Scratch ideas

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by kaskogen, Nov 18, 2014.

  1. kaskogen

    kaskogen New Egg

    Nov 18, 2014
    We are fairly new urban chicken farmers:) We use an organic/soy free/corn free feed for our girls because of household allergies. After almost 2 1/2 months of great egg production the ladies have stopped. Our weather did turn very cold here recently, however they are in a very nice heated/insulated coop with access daily to a fenced run. Im wondering if there is anything not grain related that I can give the ladies as scratch to help get some egg production? I do sprinkle grit and oyster shells occasionally. Thanks in advance:)
  2. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Overrun With Chickens

    Jul 24, 2013
    [​IMG] Glad you joined us!

    I am not aware of a non-grain scratch. However, I can tell you that scratch does not necessarily make hens lay more. In fact, it might do the opposite by making them fat, and thus limiting egg production.

    The only thing that reliably stimulates egg production is artificial lighting. To remain in peak production, hens need at least 14 hours of light each day. As winter gets closer, daylight hours naturally decrease, and a chicken's natural instinct is to stop laying. By providing artificial lighting in the coop for a few hours each day (thus giving them 14+ hours of combined natural and artificial light), you can often get hens laying again, or prevent them from ever stopping.
  3. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Overrun With Chickens

    Jul 24, 2013
    Welcome to BYC![​IMG] We're glad to have you.

    I don't know of any non-grain scratch, as scratch is by definition a mixture of small grains. But, I suspect that it wouldn't help your egg production even if there was a non-grain version- scratch reduces the total amount of important, healthy nutrients that hens get in an otherwise balanced diet. Hens may fill up on scratch, and not eat the food that provides the important nutrients.

    The oyster shells and grit are really all you can do to help egg production right now. Lighting is another important thing. To increase egg production, I would add a light so that your hens have at least 14 hours of daylight daily.

    Basically, lighting and the proper feed are all you can do to keep chickens laying. Aspects beyond your control, such as age of bird or molting, slow down egg production.
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2014
  4. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend Staff Member

    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
  5. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master Premium Member Project Manager

    Jan 10, 2013
    [​IMG] Glad you joined us.
  6. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
  7. kaskogen

    kaskogen New Egg

    Nov 18, 2014
    Thank you! I will make sure to be diligent about adding some oyster shells on a more regular basis. We do have a red light on in the coop for warmth and light. I can try shutting it off during the day while they go outside, perhaps they are getting too much light. I really can't shut if off at night its just to cold. Ill read the article and see what else we can do. I did give them some scraps yesterday (apple,broccoli) and tonight we had an egg:)
  8. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

    Feb 18, 2011
    Hello :frow and Welcome To BYC!
  9. Mountain Peeps

    Mountain Peeps Change is inevitable, like the seasons Premium Member

    Apr 23, 2014
    At our lodge
    My Coop
    Welcome to BYC! Please make yourself at home and we are here to help.
  10. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

    Jun 28, 2011
    Rep of Ireland
    Welcome to BYC [​IMG] Glad you joined us!

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