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Malnurished Hens?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by SJ144, Mar 23, 2013.

  1. SJ144

    SJ144 New Egg

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    Mar 23, 2013
    Hello everyone, and allow me to thank you for any help in advance.
    I have a few laying hens that i have adopted from my father that could no longer take care of them. I have moved them to a new area and coop, and they have been here for just under one month. About two weeks ago, i ran out of the feed that my father had provided with them, which had come from a local feed store around where he lives. This was a scratch and he also supplemeted it with some laying feed as well. My problem is that i have had to find feed from limited sources here, and could only find a scratch, that the hens don't seem to find very appetizing. They are acting rather hungry as well, and i am worried that their health is suffering. Does anybody have any insight as to what i can do to get them to eat again, or if there may be something that they need to be fed that they aren't getting? I am really at a loss here and any advice would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

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    Hi. Chickens are great. They love leftovers. Just toss them out to them, it cuts down on the price of feed.
    Scratch is like a candy bar. Your hens need Layer Feed for nutrition and health and good eggs. You HAVE to feed them Layer. All feed stores carry it. Sometimes I buy the big cheap frozen bags of vegetables, cook them and give them to the chickens. Or I buy A few heads of Romaine. They love noodles.

    Keep looking for Layer feed. They really need it.
     
  3. Kilsharion

    Kilsharion Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My Coop
    If you are only giving them scratch grains, then their health is certainly going to suffer. They need protein which they won't get nearly enough of in scratch grains. You don't have to feed them layer feed. You can get away with feeding them game hen feed or even starter feed their whole life. It's certainly not preferable; but, it is possible. Just be certain that they get oyster shell free choice as well as grit free choice. You absolutely have to have the protein for them, though.

    The protein levels in starter and game feeds are higher than in layer feeds; but, not high enough to cause drastic problems in your hen's health. Though, they will most likely die before they otherwise would die if fed layer feed and let die from old age....most people do not keep laying hens past two to three years, anyway, because their productivity levels drop, so it's not really an issue.

    There are some places that will ship feed, as well, if that is your only option. I would highly suggest doing a search for feed stores (sometimes called farm supply stores) in your area. Either one should carry feed for your poultry.
     
  4. tinah

    tinah Out Of The Brooder

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    Worst case scenario get them all stock 14% and give them a bit of ground beef every morning, and crunched up store bought eggshells, or their own, free choice.
     
  5. Kilsharion

    Kilsharion Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 21, 2013
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    My Coop
    or scrambled eggs... [​IMG]
     
  6. SJ144

    SJ144 New Egg

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    Mar 23, 2013
    Ok, thanks again for the feedback. I had been giving them leftovers whenever i could, things like a little bit of cottage cheese, meat and vegie scraps, bread and the like; and they had devoured it as if they were ravenous. I figured that the scratch would have been like their primary feed, but i will do what i can to get some laying feed asap.
     
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