Switch Food?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by beb444, Oct 8, 2016.

  1. beb444

    beb444 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi all! I need your input. A little background info first:

    So, my chickens are 11 month olds and up until about 3 months ago were on Purina Laying Feed(except the medicated chick feed when they were chicks). I think it worked well for our flock, we were getting about 6-7 eggs per day and we have 7 chickens. Then, my local feed store stopped carrying Purina, and starting carrying Bar Ale Poultry Feed. I am not sure if the egg decline has to do with the food or not, but it sure seems like that is a good possibility. For about the last 2 months or so(maybe a little less) we have been getting 2-3 eggs per day.:( We live in Cali and the weather here is still pretty mild(a lot of sunshine, not too cold), so I don't think the decline has to do with that.

    Has anyone had any experience/knows if Bar Ale Poutry Feed is good(I think it's a california brand)? Should I switch food to get egg production up? Any recommendations?

    The chickens do get treats(cantaloupe, watermelon, corn, lettuce, mealworms, etc.) but their food is their main source of protein.

    Thank you for any and all suggestions on why my girls have decided to stop laying!
     
  2. QueenMisha

    QueenMisha Queen of the Coop

    Personally I feed exclusively Bar Ale and wouldn't feed anything else (and that's not just cause I work for a feed store that sells it, lol). It's always incredibly fresh from the mill and I've yet to have an issue with it, aside from the occasional poorly-stitched bag. I've got 70 laying hens, a considerable amount of which are NOT production or good laying breeds and the majority of which are in molt right now, and I'm still getting over a dozen eggs a day. During the summer that number jumps to perhaps 40-60 eggs a day (again, that's from mostly non-high production breeds).

    Eleven month olds should be molting this time of year. Is that perhaps your issue?
     
  3. beb444

    beb444 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 16, 2015
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    Hi! Thank you for your response! I'm glad to know it's good food:) I think I have one molting right now, but the rest look fluffy and normal.
     
  4. beb444

    beb444 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 16, 2015
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    I see you live in Placerville, do you by chance work at Lee's Feed?
     
  5. QueenMisha

    QueenMisha Queen of the Coop


    Not Lee's; though I do run over there to gawk at their baby chicks often. I actually work at The Poultry Palace, down the road about five minutes from Lee's.
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2016
  6. beb444

    beb444 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 16, 2015
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    Oh haha! I'll have to come to try you guys out:) It looks like you have a better return policy on cockerels than Lee's[​IMG]

    Do you have any idea on what could be causing the decline besides molting?
     
  7. QueenMisha

    QueenMisha Queen of the Coop


    Yup. Guaranteed females, so sneaky boys can be returned. Plus, we raise 'em through the "brooder-heatlamp" stage too, so you can get 'em once they're properly feathered out. (We can sex with near 100% accuracy at that age too). Feel free to come by any time, even just to say hi! We're open every day except Sunday and Monday. And we carry Bar Ale exclusively, over 15 different kinds of it, for everything from layers to turkeys.

    Hmm... any recent stress to your flock? New birds, predators in the area? Have you checked for lice or mites? Do they free range and could they possibly be hiding them?
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2016
  8. beb444

    beb444 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I do not think that anything has been changed to cause them stress. It's been the same 7 chickens in my flock since their birth and haven't added any new birds, or had any change to my flock recently. We do have predators like coyotes around, but where the chickens are situated in our yard, they haven't had any contact with any. I have not checked for lice or mites...How do you do that? Is that something you would recommend?
    They do free range, but supervised. And they also have a pretty big run. I have checked around for hidden eggs and have not found any. This week we have had 2 eggs every day, except for 2 days when none laid:(( If you (or anyone) can think of anything else it would be appreciated:)))
     
  9. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Flock Master

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    Even though your climate is warm, days are getting shorter. That may be the issue.
     
  10. beb444

    beb444 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 16, 2015
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    Thank you for your response! This has been slowly happening since August-September though, every week just less and less. Could that be the case? Do you think it's more likely something physical or something wrong with them, like an illness?
     

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