Have you done anything to improve egg production?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by kevinhannan, Aug 18, 2011.

  1. kevinhannan

    kevinhannan Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 3, 2011
    I give my girls what I think is a full scavenging diet;
    layer pellets, greens, worms, grit, etc, etc....

    ...and I got to thinking, what have you given your girls
    that appears - or has - increased/improved egg production?

    fwiw; for my ex-bats - I'm currently getting an 75-80%
    1 egg/day/hen rate when I was told to expect 50%. Not bad?

    So what have you fed your little delights that has made a
    difference to your eggs?

  2. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    I've noticed the Red Sex Links and ISA Browns, two high production birds, honestly need a fairly consistent protein diet to perform at peak efficient levels. The ISA can lay 330 eggs in its pullet year, which computes to very, very few days off. The egg is also HUGE. Thus, the need for protein is quite high. I've found they benefit from 18% layer feed over the mundane 16%, all else being equal. Back feeding eggs also is helpful, if you have them to spare.

    With my Rocks, Rock crosses and RIR, I have not found quite the same thing. Great feed always produces the highest level of production, but the Rocks and RIR seem to be more level, more consistent, ploddingly so, producing about the same 240-280 eggs per pullet year. Don't know if that information is helpful, but there it is.
  3. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    I think your production from ex-batts is extremely good.
  4. kevinhannan

    kevinhannan Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 3, 2011
    Hello Fred, pleased to meet you!

    Your post is extremely valuable to me - and I suspect others -
    as it is clear about the protein content and egg production.

    I'm going to read up now on what I can use in addition to
    layer pellets that will provide that protein - although I suspect
    it's going to be worms, slugs and stuff like that.

    Thanks for your time to post, Fred, I appreciate it very much.

    e2a: I'm sorry to trouble you - what is "backfeeding eggs", please?
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2011
  5. OwensMom

    OwensMom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 4, 2009
    CO Western Slope
    kevinhannan, In addition to layer pellets I feed mealworms that I raise, homemade yogurt, cottage cheese, scrambled eggs with oliveoil(when available) and as many greens and veges from the garden as possible. Protein is important for production but the rest add lots of flavor! Good luck and have fun.
  6. Darlasmum

    Darlasmum Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 2, 2009
    La Crescenta, CA
    Kevin- backfeeding is feeding the chickens back their own eggs (cooked). Thats why he said "if you have them to spare" vs eating them your self.
  7. lindseythefork

    lindseythefork Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 31, 2008
    Humboldt County, CA
    I haven't focused on improving egg production so much as just improving egg quality. I have five hens and we can only eat so many! [​IMG]

    They've been eating Layena (with added Omegas) along with whatever they get free-ranging and then veggie scraps/leftovers/etc. They also get whatever dog food they can gobble up before I see them and shoo them out of the house.
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2011
  8. Chris09

    Chris09 Circle (M) Ranch

    Jun 1, 2009
    There are a lot of things that will affect egg production in a hen. Environment, Protein, Health, Age, Breed, Genetics etc.
    You can feed all the "fancy" feeds you want but if bred to do the job the she will fall short in good egg production and or egg quality.
    Common Production Breeds (about 60 to 70 percent of hatchery breeds) benefit from a higher protein feed around 22 weeks of age till about a year old after that egg production starts, after a year of egg production egg production tends to drop and less protein is needed.

    I feed my Production Reds (a Leghorn/ Heritage Rhode Island Red cross of my breeding)
    0 to 10 weeks of age -- 20% Starter
    10 to 16 weeks of age -- 17% Grower
    16 to 20 weeks of age -- 14% Developer
    At 20 weeks of age they go on a 18% Layer till a year of laying then I drop then to a 16% layer after 2 year of laying they are sent to a livestock action for sell.

    I average around 300 per hen a year.

    Edited to add that if you are feeding a lot of extras as in scratch, treats, table scraps etc. your egg production will drop also.

    Last edited: Aug 20, 2011
  9. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Quote:x2 on Chris's post. I don't actually cook the eggs I back feed, but yes, that is the jist. I also find, again, with production birds, that protein and quality feed vs junk food also increases the egg size as well. Just my experience, but the Rocks and RIR I have are more "steady as she goes" and less influenced as the production strains. I've only kept 2 different strains of high output commercial strains in recent years, the ISA and the Bovan. The birds produce, but their feed requirements to do so is quite strict, it seems to me.

    I actually do not much care how high the output is from my more traditional birds. They are healthy and lay well for their type. Did I mention they are HUGE compared to the commercial strains? Have to have 50% more body mass, easily. I don't believe I can make a traditional bird into a super layer, no matter what I fed.
  10. j3707

    j3707 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 29, 2009
    Pacific Northwest
    Quote:Curious about this Chris - is this because the overall % of protein would tend to drop?

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