New feed, poor laying. Help

Ckelley617

Hatching
May 19, 2015
4
0
7
Pittsburgh, PA
Hello,

I am new to the forum and have only been raising chickens for eggs for 2 years now. I recently started mixing my own feed for our hens and their egg laying has decreased. We were feeding them a store bought organic sctatch feed prior. My mix consists of:
3 parts red wheat
2 parts crushed corn
2 parts black oil sunflower seeds
1 part rolled oats
1 part wheat bran
1 part barley
1 part peas
1/2 part flax seed
1/2 part help
free choice oyster shells and grit.

They don't seem to eat the peas or the rolled oats much at all.

Does anyone see a problem with this feed mix or something I should add? We have 6 hens and use to get 5-6 eggs/day but now we only get 3 on average.
 

ChickenCanoe

Enabler
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Nov 23, 2010
32,860
27,281
1,077
St. Louis, MO
You've discovered why mixing one's own feed can be a problem.
Looking at your mix, I don't see enough protein. More specifically, I don't see much lysine and methionine.
Off the top of my head, I'm guessing your mix is probably about 12% protein.
They need at least 16% protein to ovulate on a regular basis. In addition, chickens have 13 amino acids that are essential. Even if a vegetative source may be high in protein, it is deficient in at least 2 essential AAs.
Feed manufacturers that make a vegetarian based feed have to add synthetic lysine, methionine and sometimes tryptophan to make up what is missing in vegetative sources of protein.
If you have access to some animal protein sources like fishmeal, that may do the trick.
Or you could give some canned mackerel every other day.

http://www.avianaquamiser.com/posts/Protein_content_in_chicken_feed_ingredients/
http://agritech.tnau.ac.in/animal_husbandry/ani_chik_conventional.html
http://www.veeru.reading.ac.uk/comp2/Poultryweb/disease/nutri/nutri1.htm
 
Last edited:

TalkALittle

Songster
5 Years
Dec 15, 2014
1,661
725
191
Massachusetts
What breeds do you have? While I agree it is probably the change in feed that's causing your reduced egg numbers, some of the production breeds really taper off after just 2 years.
 

chickengeorgeto

Crowing
7 Years
Dec 25, 2012
8,047
4,193
431
Big Bend of the Tennessee River's Right Bank.
Hello,

I am new to the forum and have only been raising chickens for eggs for 2 years now. I recently started mixing my own feed for our hens and their egg laying has decreased. We were feeding them a store bought organic sctatch feed prior. My mix consists of:
3 parts red wheat
2 parts crushed corn
2 parts black oil sunflower seeds
1 part rolled oats
1 part wheat bran
1 part barley
1 part peas
1/2 part flax seed
1/2 part help
free choice oyster shells and grit.

They don't seem to eat the peas or the rolled oats much at all.

Does anyone see a problem with this feed mix or something I should add? We have 6 hens and use to get 5-6 eggs/day but now we only get 3 on average.

Peas are a legume. Legumes are generally toxic to chickens unless the legume has been roasted and pressed to remove the oil. That is what is done to soybeans to render them palatable to chickens. Chickens are not, and they never have been vegetarians. The suggestion to feed canned mackerel is good but so is supplementing your current feed with a premium brand of canned or dry dog food. The more meat, meat meal, meat byproducts, fish meal, bone meal etc the better. A product called Calf-Manna (as in manna from heaven) is also a great supplement.
 

Akrnaf2

The educated Rhino
6 Years
Jul 5, 2014
16,822
15,042
732
Center of Israel
Peas are a legume.  Legumes are generally toxic to chickens unless the legume has been roasted and pressed to remove the oil.  That is what is done to soybeans to render them palatable to chickens.  Chickens are not, and they never have been vegetarians.  The suggestion to feed canned mackerel is good but so is supplementing your current feed with a premium brand of canned or dry dog food.  The more meat, meat meal, meat byproducts, fish meal, bone meal etc the better.  A product called Calf-Manna (as in manna from heaven) is also a great supplement.  


I agree with every thing that have bean said above, your mix is not balanced and lacks protein I have only one suggestion that it is better to use cat food than dog because in cat food they use mainly animals protein when in dog food thy add also vegetable protein.
Good sources for high biological levels protein are: shredded cheese, canned tuna, cat food, pelleted fish food,meal worms, eggs,fish meal,etc. fermentation lower the toxicity of grains and legumes(breaking the Phytic acid )add some good vitamin
( B family ) and some good probiotic to the feed but it doesn't improve the amino acids level in the feed. If you will germinate your feed you can elevate the protein percentage but you always must to remember that it is a vegetable protein and it is un sufficient for an omnivore animal, like chickens.the simplest way is to buy prepared balanced layers feed
 

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom