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Feeding laying Hens

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Jrb599, Nov 5, 2012.

  1. Jrb599

    Jrb599 In the Brooder

    Apr 5, 2012
    Raleigh, NC
    Hi all,

    I've been having conversations in other threads about this, but I figured I'd start a central thread and stop hi-jacking others!

    What do you guys feed your laying hens? Do you feed laying feed, OR do you feed a grower/game bird feed to your hens and add supplements? If so, WHY?

    Interested to hear what you guys say!

  2. momma of a chicken lover

    momma of a chicken lover Chirping

    Oct 17, 2011
    I feed mine laying feed because tht is all that I have.
  3. mickey328

    mickey328 Songster

    May 4, 2012
    Northern Colorado
    We feed layer pellets, although we're about to start with fermented grains. The pellets here are about $17 for 50# and the price is rising. Since they're laying, they need the extra protein, but I also supplement it with lots of stuff...yogurt, cheese, cooked beans, weeds, herbs, BOSS, meat and other kitchen scraps. I also make sure that grit and oyster shell or crushed eggshell is always available for them.
  4. Mine get layer crumbles from our local feed store and then i have left over Layena that i mix with hot water for them mainly at night being cold now and they love it. i also have the oyster shell that i mix in with dry food, dry oatmeal, and i rinse and dry out the egg shells and then crush and mix in their food too. Also, every morning and night i give them warm water.
  5. Y N dottes

    Y N dottes Songster

    Sep 1, 2012
    South Central WI
    I feed them laying feed, but also throw in a lot of fruits, vegetables and such. I figure if i feed them more fruit and veggies, i won't have to feed them as much feed, and then wont have to buy feed as often.
  6. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Crowing Premium Member

    I feed Layer much of the time. Local mill @ $19 per 100 lbs. Price sort of drives that, I'm afraid. But... I'd prefer to offer the calcium on the side and feed them a 50-50 Game Bird and whole grain diet. Usually, the pricing makes my decision for me. Too bad. Oh sure, they also get all the garden stuff, etc, etc, but still. 80% or more their diet has to come from their provided feed, especially in our climate.
  7. Jrb599

    Jrb599 In the Brooder

    Apr 5, 2012
    Raleigh, NC

  8. Cindy in PA

    Cindy in PA Crowing

    Jul 8, 2008
    Fleetwood, PA
    I feed local organic soy-free layer mash $31/80 lbs. It's been lasting 5-6 weeks for 12 hens. I feed greens and leftovers when I have them and sometimes Standlee alfalfa pellets in the winter. They get greens and garden stuff in warm weather. Their feed already has some alfalfa & fish meal in it.
  9. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Crowing Premium Member

    Because they just do better. It's a more varied diet, the birds like whole grains, which are good for them. The high protein of Game Bird has animal protein and fats, which cause the hens to do well. It's just a better all around diet for classier birds. Unfortunately, it is costly. Show people do even more, much more, quite frankly. They need/want their birds to look their very, very best.

    But, just before breeding season, I switch them to that diet, and absorb the significantly higher cost of doing so. Hope that helps.
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2012
  10. Sphynxcrazy

    Sphynxcrazy In the Brooder

    Apr 11, 2012
    what a friend who works at a hatchery told me, 1/3 layer pellets 1/3 corn/ 1/3 wheat. I cut down on corn a little bit in the summer and I ussually give more grain ( I get it for dirt cheap from family). especially in winter when their not laying to cut down on pellets. they also get free choice oyster shell and salt.

    They also get all our scraps, and free range when possible.

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