Is there a sub for laying mash?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by candrnyen, Jul 7, 2008.

  1. candrnyen

    candrnyen In the Brooder

    Jun 26, 2008
    Hi, I was wondering if there was something out there that could substitute for laying mash?

    All this feed is getting so expensive these days that I was wondering if there was something in my frig I could feed my chickens to get them to lay more than one egg every other day.

    Any ideas???


    C J
  2. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Crowing

    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    They must have a complete balanced diet to lay consistantly. Some hens do not lay every day. Some hens it is perfectly natural to lay every other day.

    How old are the hens?

    How many hens do you have?

    Do you free range?

    What do they eat and how much are you giving them?

    They need food available at all times. If they are free ranging or have grass and bugs to eat they will eat less feed. Chickens don't normally over eat so what they are consuming is what their bodies need.
  3. Davaroo

    Davaroo Poultry Crank

    Feb 4, 2007
    Leesville, SC
    Quote:Substitutes for commercial laying mash? Yes, they exist.
    Unfortunately, they are not simple to formulate nor do they usually end up being cheaper.
    Poultry nutrition is as complex as it is for anything. You need both information and financial resources to get it right. This is what commercial feed makers offer you. That 10$-15$ bag of feed includes these things.

    A harsh surprise many people find is that an egg every other day per hen is normal. They see all the ad hype in poultry catalogs, or hear about others who get an egg a day and they think that will be their situation. What they dont know is that there are so many variables to this equation of egg laying. No one ever tells them this when all they hear is "CHICKENS WHEEEEE! [​IMG]" and so they find out the hard way.

    The fact is, it has a been a long, hard road road for the commercial egg business to develop a 200+ egg/year hen. Can you imagine how that has been in the private sector, with inconsistent breeding and the whims of a fanciers market at play?

    You CAN feed chickens from your kitchen and table leftovers, make no mistake. Almost anything you eat, your chickens can eat, too. A bag of grain mix (scratch) and table scraps has been a time honored feed regimen, most often coupled with daily foraging. That doesnt mean it is best, but it has been done. Will it guarantee an egg a day? Unlikely. Feeding for production is an exact thing, requiring strict controls

    For you, the answer lies somewhere in between, I suspect. A hybrid plan of supplementing a good commercial ration with "people food" leftovers, greens and foraging comes about as close as you will get. Trimming your flock to keep only the best birds will also help.

    Combined, these things will cut down on the feed you have to buy.
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2008
  4. ibpboo

    ibpboo Where Chickens Ride Horses

    Jul 9, 2007
    always changing
    They can eat just about anything in your fridge to help with their appetite. Even grasses and weeds from your yard, and bugs too! They especially love pincher bugs. I feed hen scratch and lay crumbles, plus frig stuff. They love cooked noodles too! Recently, mine have been enjoying pomegranates, we got a whole bin full.
  5. candrnyen

    candrnyen In the Brooder

    Jun 26, 2008
    Thanks for the replies. ...

    My hens are about a year old I have a few that are a little older.

    Last year we had a barn full that were laying consistantly, but we had to thin out our flock. Now I am trying to get my flock up to size. We only have about 15 hens right now. I wasn't collecting the eggs when I first got them because they were in quarantine( to be sure they were healthy) they were laying like it was going out of style. Now that I have started collecting I am only getting an egg here and an egg there nothing consistant. I have some that I believe are not laying at all. I am hoping they have just not started yet, they seem a little younger.

    They do have a large fenced area to free range in, that does have green for them to eat. I give them table scraps and cracked corn. Oh and sunflower seeds. I suppose I will just have to get the mash from the feed mill is what it is sounding like.
    C J
  6. Quote:If this is all you are providing the hens then they are not consuming enought Lysine and Methionine for egg production. Plus the probably don't have nearly enough Calcium, Phosphorus, and trace minerals to adequately mineralize egg shells.

    If you truly want to produce eggs, the start purchasing Layer ration that contains appropriate nutrients to meet the needs of laying hens.


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