Feeding Issues.... Need Advise Please

Keeperoflock

Songster
Mar 10, 2018
161
158
126
Central Indiana
I have 15 9 month olds. They are fed early in the morning (around 5:30am) giving them 16% protein layer feed to which I add a little bit of cracked corn in their wet mash we make up for them. When cleaning their poop board and gathering eggs (usually around noon) I have to get them out away from my feet because since my fall in the run (breaking my ribs) I'm terrified they will trip me so I give them meal worms as I go in and again when I leave. At night, they are free-ranged for about an hour before they go to roost, and then we give them cracked corn because it's been COLD here in Indiana.

My problem is I'm noticing they are not eating as much of their feed and picking out the corn. This will not be good for their nutritional needs. They're laying pretty good beings it's winter time and I don't supplement their lighting. I get between 7 to 11 eggs daily. I'm assuming that's pretty good. :idunno

I'm worried they aren't getting enough nutrition. I'm wanting to start a fodder system with soft wheat berries and I have BOSS, but I haven't started that yet and don't feel comfortable doing so till I get their feed straightened out.

Would fermenting be a better option and possibly redirect their desire for the corn and thereby get more nutrition?

What am I doing wrong? :confused:
 

oldhenlikesdogs

Suffering Succotash
BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Jul 16, 2015
44,902
78,536
1,452
Wisconsin
If you are feeding layer stop feeding corn. Your chickens need a minimum of 16% protein daily which layer is. Corn runs around 8%, your birds will end up deficient in protein. Adding even more stuff will make things worse. Either feed a layer as a sole ration or look for a higher protein ration like an All Flock or non medicated grower with a protein content of 18-20% if you want to feed a few extras. The answer isn't more thing, it's generally less things. A ration is a balanced diet, why mess with that?

Why don't you free choice feed a ration?
 

Keeperoflock

Songster
Mar 10, 2018
161
158
126
Central Indiana
If you are feeding layer stop feeding corn. Your chickens need a minimum of 16% protein daily which layer is. Corn runs around 8%, your birds will end up deficient in protein. Adding even more stuff will make things worse. Either feed a layer as a sole ration or look for a higher protein ration like an All Flock or non medicated grower with a protein content of 18-20% if you want to feed a few extras. The answer isn't more thing, it's generally less things. A ration is a balanced diet, why mess with that?

Why don't you free choice feed a ration?


They have free choice dry layer food (forgot to mention that) as well as the mash (they LOVE the mash and at first was inhaling it practically). They also get meal worms as a protein boost. I give the corn to help keep them warm at night. I know, 50 lashes with a wet noodle for giving it to them in their feed. Treat trap I suppose....

BTW, LOVE your avatar…..
 

oldhenlikesdogs

Suffering Succotash
BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Jul 16, 2015
44,902
78,536
1,452
Wisconsin
They have free choice dry layer food (forgot to mention that) as well as the mash (they LOVE the mash and at first was inhaling it practically). They also get meal worms as a protein boost. I give the corn to help keep them warm at night. I know, 50 lashes with a wet noodle for giving it to them in their feed. Treat trap I suppose....

BTW, LOVE your avatar…..
Thanks. :) I throw all my corn and scratch on the ground scattered so they have to scratch and forage for it. It gets them moving and helps me to see how they are doing. I throw it out twice a day, so you could do something similar.
 

GC-Raptor

Free Ranging
Jul 26, 2016
5,033
9,255
621
Connecticut, USA
Both my Hens and Pullets have dry feed, Non-medicated 18% Starter Grower or 20% All-flock/Flock Raiser available 24/7. 20181211_050757.jpg
I only give them a treat 20181111_101456.jpg once a day around 9 am.
Last 2 winters have been -13 and -15 F.
I've never given them Scratch or Corn after 1 pm. Yeah I used to give them Scratch around 1pm too, until I started to get thin shelled eggs. GC
 

Keeperoflock

Songster
Mar 10, 2018
161
158
126
Central Indiana
Both my Hens and Pullets have dry feed, Non-medicated 18% Starter Grower or 20% All-flock/Flock Raiser available 24/7. View attachment 1614411
I only give them a treat View attachment 1614415 once a day around 9 am.
Last 2 winters have been -13 and -15 F.
I've never given them Scratch or Corn after 1 pm. Yeah I used to give them Scratch around 1pm too, until I started to get thin shelled eggs. GC

I have never given scratch and once in a while I'll give them yogurt. They get oyster shells as well and of course grit
 

Keeperoflock

Songster
Mar 10, 2018
161
158
126
Central Indiana
Thanks. :) I throw all my corn and scratch on the ground scattered so they have to scratch and forage for it. It gets them moving and helps me to see how they are doing. I throw it out twice a day, so you could do something similar.

I don't give them scratch. They get their mealworms and corn thrown all over the place (yard and run), lol. Makes them work for their food. They seem happier too. And like you said, it gives me a chance to see their behavior. When that run door opens up, it's flying chickens all over the place. I get a kick out of it.
 

MANNA-PRO

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