Foraging with fewer eggs

Discussion in 'Nutrition - Sponsored by Purina Poultry' started by jimthechickenma, Sep 21, 2017.

  1. jimthechickenma

    jimthechickenma Out Of The Brooder

    3
    0
    20
    Apr 30, 2015
    This spring my hens started foraging and not eating their Layena.
    Consequently there are fewer eggs.
    I put a lot of mulch around my acre and they LOVE foraging this.
     
  2. sawilliams

    sawilliams Chillin' With My Peeps

    856
    432
    151
    Nov 12, 2015
    Nor Cal
    Do the free range all day? Are they hiding eggs? How old are they? How many hens? When did egg production slow down

    Little things like keeping them in the run and coop until mid to late after noon can in sure they are laying in the coop and not hiding eggs
     
    sourland and Pork Pie Ken like this.
  3. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

    29,791
    18,211
    666
    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    I'd doubt that the cause of you finding fewer eggs is down to increased foraging. Good points raised in the above post.
     
    sourland likes this.
  4. Purina

    Purina Chillin' With My Peeps

    117
    72
    101
    Nov 11, 2014
    Great question! Letting them run free-range shouldn’t be a problem. It is great that you are considering all of the other feeds that your birds could be consuming outdoors – many flock owners forget about this when trying to feed a balanced diet to free-range birds. To ensure that your birds are receiving enough nutrition to keep the laying going, we recommend following the 90/10 rule. This rule means that your birds should be receiving at least 90% of their nutrition from a complete feed, like the Purina® Layena® you mentioned, and 10% from treats and scraps.

    We'd also recommend watching where your birds are roaming. If there is a garden or compost nearby, those can be a treasure chest for scraps that your birds could be consuming. Too many scraps can dilute the diet and subsequently hamper bird growth. Chickens are opportunistic omnivores and will eat a very large array of items. Good luck with your free-range ladies!
     
  5. jimthechickenma

    jimthechickenma Out Of The Brooder

    3
    0
    20
    Apr 30, 2015
    I do put out Layena but they have stopped eating this since vegetation started this last spring. Guess they will not eat the Layena until this winter. Just thought I would ask.
     
  6. sawilliams

    sawilliams Chillin' With My Peeps

    856
    432
    151
    Nov 12, 2015
    Nor Cal
    Jim I think the biggest thing is how much do they free range? If they free range all day there is also a chance of them hiding nests. But aside from that they won't go back to the coop to eat when there are bugs and grass just another foot away. Keeping them in even just a few extra hours in the morning will insure they have time to eat some layer, but also increase you numbers in the nests as early morning layers won't have time to find that hidden nest before laying. Mine don't go out untill about 5pm once my husband or i are home, most hens are done laying be about 2 or 3 pm though three are late layers from tinge to time. Forging is great and deffinatly decreases cost, but hidden nests would be my biggest concern. And hens are crafty, I once had a hen hiding under the garage fridge. She squeezed between a 4in gap behind, then into a 3x3inch space in the back. I know a friend and have seen with my own eyes a hen the incubates her eggs under the water heater in a tiny outside closet
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by