Feeding Older Hens

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by WickedChickensFarm, Nov 9, 2018.

  1. WickedChickensFarm

    WickedChickensFarm In the Brooder

    Nov 9, 2018
    Hey all. I recently lost a 5.5 year old Barred Rock who went from the healthy matriarch of a flock to death in a week. She had an impacted crop. We had surgery done and then she developed some ataxia. We made the decision to euthanize. I had a necropsy done and she had calcium deposits EVERYWHERE. The kicker is that she was still laying eggs -- 3-5 a week. I lost a 3 year old barred rock two years ago to kidney failure/heart failure from guess what? Calcium deposits and gout.... which is often caused by too much calcium. See the trend?

    Today's commercial feeds are NOT designed with chicken health and longevity in mind. They is obviously way too much Ca. We have been supplementing daily feedings with frozen corn as instructed by a vet after after last year and a worry about gout after a bumble foot flair up (which is closely associated with too much calcium and gout). I'm still feeding commercial pellets free choice and a locally milled whole grain feed (that also is supplemented with Ca). In the summer the hens don't eat very much food as they are able to range for 2-12 hours a day when someone is home. But obviously they are still eating too much commercial feed. What can I feed so I'm not slowly poisoning my girls for years??!! Do you think the corn is enough to dilute the commercial feed?
  2. Shadowfire

    Shadowfire Crowing

    Aug 14, 2018
    My Coop
    Free-range might be a good option, as it's definitely one of the healthiest. How much time do they get out of the coop/run, and how much space and time are you willing to sacrifice for their welfare?

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