No fruit to laying hens

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by 4-H chicken mom, Oct 18, 2007.

  1. firetrie

    firetrie In the Brooder

    May 7, 2007
    Niles, MI
    Quote:My buff orps just started laying this week and they are 24 weeks old... It depends on the chickens. My golden comets started at 17 weeks. and my EE well I got one about three weeks ago... then the past week I have finally gotten one every other day... So don't fret it will happen.

    Suggestions are make sure you nest boxes are not in the high traffic area, not too high off the ground, but not too low either, and you could try putting a golf ball or two in the nests to help them along.....
  2. I work at a local farmers' market and bring home 'goodies' to the chickens every week. I also go out daily and munch on the apples on our tree - as I do so - I throw a few to the chickens. Today we stripped the apple trees to make cider and they are out there wolfing down the culls. We're still getting eggs - not as many as earlier, but many are also moulting and the weather is cold and days shorter. I also don't know if I buy into the fruit thing. These chickens graze through our orchard from June drop on - jumping up for green apples all summer. They are feed watermelon, cantaloupe, grapes, - anything for a treat.
  3. Heidi

    Heidi Songster

    Mar 18, 2007
    Northwest Michigan
    Maybe it's the kind of breed of chicken that shouldn't have fruit. I have bo's, austrolorps, barred rocks, and ee's and they eat fruit almost every day (bananas, cantaloups, watermelon, apples, tomatoes, and etc...). I have 15 laying hens and I get between 12 to 14 eggs a day - they are 32 weeks old. I also have a light that turns on in the coop at 5:00 am, but no light at night.
  4. Sharisr32

    Sharisr32 Egg Killer ;)

    Jan 14, 2007
    OH/PA Boarder
    I give fruit in Oatmeal to my chickens to lay and since I am over run with eggs I have to say it works for me but i have never used cantelope - just the norms ya put with oatmeal Peaches - Strawberries - at least for the breeds I have -
    interesting though
  5. ZuniBee

    ZuniBee Songster

    May 8, 2007
    Zuni, Virginia
    Very interesting indeed. I give mine watermelon, grapes, tomatoes, apples, melon, cantaloupe, and all table scraps. Should be noted that leftover Chinese food is their absolute favorite! (get it made salt and msg soy sauce!)

    Fruit has not done anything to mine. They have just started at 18 weeks and every day I get more eggs. Up to 16 now..... Maybe it is the breed of chicken when it comes to fruit...
  6. panner123

    panner123 Songster

    Jan 15, 2007
    Garden Valley, ca
    In the 50++++ years I have had chickens, I have never heard of fruit stopping hens from laying. Believe me if your chickens free range around a garden, that is first place they go. Even if they get out of a fenced area the garden is history. Veggies are a daily treat for most chickens. As for wild grapes, mine could live on them, with no side affects. A few friends that sell at the local farmers market being unsold leftovers to my chickens mellows included. It has never stopped them from laying. It is the time of year, they just slow down. You could put a light in the coop to trick them. This is done be most large egg producers. Along with many additives in the food. Put the light in and leave the additives out.
  7. PurpleChicken

    PurpleChicken Tolerated.....Mostly

    Apr 6, 2007
    Mine are laying like mad at 26 weeks. They eat a ton of watermellon, apple,
    pear, vegies, table scraps, free range bounty, and tons of oatmeal. They are
    too young to draw a conclusion. They get 17 hours a day of both natural and/or
    artificial light.
  8. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Crowing

    May 8, 2007
    Meyer is the only one I've ever heard say this and when questioned about it earlier this year, they couldn't site any resources for this information. They just said they stand by it.

    I've never had this problem.
  9. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon

    Jan 27, 2007
    Ours get grapes and peaches (not big on pears). Pretty much same diet all along. They are going on three years old and their egg laying seems to follow the averages.

    Only thing I could find with a quick search was the Roman agriculturist Columella's recommendation that grape marc (seeds and skins of grapes) only be fed to laying hens after november when laying frequency had already dropped: Otherwise this addition to the diet would slow egg production and the eggs laid would be smaller and have a weaker shell.

    That was about the extent of the info.

    Oh, did find out that mango pits negatively impact egg laying frequency... (as a large portion of diet).

    Our girls like their grapes. Guess we'll just avoid those mangoes [​IMG]
  10. Mac

    Mac Songster

    Jul 1, 2007
    South Central PA
    Same here - mine eat all types of mellon and grapes. They are still laying eggs.

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