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Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Rissa, May 10, 2011.
Does anyone else find that feeding their laying hens leftovers will slow egg production?
I don't think it will if you still feed them their normal feed. Mine get many leftover treats and still lay great.
I haven't found that to be true.
We don't give leftovers every day though. Maybe every 2-3 days.
If the protein content of the total feed drops too much, maybe that could be the cause of your problem. For example, if you give huge amounts of spaghetti- then the next day huge amounts of rice-and a loaf of bread on the third day, it could make the protein level go down enough that they don't lay as well theoretically.
Wheat I have found has around 12-14% protein (white is 12 and red is 14). Layer feed is 16%.
Generally the higher the protein content the larger your eggs will be, according to a fellow BYC'er in commercial egg production.
Acctually I have found the exact oppisite to be true. Given the advice by my long time friend who is veterinarian, the laying formula's leave out some vital minerals and supplements that help the hens immune system fight disease. The best way to provide this is providing green plants and other root-type veggies (potatoes, carrots, ect). Feeding them table scraps is fine as long as you leave out any over-used or large amounts of grease and oil.
If you give it some thought, it makes perfect sense. When free ranging they eat grass and scratch at the ground and eat roots from plant-life. Two things confined chickens usually go without. So your problem may be that they are not WANTING to lay.
Find helpful information that will help them lay in my thread at this link:
Hope it helps,
Timothy in KY
My "gru" told me, that if they are not laying there could be two issues:
1. They need more space
2. They need more freedom, stress free freedom
I find that my hens do tend to not lay well the next day after they have had alot of treat food, but they do not get treats everyday so they tend to fill up on them and not eat alot of feed that day.I try to give treats in small amounts right after I have filled the feeder and they have eaten feed, but our neighbors kid tends to feed them the all you can eat buffet when he is over.LOL!