Hens not laying. What to feed them? Still layer feed? Too much protein?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by SweetJoy7, Jan 25, 2015.

  1. SweetJoy7

    SweetJoy7 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hello! We have 25 hens. They re 1,2,and 3 years old. What kind of feed do we give them besides layer feed? Does the layer feed have too much protein for our hens? Thank you!
     
  2. CORNISH_MAN

    CORNISH_MAN Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This time of year alot of hens wont lay unless they have artifical lighting. Hens need so much daylight hours a day to lay. No your layer feed does not have to much protein.
     
  3. SweetJoy7

    SweetJoy7 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I do not think it is because of winter that our hens aren't laying. They have not layed many eggs for many many months. Every so often we get one egg., but that is rare. Do you know why? We got rid of some roosters we had and they stopped laying after that. Thank you so much!
     
  4. barkinghills

    barkinghills Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Any chance they are eating their eggs? They can amazingly eat an entire egg (or several of them) without leaving much evidence.

    I feed Purina Game Bird Startena over the months of December and January…it has 30% protein and seems to help them finish up their molt and resume laying. I never give any supplemental light or heat.

    The other things to rule out are mites, lice, worms, etc, any or all of the above.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2015
  5. justplainbatty

    justplainbatty Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What breeds are your hens? do you give them oyster shell? Layer feed only has about 4% calcium. They need more than that. If you have not been giving oyster shell or crushed egg shells every day, they may have used calcium from their own bodies and now are unable to lay properly. Getting rid of the roosters has nothing to do with it. Also, if they are production birds, they do slow down after 3 years but since you have younger birds some should be laying fairly regularly. What else do you feed besides layer?
     
  6. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

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    The protein content is not the concern with birds not in production - and the most commonly used layer rations are actually on the low side of minimum protein content. The nutrient that is in excess in layer ration is calcium which, yes, layer ration does contain more calcium than needed for any bird not actively in production of eggs as the additional calcium in layer ration is meant to supply the calcium needed for the production of egg shells and to support the production/expulsion process. If you are concerned about the calcium issue you can feed non-producing birds grower ration which is lower in calcium and more suited to the daily nutrient need of a bird not actively producing eggs.
     
  7. justplainbatty

    justplainbatty Chillin' With My Peeps

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    ok now it seems really confusing right? If you only feed layer and your chickens eat lots of other stuff like when on free range, then extra calcium over the formulated layer is needed to make up for what else they eat. Also true is that non productive hens do not need the calcium and do better on a higher protein, lower calcium diet. the trick is feeding the right balance for a mixed age flock.
     
  8. SweetJoy7

    SweetJoy7 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you all for replying. Our hens have had mites for a while. We have been giving them garlic in their food and we have been putting ashes out for them to dust bathe in. They are the good laying breeds, Plymouth rocks, buff orpingtons, brahmas, hampshires. A few other breeds. They had not had oyster shells for a while but they are now getting it. They were eating a lot of their eggs. They get vegetables scraps from the kitchen sometimes. They never get breads or meats. Thank you so much. Jesus is ALIVE!
     
  9. Oklahomachick

    Oklahomachick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    In the summer months do I need to buy Layena as well as their Scratch?? Or is the Scratch enough since they are allowed the run on our land??
     
  10. justplainbatty

    justplainbatty Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, it's best. The feed is specially formulated to give them calcium, protein, vitamins and minerals they need to be productive and healthy. Layer feed is a little light on protein but there are grower feeds that have more. Also, still provide the oyster shell to make up for the free ranging. [​IMG]
     

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