Is there a such thing as feeding too much?

brownmill609

In the Brooder
8 Years
Mar 3, 2011
11
0
22
Brown Mill, NJ
i have a 3 lb corn tray that i keep filled with a corn/oyster shell mix. and i throw them greens everyday and still eat all of it and come to me like theyre looking for more food. now given that i have 1 rooster and 13 hens, im not sure what would be a sufficient amount of food. ive been told that they will stop eating once theyre full, but they never stop eating as long as i continue to give them food.
 

ChickensAreSweet

Heavenly Grains for Hens
9 Years
Jun 8, 2010
15,100
699
398
Pacific NW- where the Douglas Firs grow
If you have layers, feeding free choice is best so that they can fill their crops repeatedly throughout the day. Corn is only around 7-9% protein, while layer pellets/crumbles are around 16% usually.

For maximum egg production (protein=eggs), feeding treats is great, but they need protein, and a lot of it.

So-

I recommend switching to layer feed (assuming they are laying) and oyster shell on the side

OR

grower feed while offering oyster shell on the side. Both are fine.

Layer feed has extra calcium added. Grower feed has higher protein than layer.

I would throw them a couple of handfuls a day of corn for fun and variety in their diet.
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brownmill609

In the Brooder
8 Years
Mar 3, 2011
11
0
22
Brown Mill, NJ
Fred's Hens :

Corn and a few greens is an insufficient diet for laying hens. Wondering how you came to establish that feeding program?

my aunt (whom im taking over her coop) used to feed on a strictly corn diet and had them laying well, and said she used to feedgreens on occassion. i also bait for deer, and get free greens by the truckload from local farmers so i feed them some of that. they are laying well, given the col weather here in NJ. just wasnt sure if there was such a thing as "overfeeding"​
 

ChickensAreSweet

Heavenly Grains for Hens
9 Years
Jun 8, 2010
15,100
699
398
Pacific NW- where the Douglas Firs grow
Quote:
my aunt (whom im taking over her coop) used to feed on a strictly corn diet and had them laying well, and said she used to feedgreens on occassion. i also bait for deer, and get free greens by the truckload from local farmers so i feed them some of that. they are laying well, given the col weather here in NJ. just wasnt sure if there was such a thing as "overfeeding"

If they are layers, there isn't such a thing as leaving feed out too long for them. Now the meat breeds - like cornish - I hear that is a different story. If price is an issue, around here, you can get two-grain scratch for the same price as corn- and the protein count is 10%.

Also, oats are the same price- and the protein is around 13%. So for the money, if you should decide to mix in a couple of other things - same price - and higher protein. Corn is good too!
 

Fred's Hens

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
If you want healthy hens, their diet must consist of balanced feed. Corn is indeed low on protein (7%) and while it gives them some carb energy, it simply is not a complete diet, added greens or not. The vitamins provided by a balanced diet of commercially prepared feed is substantial and most of the protein (16-18%), minerals and vitamins are missing in your feeding program.

I would suggest that the hens desire for eating, eating, eating is their built-in sense of deficiency. The eat, but they cannot satisfy their dietary needs. Just my $.02, but this is the equivalent of feeding only corn flakes and the occasional celery stick to a person and expecting robust health; it isn't possible. Chickens are omnivores, not vegetarians. You did ask.
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brownmill609

In the Brooder
8 Years
Mar 3, 2011
11
0
22
Brown Mill, NJ
Quote:
my aunt (whom im taking over her coop) used to feed on a strictly corn diet and had them laying well, and said she used to feedgreens on occassion. i also bait for deer, and get free greens by the truckload from local farmers so i feed them some of that. they are laying well, given the col weather here in NJ. just wasnt sure if there was such a thing as "overfeeding"

If they are layers, there isn't such a thing as leaving feed out too long for them. Now the meat breeds - like cornish - I hear that is a different story. If price is an issue, around here, you can get two-grain scratch for the same price as corn- and the protein count is 10%.

Also, oats are the same price- and the protein is around 13%. So for the money, if you should decide to mix in a couple of other things - same price - and higher protein. Corn is good too!

im on a budget for feed, and i can get a 50lb sack of corn for $6, so thats how feeding was introduced to me. im new to this, not even a week into it. If oats will work for an all around feed, i can easily do that for a similar price. would that be sufficient, with corn, greens, and oyster shells as a background feed?
 

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