Feeding advice please

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by tamz08, Jan 20, 2010.

  1. tamz08

    tamz08 Out Of The Brooder

    Hi everyone just got the 6 girls home on Saturday. They are healthy, 24weeks old POL. They seem happy with the coop and happy with the run but I was given advice on how much to feed them and I just want a second opinion. The laying pellets are in a feeder which I remove each evening to clean out and replenish, the corn I was told to give as a treat, handful a day, scattered around for them to scratch. Is this correct? I do also give them veg etc which they love. Any advice would be most helpful as I don’t want to be feeding them too little. Also they don’t seem to be eating the pellets much! Thanks [​IMG]
  2. snowydiamonds

    snowydiamonds Chillin' With My Peeps

    I would cut down on the corn and veggies, treats if they are not eating their main feed. I could never afford to take out the pellets/feed and toss it each evening! Never mind that my birds would never think to save any feed...they consume it like its the most delicious dessert! Is their feed out in the open such as in rain? Is that why it was said to toss away? If so, I'd put the feeder beneath some type of shelter out of the elements and your birds will begin eating it like they should and get their well balanced diet from the feed with occasional treats given. Hope this helps:) We love pics...
  3. tamz08

    tamz08 Out Of The Brooder

    The food is undercover and I do not throw it away, just clean out any bits they might have thrown in and fill it up slightly, if they have eaten any. I bring it in on a night to keep it fresh and to stop vermin trying to break in and eat it. So from my understanding, I am doing it right but perhaps giving a little too much corn.
  4. Slywoody

    Slywoody Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 18, 2009
    [​IMG] I keep laying mash ( crumbles ) in front of them at all times and scatter oyster shells in with it. I have a built in wall feeder that works wonderfully, ( no billing out and no waste). For 6 hens, i would go easy on the treats and see if they hit the pellets more. Have they been getting pellets right along before you got them? Sometimes a change in feed will throw them off. You just have to work with it and find the best balance ( corn, treats, pellets, etc.) Good luck [​IMG]
  5. jenjscott

    jenjscott Mosquito Beach Poultry

    May 24, 2008
    Southeast Arkansas
    Also if they have plenty of grass to eat, they won't eat as much feed. Just make sure it is available if they want it.
  6. snowydiamonds

    snowydiamonds Chillin' With My Peeps

    That is a good idea, taking it away to keep rodents, etc., from coming in while the birds are sleeping:) (Sorry I misunderstood about cleaning it out)
  7. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    There are a lot of different opinions about feeding. It kind of depends on how much you believe they should have a balanced diet or even which type of balanced diet you think they should have. The layer feed has everything in it, vitamins, protein, calcium, that is needed for them to most efficiently produce eggs. If they eat nothing but the layer feed, they will do well and produce eggs. It does not have a lot of supplements beyond the minimum requirements, though, such as stuff to improve the appearance of the feathers. It is intended to produce eggs efficiently and not cost you too much compared with their competitors are charging so you will buy it.

    With that said, there are some differences in layer feed. Whether those differences are worth your extra money is your decision. You'd have to study the list of ingredients and know what the different ingredients provide to really make an informed decision.

    The layer feed does contain a lot of stuff they need. If they eat too much of something else, say scratch or cabbage, they may not eat enough of the layer feed to get their daily requirements of certain vitamins or minerals or maybe not enough protein. It can be a bit of a balancing act. A hen that produces an egg a day is making something that makes up a pretty good percentage of her body weight. She needs to eat well.

    The most common recommendation I have seen is to only feed them enough treats so they can clean them up in 10 to 20 minutes. This supposedly does not cut into the minimum daily requirements they get from the layer feed enough to cause any shortages. And if you vary the treats some, they will probably get the extra things they can use that the layer does not provide.

    This may sound complicated, but what I am recommending is to not give them too many treats and vary those treats somne, which it sounds like you are doing with various vegetables, hopely some of which are greens.

    Your reasons for bringing in the feed are valid. Just make sure you are storing the feed overnight in a way that is not attracting mice inside.

    Good luck!!!
  8. tamz08

    tamz08 Out Of The Brooder

    Thank You, sounds like I am on the right tract, just cut down on the treats. I think I am being abit mollycoddleing, you know how it is.
  9. gsim

    gsim Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 18, 2009
    East Tennessee
    You might buy a bag of crumbles and see if mixing that with the pellets will help. If that helps, do a transition to get them on pellets if possible. Pellets do not get stale nearly as quickly as crumbles do. Also if they do not have enough grit in their crops, they have a hard time processing lumpy stuff like pellets. Do you give them grit? Coarse sand like is used to make cement is good for providing grit and is far cheaper than buying the crushed granite that is sold for $1/lb. Just scatter it on the ground or make it a place for entering at the gate to eliminate mud, or for a path thru the run when it is wet. The chooks will eat the sizes and amounts they need for their digestive system to work. [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2010

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