What Do You Feed Your Laying Hens and Why?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by farmgirlsomeday, Mar 1, 2014.

  1. farmgirlsomeday

    farmgirlsomeday Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'd love to hear from a variety of BYCers what they choose to feed their laying hens, and how/why they selected their feed. What brand(s) do you use? Do you use pellets or crumbles? Do you mix several types of feed together to make your own custom feed blend? Do you add anything like cracked corn or diatomaceous earth to your chicken feed? Do your hens get oyster shells, and if so, do you mix it into their feed or offer it in a separate dish? Is Organic important to you? Do you look for feed without animal byproducts? Soy? Lots of questions that all boil down to one: what do you feed you laying hens and why did you pick that feed? Thanks!
     
  2. FarmalI

    FarmalI Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I feed my chickens 16% egg pellet in all seasons, but in the winter i make my own feed.
     
  3. farmgirlsomeday

    farmgirlsomeday Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks @farmall. What goes into your homemade winter season feed?
     
  4. FarmalI

    FarmalI Chillin' With My Peeps

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    1 bag of soybean meal
    1 bag of oats
    3 bags of chop corn
     
  5. KuroKitsune

    KuroKitsune Chillin' With My Peeps

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    my cochin girls get nutrena's naturewise all flock pellets and oyster shell free choice. they also get a bit of FF a day which is just made from their food and they get alfalfa hay every couple days or so. my girls lay eggs with super hard shells so this is working for them.


    they also get a bit of scratch a day as a treat
     
  6. SlipsWife

    SlipsWife Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We use Dumor layer crumbles, mainly because its the main feed our local TSC carries. We started them out as chicks on the crumble starter/grower. We tried switching over to layer pellets and they didn't like the pellets so we've stuck with the crumbles. We tried one bag of Purina but didn't notice any difference so we've stayed with the Dumor.

    We offer cracked corn and whole kernel as scratch in the mornings, about 1/4 cup per hen, sprinkled on the ground so I'm not sure how much they actually eat. We sometimes sprinkle 1/2 cup of dried meal worms around for them to pick at. They also get leftovers when we clean out the fridge or any vegetables we have extra each night. We let them free range our yard, a half acre, a few times a week for a couple of hours.

    We haven't had the need to offer oyster shell but if we start getting soft shells we will. We have a few roosters, they were packing peanuts from our Ideal order, that we're going to try fermenting feed on in the next week or so.
     
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2014
  7. blucoondawg

    blucoondawg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I feed an all flock feed either nutrena or sprout, usually Sprout now as it is cheaper and these are what is sold at the local farm store, they get oyster shells on the side. I do this because I don't like feeding the roosters the elevated calcium in the layer feed. I do some free range in the summer when we are around to watch them and they get thrown some scratch daily. As far as organic goes, I don't care about organic so much that I will pay the high dollar amounts on a bag of feed carrying the organic label, I also don't believe all of the stuff labeled organic nowadays is actually what many people think of as organic, I think it's mostly a marketing technique meant to draw dollars from our wallets in many cases.
     
  8. FarmalI

    FarmalI Chillin' With My Peeps

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    what do you mean you dont like feeding your rooster the high calcium feed? whats wrong with roosters having calcium?
     
  9. blucoondawg

    blucoondawg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The higher calcium levels are meant for hens to help in forming egg shells. The thinking Is you shouldn't feed high calcium foods to birds who aren't laying as it can cause kidney damage eventually
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2014
  10. flickerloo

    flickerloo Out Of The Brooder

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    Scratch and Peck 18% layer mash, fermented. It's organic, non-GMO, local. Also provide oyster shell free choice, even though the feed contains oyster shell. Occasionally I give them raw liver.
     

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