Varied flock. What to feed.

natyvidal

Songster
Mar 1, 2018
380
417
182
Dade City, Florida
Sounds like your hens are getting older and after moultin they might not kick start til spring, thats how it tends to be with hens on my property. 16% feed is cheaper here than higher protein feeds so I feed 16% all year, it does just fine for me during laying season. I can get 22% for $1 more a bag so I picked up a bag to feed to the moultin birds to help them bounce back then theyll be on 16% too.. I cant speak for your other birds just chickens lol.

Also Ive tested raising chicks after 6-8 weeks on 16% crumble and on 20% chick starter, the ones on 16% grew just as big and healthy as the ones on 20%, so if you have access to a 16% that is free of oyster shell you might want to do your own experiment raising 2 pens of chicks one of higher protein and one on 16%. Im sure some breeders will not recommend 16% for growing birds but hey it worked for me and I have a big and healthy flock so do what works for you 🤟🤟
Sounds like your hens are getting older and after moultin they might not kick start til spring, thats how it tends to be with hens on my property.

IF THIS IS SO, I THINK I'LL BE CULLING SOME HENS. THEY WERE LAYING UP TO 15 EGGS A DAY WHEN I ONLY HAD 35. I ADDED MORE CHICKS THIS SUMMER SINCE I KNEW SOME OF THEM WOULD SLOW DOWN. BUT, THIS IS RIDICULOUS! I AM BARELY COMPLETING 8 DOZENS AND MY CLIENTELE IS ASKING FOR MORE. I CAN TELL SOME OF THEM ARE STILL MOULTING SO THEY HAVE ONE MORE MONTH GRACE PERIOD. I AM ALSO GIVING THE NEW ONES MORE TIME SO THEIR EGGS ARE BIGGER. RIGHT NOW THEY ARE LAYING THOSE TINY EGGS THAT ALL DO AT THE BEGGINING.

QUESTION: ARE THREE YEAR OLD HENS ALSO GOOD FOR EATING? MAKING SOUP?

THANK YOU FOR YOUR HELP.
 

natyvidal

Songster
Mar 1, 2018
380
417
182
Dade City, Florida
ALSO, THIS IS DADE CITY, FLORIDA. WEATHER HERE IS STILL NOT BAD. WELL IT IS NEVER REALLY BAD ANYWAY. AND IS THERE ANYTHING I CAN GIVE THEM ASIDE FROM THE REGULAR LAYER, SCRATCH, VEGGIES FEED? THANK YOU.
 

ChickenLeg

Crowing
9 Years
Feb 15, 2012
1,896
2,613
337
Sounds like your hens are getting older and after moultin they might not kick start til spring, thats how it tends to be with hens on my property.

IF THIS IS SO, I THINK I'LL BE CULLING SOME HENS. THEY WERE LAYING UP TO 15 EGGS A DAY WHEN I ONLY HAD 35. I ADDED MORE CHICKS THIS SUMMER SINCE I KNEW SOME OF THEM WOULD SLOW DOWN. BUT, THIS IS RIDICULOUS! I AM BARELY COMPLETING 8 DOZENS AND MY CLIENTELE IS ASKING FOR MORE. I CAN TELL SOME OF THEM ARE STILL MOULTING SO THEY HAVE ONE MORE MONTH GRACE PERIOD. I AM ALSO GIVING THE NEW ONES MORE TIME SO THEIR EGGS ARE BIGGER. RIGHT NOW THEY ARE LAYING THOSE TINY EGGS THAT ALL DO AT THE BEGGINING.

QUESTION: ARE THREE YEAR OLD HENS ALSO GOOD FOR EATING? MAKING SOUP?

THANK YOU FOR YOUR HELP.
Yes three year old hens are good for soup, work good if you have an instapot!

When my granddad had an egg operation he bought new chicks every March and September, and whenever the layers started molting or if their combs went pale he sold them instantly. Around here you can still get an easy $15 for a molting hen. This way he never was feeding birds that werent laying and when he sold them it covered the feed cost to get them to laying age.

Also by having 2 batches being raised every year he always had steady eggs. He also had lights on 16 hr timers to keep them laying all year round. From what Ive read chickens dont need big bulbs they only need 9watt LEDs per 200sq ft of coop. Also if you have good light in you coop you only need the timers on early in the morning until thr sun came out, and in the after noon after the sun goes down. Just enough extra light to make up for the shorter days, no need to have them on during the day light hours. If I remember correctly his timers wrnt off an hour after sunrise and an hiur before sunset.

I dont know how big your egg operation is, but just throwing his method out there! He really loved the brown hylines and the golden comets. Hope any of this helps your egg operation 🤟
 

ChickenLeg

Crowing
9 Years
Feb 15, 2012
1,896
2,613
337
ALSO, THIS IS DADE CITY, FLORIDA. WEATHER HERE IS STILL NOT BAD. WELL IT IS NEVER REALLY BAD ANYWAY. AND IS THERE ANYTHING I CAN GIVE THEM ASIDE FROM THE REGULAR LAYER, SCRATCH, VEGGIES FEED? THANK YOU.
Ive read conflicting info about birds in molt about uping their protein % and some say to lower it.. So I cant give much help but on a side note heres a real cool video of a giy that feeds 600 layers for practically free by getting local food waste and using the broken down food as a soul source of feed for his flock.

 

natyvidal

Songster
Mar 1, 2018
380
417
182
Dade City, Florida
Yes three year old hens are good for soup, work good if you have an instapot!

When my granddad had an egg operation he bought new chicks every March and September, and whenever the layers started molting or if their combs went pale he sold them instantly. Around here you can still get an easy $15 for a molting hen. This way he never was feeding birds that werent laying and when he sold them it covered the feed cost to get them to laying age.

Also by having 2 batches being raised every year he always had steady eggs. He also had lights on 16 hr timers to keep them laying all year round. From what Ive read chickens dont need big bulbs they only need 9watt LEDs per 200sq ft of coop. Also if you have good light in you coop you only need the timers on early in the morning until thr sun came out, and in the after noon after the sun goes down. Just enough extra light to make up for the shorter days, no need to have them on during the day light hours. If I remember correctly his timers wrnt off an hour after sunrise and an hiur before sunset.

I dont know how big your egg operation is, but just throwing his method out there! He really loved the brown hylines and the golden comets. Hope any of this helps your egg operation 🤟
All is welcome. Great system your grandfather had. I already have a light in the coop. But, I keep it on all of the time. Will that affect the laying? You Think? Thank you.
 

ChickenLeg

Crowing
9 Years
Feb 15, 2012
1,896
2,613
337
All is welcome. Great system your grandfather had. I already have a light in the coop. But, I keep it on all of the time. Will that affect the laying? You Think? Thank you.
I couldnt say for sure if itd hurt laying I dont have any knowledge on a 24/7 hour light regiment. But Id guess it wouldnt be as ideal as 14-16hrs. Kindof like with plants, they dont do well with lights on 24/7 or us humans either lol. Hope you get it all worked out. Ive been only getting about 2-3 eggs a day from 43-45 hens but theyll be laying up a storm come spring time!
 

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