Just thought I'd share.....I see alot of ?'s on this subject here.


11 Years
Sep 16, 2009
Vernon Parish
Well, I started this thread here, thought it was a more appropriate place to put it.

Last week I was cruising the Forums on BYC and I noticed a thread that kinda just got me thinking. So I checked it out. It's on the Raising Baby Chicks section on the thread: Starting the 9th. mo. and still no eggs by SacMan64. If you want to check it out.

I've seen alot of questions on this subject lately, and they are very good ones especially this time of the year. With the amount of daylight getting shorter and the temps. are starting to cool a bit and alot of the older hens going into molt. The ol' gals are just needing a rest from laying. And I don't blame them either they've been busy spitting out eggs for quite a few months now and they're tired. Boy, and some do take a break sometimes for a while, like all winter long.

SacMan64 is from Louisiana, "mee too" as they say in south La., so I thought I'd see if I could help him out beein' I'm from about the same area.

He said he has 27 head of pullets 9 mos. old and they won't lay. So, I asked him what breeds and where from . He said they were from Ideal hatchery and the breeds were; 6 Barred Rocks, 5 RIR's, 6 Buff Orpingtons, and 10 Production reds. I responded and said well, they are all are pretty early bloomers and should start laying around 22 to 24 wks. old (BO's maybe a little later than the others.) and Ideal is known for having good laying stock. At least I haven't heard any bad reports on them anyway.

He PM'd me . So we talked about their diet. I told him the temps. haven't gotten cool enough here to make much difference yet. Ive got about the same number of layers as he does and mine are still producing a good amount of eggs. I have 4or5 different breeds of layers, 5 production reds 2yrs. old, 2 Black Australorps about 3yrs., 5 Gold sex-links and 1 Dominique, they are 6 mos. old and are laying now, not on a regular schedule yet, and 2 mixed "barnyard specials" and I average about 10 to 12 eggs a day from them. I also have 10 whatchamacallits or whatever you want to call them they're Bantyx Game crossed with (you name it they've probably got some in them.) Thay lay 6 to 8 eggs a day whenever or I should say wherever I can find them. They think I'm stealing their eggs so they're always hiding their nests. I swear the darn things can count. I'd say thats pretty good for a backyard famer. I only have about 25 years experience with layers. But, for about the first 17 to 18 years of my life I worked in the family business raising broilers while growing up and going to school. Boy was I glad to graduate and get another job. I probably helped raise about a million or so birds during that time period. Yeah, 20,000 birds/ house x 4 houses every 6 wks. x 17 years. Ya'll can do the math I'd rather forget most of it if you know what I mean. I'd guess that should be enough exp. to manage 25 layers.

I know I'm rambling on so I'll get back to the real deal. I gave him my feeding ratio for my hens being we've got about the same numbers. I feed mine 4lbs 17% laying pellets and about 1 1/2 lbs of grain twice daily(2 to 1 ratio of scratch and whole oats and when it cools off some in about a month, I'll ad in about a lb. of whole corn to the mix for each feeding.) SacMan64 said he's feeding 25 lbs. of laying pellets every 2 days along with chops, that's plenty enough for them to lay on for sure. He has wormed them dusted them everything he could think of and said he needed a chicken phsycologist.

So, I told him to try giving them some Calf-manna or equivalent high protien feed along with their diet. About 2 to1 laying pellets to high pro. feed. You don't have to feed it all the time just enough to give them a little bump to start laying, or for molting hens to help them lay some during their molt cycle.

He got some Lone Star brand Nutri-boost 25% feed(they recommend 2 to 4 lbs./ 100 birds. It's a little expensive, but so are chickens when they're eating and not producing.

Well, this morning I got a PM from him and he said: "been feeding them the high pro feed for a week now and guess what I've got EGGS. and a big thanks" Alright!

I had a neighbor call a couple of days ago with about the same situation so I gave her the same advice.

Alot of the time you ask people what they are feeding their chickens and most will say corn or chops, all they can eat. And they'll say that's what the "old timers" always fed their chickens way back when. Yeah, that's about all they had mostly for feed, they did'nt have all of the late model mixes of fed back in those days, and they didn't get much eggs either. They looked at a fresh egg as a piece of gold, and it really is in my opinion. Well, you can't expect very many eggs feeding a corn only diet. Its only 8% protien and high in fat. Now, yes they will lay some on corn especially in the spring time, that's mother natures normal laying and hatching season. Almost any ol' hen will lay during this time, but its still not a very nutritious diet. You can bet that as soon as the temps start getting hot that they're done laying, they just get too fat on straight corn. "A hen has a very delicate system and it doesn't take much to disturb their cycle", a friend of mine once said and he also said, "Why, you'll starve a chicken to death on striaght corn." Its not healthy for them and they just get tired of eating it, that's why you'll see it laying all over the ground and they're not eating it. Its kinda like us trying to live on an all "twinkie diet". It'll keep you alive but, its not very healthy either.

So sorry about Rambling on and on and chasing rabbits, just thought I'd share on a commonly asked question.

There you have it: catdaddy's version of Egglaying and Chicken Nutrition 101.

An egg is one of nature's perfect foods, right up there with milk, honey, and peanut butter with bananna sandwiches, Ha...

It has alot of protien, so it takes a lot of protien to make it.
And don't knock them sandwiches till you try it they're good for you.

Have fun ya'll. catdaddyfro
Thanks for sharing your wisdom here. My chickens only get layer pellets and whatever thay can find running around my yard. I am getting eggs, but now I think it might be a good idea to get some high protein feed for a little boost from time to time.

I'm glad you posted this. I've wondered if protein is so important to egg production then why do the "layer" feeds all have the least amount of protein...just never made sense to me.

I see others mix Layer with Flock Raiser to up the protein. I too was searching for a way to mix my own for a higher protein factor but still giving all the other appropriate nutrients.

Thanks for your tips!

I have been feeding my hens egg producer feed which is 21% protein. On the bag it tells you that you must feed up to an equal amount of scratch with it. I was always wondering about that as I thought that would reduce the protein too much. Any suggestions? Thanks!

P.S. I have been feeding them SOME scratch and SOME corn but not nearly an amount equal to the egg producer feed. Am I doing something wrong? Are they getting too much protein? It seems they have slowed down laying lately.
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