Hungry chicks

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by calmom2, Aug 18, 2016.

  1. calmom2

    calmom2 Out Of The Brooder

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    Hi Everyone
    Quick question... I have three hens that started laying about a week ago and are doing really well. One thing I have noticed is that they seen like they are starving! Everytime I give them a treat they go crazy fighting over grapes. Before they were they could care less about them. They are also getting a little feisty with eacother. Is it common for behavior to change after they start laying? Wondering if they need something else besides layer food now?
    Thanks
     
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    Your hens have reached sexual maturity. They can become moody for a while, but usually settle down after a few months.

    I find layer feed not to have enough protein for backyard flocks due to extras that are fed to them. Layer is meant to be the sole ration fed. So if you feed anything else they can become protein deficit. I like feeding an all flock or a non medicated grower with a separate bowl of oyster shells. Both have 18-20% protein. I find my birds do better on it than layer.
     
  3. GC-Raptor

    GC-Raptor Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have noticed my hens more aggressively foraging after they started to lay. I believe they are looking for minerals, calcium in particular. I feed a layers feed with 3.5% calcium, and after 4 dozen eggs I got my first rubber egg, no shell last night and another I found under the roost this morning, stepped on. I also had 4 good eggs in the nests. So I put crushed oyster shell in a separate container near the feed. Oyster shell also has other minerals. I introduced it to the girls and 4 of the 5 eagerly ate some. Hopefully no more rubber eggs. GC
     
  4. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    You have the equivalent of teenage girls. They are moody. And yes, their calorie needs do change once they begin laying. It takes quite a lot of energy to produce an egg every 24 hours. And layer feed is not a good choice for keepers that like to give treats.
     
  5. BruceAZ

    BruceAZ Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Valley of the Sun :)
    that's just how they are when getting treats

    my leghorn is at the bottom of the pecking order- so she got chased around a lot

    this is why i'll put the treats in 2 different spots every single time
     
  6. calmom2

    calmom2 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you. I really don't give many treats. Grapes once in awhile. That's about it. Do you recommend a different feed for them? Or just stay with the layer and no grapes or other treats?
    Thank you
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2016
  7. BruceAZ

    BruceAZ Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Valley of the Sun :)
    i think any food beside their main feed would be considered as treats

    you can pick whichever feed you think is best for your chickens.. they like table scraps.. so instead of throwing those area give me to your chickens

    but to sure to avoid things that chickens should not be eating (this list is debatable-- but at least look up the ones that are toxic to chickens so you know what to avoid)


    do you also raise mealworms?
    www.rainbowmealworms.net
     
  8. GC-Raptor

    GC-Raptor Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Up to 10% treats scattered on the ground. I give my girls a 4 or 5 grain scratch mixed 50/50 with layers pellets as a treat twice a day, about what they can consume in 15 minutes each time. They have a large run and eat grass and bugs. They have access to layers feed, crushed oyster shell and water 24/7. GC
     
  9. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    Treats are mentally stimulating for chickens, it give them stuff to do as well as stuff to get excited about. Chickens fed only a bagged ration can get bored. I recommend continuing to feed treats as it also makes your hens look forward to seeing you so they aren't stressed by your presence. You can continue to feed layer. I might buy something different the next time you purchase a bag of feed, look to see if they have an all flock ration. I have seen too many benefits from switching to ever feed layer again.
     

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