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What to feed my hens

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Mamachic1967, Oct 11, 2015.

  1. Mamachic1967

    Mamachic1967 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 1, 2015
    Wondering what to feed my 34-36 week old pullet hens? They've been on a layer feed and scratch grain from time to time since I got them. Now with winter coming on and them growing I wonder if I should get a different feed since layer is more for younger hens. Any suggestions?
  2. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

    Mar 9, 2014
    My Coop
    Layer feed is not a feed that is for younger hens - it is a feed for any female bird of laying age (18 + weeks) that is actively in production. That being said, alternatives are to use a grower ration or all-flock type feed and offer free choice oyster shell to provide for the calcium needs of those actively laying. I choose this approach because I often have a mixed flock - sexes, ages, life stage, etc - meaning not all of the birds I am feeding are at a point where layer feed would be appropriate so using the grower/all-flock feed meets the nutritional needs of all the birds without putting any of them (males, young females or hens not laying due to molt, broodiness, age, etc) at risk of damage from excessive calcium intake in layer feed.
    1 person likes this.
  3. RJSorensen

    RJSorensen Chicken George

    Ol Grey Mareā€¦ That is a very interesting feeding concept/structure you have in place. When I read your very nice response to the OP, I had to take pause and think of my on strategy. I will have to take this method to heart, and contemplate using your method. I have just 'fell' into a lay mash/pellet mindset and not really thought of feeding an all flock or other such feed that does not have the calcium included, and just offer it free choice via oyster shell.

    I am always up to finding a way to improve my management system(s). Over time I have refined my backyard operation, to a point that I seldom change or bump into a significant improvement for my birds and style. Home runs, such as horizontal nipples, just don't come along all that often, but I suppose there are many (I hope) tweaks to my bird keeping that can still be improved. Next trip to town I will have to take a look at the offerings for a diverse flock. I am delighted to have found a new method to research and even give it a try into my birds.

    Always grateful to learn and to try something new.

  4. Mamachic1967

    Mamachic1967 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 1, 2015
    Thank you. I also give them oyster shells. I will research the grower ration as I have only pullets. Thank you.

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