2010
14
0
22
California
I forgot to mention, but yes I am feeding a Layena 16% layer crumble and because the BR's were getting pellets we switched over to Layena 16% pellets. It's kind of a mix right now until the crumble is gone. There is another brand I get from a local feed store, I forget the name, but it is a 16% and for some reason our hens love it and are very productive on it. We buy that whenever we get to that feed store. The leghorns don't seem to mind one bit whether it's crumble or pellets. I collect every morning about 6am before work and also in the evening about 4:30 or so when I get home, so yes I do collect often. Even more on the weekends. You all are such a big help...Thanks!
 

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