styrofoam to make chickens lay eggs

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by margaretbird, Nov 6, 2011.

  1. margaretbird

    margaretbird New Egg

    May 17, 2011
    A friend told me she gave her hens tiny bits of styrofoam to encourage egg lating last winter when production slacked off. She got her information from a farmer. It worked. Any of you experts have an opinion on this?
  2. Lollipop

    Lollipop Chillin' With My Peeps

    I`ve read more than one story about fowl eating styrofoam insulation and it clogging them up. Could lead to death. Not a good idea. Sounds far fetched anyway......Pop
  3. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    I have to say "I don't believe it"

    Any positive results would be anecdotal at best. Think about it.
    It's expanded polystyrene, at best it's not food. At worst it's poisonous.
    When exposed to vitamin A (which would be in chickens diets) it breaks down to m-xylene, toluene, and 2,6-dimethylnaphthalene.

    Decreased egg laying in winter is entirely attributable to shortened day length. Styrofoam doesn't add light to the coop.

    I'd say the farmer was pulling the city slickers leg. Or worse yet, you musn't believe anything the farmer says about chickens.

    Some farmers say all you have to feed chickens is corn. They did that in the old days when there were just a few chickens ranging over a large farm with lots of greens, seeds and bugs not to mention the horse and cow manure they could pick through for worms and other grains.
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2011
  4. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    Chickens will eat styrofoam, to many owners dismay.
    I have never heard that it encourages egg laying. I'm inclined to think it is an old wives tale.

    Laying in winter is enhanced with adding light.

    Imp- And, Welcome to BYC. It's nice to see new "faces".
  5. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    THIS is known throughout the ag science world. Expanded polystyrene is way better than researched feed. But this is a secret not everyone knows. You have let the cat out of the bag.

  6. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    By the way Margaret, welcome.
    I hope we're not being too harsh. It just goes to show you can't believe everything you hear. If it sounds strange, it's probably wrong.
  7. groundpecker

    groundpecker Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 26, 2011
    Rison, Arkansas
    welcome to byc! Styrofoam will not help chickens lay. However, it may stop them up and cause death.
    To help them lay, you can check their diet for proper nutriton and that they are getting 14 hours of light a day.
    Search this forum for more info on nutrition and lighting. There is more info in byc than anywhere you can find.
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2011
  8. Little One

    Little One Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 9, 2011
    SE Virginia
    Welcome! [​IMG] I have no reason to believe that feeding chickens plastic would make them lay more eggs. [​IMG] If her hens did start laying more eggs, it was because of some other factor that changed.
  9. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Welcome. I hope realize you are very welcome here. You'll find folks do not have tolerance for foolish tales that are common in the chicken world, but have no basis in truth and are sometimes even reckless.

    Good to have you here!
  10. LovinChicknFarmn

    LovinChicknFarmn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 17, 2011
    North Carolina
    The problem is, even if it works, that styrofoam, which is made of chemicals and plastic is then ingested by you when you eat the eggs. No thanks. I can get healthier eggs at the store.

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