New things to worry about

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by mendogurl, Sep 21, 2009.

  1. mendogurl

    mendogurl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Read this today...

    "However, feeding too much grain will make your hens overly fat. When a complete 15 percent protein laying feed is used, do not feed more than one-half pound of grain per 10 hens daily. A 20 to 22 percent protein laying feed can be used with grain fed free-choice in separate feeders or spread on the ground (1 and 1/4 pounds of grain for every 10 hens daily). Supplementing the complete ration with grain is most economical when low cost local grain is available."

    How does one know if their hen is fat?
    I have essentially a continuous feeder, they can eat as much as they want. Plus they get table scraps.
    Am I overfeeding?
     
  2. rstampa

    rstampa Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 18, 2009
    Tampa, Florida
    No! From all I've read unlike dogs they know when they are full. I know after raising Exotic birds and now chickens that when their crop is full they seem to rest or fall asleep.
    I never had a fat cockatoo or an overweight parrot.
    They'll be fine just do what you're doing.
    [​IMG]
     
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    I think you ask a very good question. I don't have a real good answer. Certain foods, like corn, has a lot of calories, energy, or whatever you want to call it. Anyway, too much can cause them to get fat and can actually kill them or cause other problems. I believe the disease is called fatty liver syndrome or something like that. Hens with too much fat can have problems laying and even get egg bound.

    I had been feeding mine 20% starter/grower free choice and feeding them stuff from the garden; cabbage and broccoli leaves, lettuce, split tomatoes, etc. For a while they were getting a lot of Japanese beetles. When I processed some, I found a lot of fat built up on their liver, heart, and around the vent area. I had no idea they were that fat. I have since switched to 16% developer and cut back on the greens. I really don't think the greens had that muchto do with them getting fat, but they were fat enough that I got worried. That fat wrapped around the heart really bothered me.

    I'll still keep the feed in front of them free choice, but it will be 16% from now on, not the 20%. I'll process some more in a few weeks and see if they have thinned down any. But looking at them, I had no idea they were that fat inside and I do not know how to tell if they are fat.
     
  4. miss_jayne

    miss_jayne Lady_Jayne

    Jun 26, 2008
    Columbiaville, MI
    you'll know. they'll stop laying completely. they build up a fat pad inside that just eliminates laying. just like people, obesity upsets their reproductive system. no joke, when culled and/or butchered, 'fat' pullets/hens have a mongo fat pad right inside the repro belly area that is well, MONGO.

    in meat birds, it is desired to make a nice lard. in a layer, no so much. if you feed properly in any normal capacity, you will never see this. unless of course there is some kind of health issue.

    chickens do not typically overeat. keep their food at a 15-20% area and you'll be fine. don't stress it. they're chickens. [​IMG]
     
  5. mendogurl

    mendogurl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So my hens get an organic feed (from My Pet Chicken) in their feeder, table scraps and greens.
    I try not to give them too much starchy or fatty stuff, mainly fruits, vegetables and yogurt. Lots of greens.
    For protein, meal worms and crickets, a couple of times a week.
    They are all regularly laying an egg a day.

    Any flashing red lights ?
     
  6. mendogurl

    mendogurl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    the feed I use:

    Crude Protein (Min) 16.%, Lysine (Min) .7%, Methionine (Min) .25%, Crude Fat (Min) 2.5%, Cruder Fiber (Max) 4%, Calcium (Min) 4% (Max) 5%, Phosphorus (Min) .5%, Salt (Min) .3% (Max) .5%
     
  7. rstampa

    rstampa Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 18, 2009
    Tampa, Florida
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2009

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