Layer Feed

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by turbo13, Oct 25, 2010.

  1. turbo13

    turbo13 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 10, 2010
    COEUR D'ALENE IDAHO
    My gals are just over 5 months old.1 BR 1 Buff Orp,and 1 EE . No one has laid an egg,yet.I'm feeding them about 6 diffrent grains.But no layer feed,they freerange about 3 hrs, a day.They seem in good health.They get fish and vegg.Oyster shells and grit free choice.How important is layer feed.and should I add it? ANY HELP !
     
  2. Beekissed

    Beekissed True BYC Addict

    It sounds as if they are getting some really good nutrition. Layer feeds are formulated, supposedly, for optimal nutrition during laying years and I buy them myself because they are the cheapest option for me.

    But I don't think they are the only way for laying hens to stay in top shape. Freemotion mixes her own feeds and reports good laying and wonderful health for her birds. Just keep doing what you are doing and gauge the success by your results. [​IMG]
     
  3. dani63

    dani63 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 29, 2010
    I am new to chickens this year. I was feeding my hens layer feed and was getting 3-5 eggs a day(including 1 bantam egg) finally. I ran out of layer feed and wasn't able to get more right away and they totally stopped laying in 3 days. On the 4th I was able to get to the feed store and I am now getting 1 egg a day. It has taken several days to get that one egg, I am hoping the production picks back up soon. I have 5 hens (RIR, comet and an Austrolope) and 2 bantams hens (bantams have stopped laying too). I feed mine layer feed, cracked corn and kitchen scraps. The shells have been very thick and the eggs delicious with out any deformities. All but 2 were hatched at the end of March. I am very new to this but without layer feed mine quit laying for me.
     
  4. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    My Buff Orpingtons (9 of them) were born in mid-May, and only a few of them are laying (as in 2 or 3). I mix my own feed too. Keep at it! BOs don't always lay at 5 months- I have read lots of people saying that theirs were laying around 6 months or so. My Golden Sex Links (10 of them) are almost all laying wonderful eggs now, born at the same time.

    Also- I was just reading about how EEs can take a WHILE to start laying. As in, whew!!!!!!! I never thought she'd start!!!!!
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2010
  5. eagleriver24

    eagleriver24 Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 25, 2009
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    You don't need layer feed for your layers. That is what the food producers want you to believe. I feed mine a mixture of barley, oats and cracked corn with free choice oyster shell. That is all they need to lay eggs. I'm getting almost 90% production out of my hens. Also I feed them table scraps and greens from the lawn mower when available.

    Save your money and go to a local farm and buy - Barley - Oats- and Corn- Total feed cost is about 1/3 the cost of layer feed.
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2010
  6. turbo13

    turbo13 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 10, 2010
    COEUR D'ALENE IDAHO
    Thanks everyone for your replys.I feel better now.I'll keep doing what I'm doing,and hope for the best.
     
  7. eagleriver24

    eagleriver24 Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 25, 2009
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    Chickens have been around for thousands of years and they didn't have special layer food for them. Now all of sudden the industry wants us to believe that we have to have this stuff. Your balanced diet of grains, greens and scraps will be even better for them.

    Just remember to provide extra grit for them. They will need it.
     
  8. tammyd57

    tammyd57 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Every EE I ever had started laying AFTER she turned 6 months old. I've heard a lot of people say the same thing. Although, individual pullets will vary, all of the BO I've had have been laying by 17-18 weeks. Right now I have a bunch of BO mixed pullets and 2 of them started laying at 16 weeks!
    It's hard to wait for those first eggs! [​IMG]

    It sounds like your pullets are getting a well rounded diet, I wouldn't worry about 'layer' feed. Mine eat very little packaged "chicken chow" and a lot of whole foods.
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2010

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