Production Reds & Sweet Feed Question

Ladysonja

Songster
11 Years
Jul 29, 2008
339
2
129
Porter, Texas
Hello All -

I purchased 4 Production Red hens this morning approximately 12 months old. The new ladies are currently laying eggs each day and are in good health.

When asked about the type feed given to his ladies to prevent diet issues, DH & I were told that he gave part laying feed and part horse sweet feed. He said that it helped put weight on his birds.

I understand that sweet feed is full of sugar which can cause hyperactivity and aggresion.

My Question:

The new girls seem to be very high strung and a bit agressive even towards me. Could this be because of the sweet feed?

I know that it will take the 4-12 months olds, 6-6 month olds and 9-3 month olds to find their pecking order, but I'm wonder how long it will take the new girls to come off their sweet feed high?

I sure hope that someone has some advice otherwise the 4 new birds will be a very expensive chicken dinner and soon.
 

CUDA

Songster
11 Years
Mar 4, 2008
1,272
35
181
Michigan
Not sure about the feed causing their demeanor, but sweet feed shouldn't be fed to chickens, as molasses is a natural laxative to chickens...
 

MandyH

You'll shoot your eye out!
12 Years
Apr 16, 2007
3,277
20
231
Elvis' birthplace......
I have about 40 production reds and they tend to be a little more jumpy and mean, but I'm used to my sweet cochins. I have a PR rooster that is very close to getting whacked in the head if he gets after me again. EVERYDAY he tries to chase me, of course I'm not scared of him but I make sure he doesn't go after the 3 year old dd.
Edited to say: No mine do not get sweet feed, they just must have a death wish.
 
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LynneP

Songster
11 Years
Mar 21, 2008
4,746
57
231
Centre Rawdon, Nova Scotia, Canada
My girls are production reds, 19 weeks old and on laying feed plus occasional low-sugar treats like cukes, pumpkin, zucchini...the feedmaster at our co-op cautions against sugar and the pullets are in good weight and feathering nicely...
 

hensdeliverthegoods

Songster
12 Years
Dec 18, 2007
693
0
149
Catawba County, NC
I keep my sex-links on straight layer feed with occasional treats. They aren't going to be a real heavy bird anyway, because they are bred to lay. A good laying hen is always a bit on the lean side.


Edited to add - They will probably settle down and be less flighty after you've had them for awhile. They're probably just reacting to stress right now.
 
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cmom

Hilltop Farm
12 Years
Nov 18, 2007
22,484
12,968
641
Florida
My Coop
I have never heard of feeding chickens sweet feed. Mine get their layer feed and treats in moderation. I do give the vegie scraps and excess out of my gardens.
 

patandchickens

Flock Mistress
12 Years
Apr 20, 2007
12,520
253
341
Ontario, Canada
for whatever it's worth, I asked here, two winters ago I think, about using SMALL amounts of sweet feed as scratch, and was told by a number of people that they do it with no problems. Certainly I've done it off and on (basically in wintertime) with no problems.

I really dunno as I'd feed them a meaningful amount of it on an ongoing basis though.

Pat
 
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Ladysonja

Songster
11 Years
Jul 29, 2008
339
2
129
Porter, Texas
Thanks All for the wonderful comments.

I have heard of giving sweet feed to animals to help with weight in the winter, but not as part of a normal daily diet or partical supplement.

If I heard the previous owner correctly, the sweet feed and laying feed was about 50%/50%. The girls are really plump and in good health, I just think the sugar in the sweet feed may have them a bit strung out and of course the new surroundings.

Secondly, I think he only feed them once a day. I didn't see a constant food source or water source in the pen area so I'm sure it was survival of the fittest
?

I guess it is the difference in the breeds of birds and of course the ages.

This morning DH didn't have to show that he was the rooster in the hen house as mush as yesterday. We'll give it some time and see what comes of the new additions.

Thanks again all -
 

MandyH

You'll shoot your eye out!
12 Years
Apr 16, 2007
3,277
20
231
Elvis' birthplace......
If they were only being fed once a day that could have something to do with it. We have a pen that only gets fed once a day and they go CRAZY when you enter the pasture, much less pick up a feed bucket. The other pens of birds have food available 24/7 and they have a totally different demeaner. Once they get used to having feed available and know they are not going to starve to death, they will come around.
 

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