How do I feed my retired layers?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by IMDeggman, Sep 5, 2014.

  1. IMDeggman

    IMDeggman In the Brooder

    Mar 22, 2011
    I have 6 hens and a rooster, all going on 5-1/2 years old, the production is down to about 4 eggs a week total. I am not going to butcher them but would like to economize on feed. Scratch is about half the cost of layer feed. I think they would eat it up. But would they be OK on this and whatever bugs they can find (they are free ranging)? Are there any other options?
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2014
  2. Judy

    Judy Crowing

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Scratch is not a complete food; it has no added vitamins and mnerals, and the protein is low. The worst of it is they love the corn and will eat it in preference to more nutritious foods.

    The quality of scraps varies a lot, as does the quality of forage. If your scraps are your own leftovers and the forage has lots of grass, green lants and bugs, they will probably eat these thigs rather than feed for the most part. If you can get an all prupose or All Flock type feed that costs less than layer, it should be fine,especially if they hve a little oyster shell -- which they probably won't eat much of. You could also fees starter, grower, etc., especially if you can change them aoround a little.

    You could see whether there is a feed mill in your area that formulates their own feed; often this is much cheaper.

    Decades ago, people fed cracked corn, forage and table scraps, and the chickens survived -- but they tended to be thin and not in the best of health.
  3. Monguire

    Monguire Songster

    May 18, 2014
    Manassas, VA
    It does my heart good to read these kind of questions on these forums. I know one keeper's livestock is another keeper's pet, but in a time when most things are callously reduced to the all-holy return-on-investment, knowing there are others out there considering a quasi-pampered retirement for their older flocks over a knife and a crockpot when production falls below some number makes me all the happier to be on this husbandry journey with y'all.

    Sorry OP, nothing really to contribute to your post/question....aside from being glad to see it! [​IMG]

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