what to feed hens

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by atr04screw, Aug 6, 2011.

  1. atr04screw

    atr04screw Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 14, 2011
    When do I need to start feeding my hens laying mash? Also, do I need to mix laying mash and oyster shell into their food? I have a friend who just mixes cracked corn and laying mash, and I was going to do the same, but just wanted to make sure this was all they needed.
     
  2. BrokenRoadFarm

    BrokenRoadFarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 10, 2011
    North Central NC
    I just switched mine over to the layer feed - they are 20 weeks and have not starting laying yet. I bought a back of oyster shell but have not given it to them yet. A lot of people say you don't need it - I am going to wait to see how thin their egg shells are before I put it out.
     
  3. Mac in Wisco

    Mac in Wisco Antagonist

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    SW Wisconsin
    You should switch to layer feed (mash, pellets, or crumbles) when they start laying. It is formulated to be a complete ration, do not mix in extra calcium such as oyster shell into it or they may get too much. Too much calcium can lead to problems with shell quality as well as too little. Mixing it with scratch or corn dilutes the ration thus they will get less of the protein, vitamins, and minerals that the feed was formulated to provide.
     
  4. BoltonChicken

    BoltonChicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 14, 2011
    Bolton, Mississippi
    When do I need to start feeding my hens laying mash? Also, do I need to mix laying mash and oyster shell into their food?

    If you have chickens around 18 weeks old you can either switch to laying mash (which contains calcium) or you can feed them flock grower and put out some oyster shells and they can get the calcium from that. You do NOT mix oyster shell into laying mash. It already contains calcium.

    I have a friend who just mixes cracked corn and laying mash, and I was going to do the same, but just wanted to make sure this was all they needed.

    Cracked corn (scratch grains) should be used as a treat ONLY. Do not mix it with laying mash as it will dilute the nutritional benefits of the laying mash.​
     

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