should I feed Layer crumbles?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by RhondaLynn, Oct 3, 2011.

  1. RhondaLynn

    RhondaLynn Out Of The Brooder

    13
    0
    22
    Oct 3, 2011
    I have about 20 hens in my barnyard. I got them several years ago to breakdown my horse manure and make dirt faster!!hahah! They are doing a wonderful job at that. They are also great to "de-spook" my horses to birds flying up under their feet!

    I have a preditor problem that I think I have finally taken care of (3 possums later).THANK GOODNESS!!! I have 2 buff Orpington hens and the rest are game (mixed up) hens. My game hens were great brooders and wonderful moms and my buff's were ok.

    Now to my 1st question... I don't feed them anything but cracked corn. They have the run of horse pasture/cow pasture, lake and all over the barnyard. I just call them up and feed them once a day (evening) when I feed the horses. I was getting a lot of eggs in the spring and I understand that spring equals more of a natural production time because they are laying eggs in order to sit and hatch. but.... I am now only getting one (1) egg and it is from my buff that does not have a chick at her side. Should I feed layer food and would that make the game hens lay?

    I would like to get some more "layer" breeds but where I live I have a definate preditor problem... hawks, coyotes, possums and fox. Last summer I caught 1 mama fox and 3 kits. We hear coyotes a lot in the river bottoms so I really hate the thought of buying expensive coyote food, plus I get attached to my girls and don't want anything to kill them. I love the bigger laying breeds but I don't want to "pen" my chickens.. so now my 2nd question... is there another breed beside "game" that is a good layer and smart to get away from preditors? Most of my chickens roost in a couple different trees.

    Thanks
    Rhonda
     
  2. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Yes, layer feed will have much more protein than the corn. Corn is usually 7-9% protein and layer feed is usually 16%. It also has added calcium so if you have chicks it is better to feed something like flock raiser (20% protein) with oyster shell in a little bin by itself that the layers can eat.

    To make eggs they need a nice source of protein.

    So, yes, I'd switch to layer.

    Also, those Black oil sunflower seeds are 16% protein and very good for them. So if you have some birdseed lying around they will love that on top of the layer as a treat. The millet in the birdseed mix is 11% protein.
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2011

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by