Free Range vs. Pellet Fed Hatch Rates

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by outdoorpodcast, Jan 5, 2013.

  1. outdoorpodcast

    outdoorpodcast Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 11, 2012
    There is obviously a big difference in flavor/taste, smell, appearance of free range eggs when compared to feed lot/pellet fed birds, so this got me curious. Has anyone tested the hatch rates of free ranging birds vs pellet fed birds to see if there is a difference??
  2. SilkieSensation

    SilkieSensation Overrun With Chickens

    Oct 25, 2012
    Baltic, Ohio
    The hatch rate will depend largely on the QUALITY of the feed available not just on whether they are free range or bagged feed. Some free range birds have excellent nutrition available in the area they range & don't need any supplementation at all. Others really can't find everything they need & will need additional feed, supplements, etc. Caged birds who are not free ranged at all can also have excellent hatch rates with proper nutrition. Caged birds are much easier to tell exactly what they are eating so everything there just depends on the quality of feed they are provided. Any bird who is given a proper diet should produce very hatchable eggs.
  3. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

    Jun 28, 2011
    Rep of Ireland
    I've hatched eggs from hens fed only layer pellets and from hens free ranging and eating a diet consisting of scratch grains, a little layer pellets and whatever they found in the pastures. There was no difference in hatch rates.

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