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what to feed non-laying hens

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by cposz, Apr 3, 2011.

  1. cposz

    cposz Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 5, 2009
    Twin Cities, MN
    So one of our ladies retired about six months ago. The bag of layer crumble that we've always fed our chickens days that it is to be fed from about 3 weeks before laying starts (like anyone knows exactly when that is) until the hen stops producing.

    Well, our hen has stopped producing, should we continue to feed her layer crumble or is there something else we should be feeding her?
  2. Junkmanme

    Junkmanme Chillin' With My Peeps

    Personally, I prefer the Layer "Pellets" (the sparrows don't eat as much of it). You might also add some dried hot red pepper flakes to the feed to stimulate laying. (the kind of pepper flakes that you sprinkle on Pizza)

    -Junkmanme- [​IMG]
  3. cposz

    cposz Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 5, 2009
    Twin Cities, MN
    I'm not concerned that she isn't laying - she's pretty old and worked very hard for years. I just want to know if the regular crumble provides the appropriate nutrition for an old hen. And why the bag says to feed it to chickens UNTIL they stop laying ... then what?
  4. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    I don't use layer feed for my layers - the whole flock gets "All Flock" feed, or grower/finisher, depending on how it's called at the feed store. There is crushed oyster shell out, free choice, 24/7 for the layers to take as they need. Because I have so many different ages of chickens, this works for me. No sequestering those who can't have extra calcium yet, or worrying about the roosters getting calcium. It's all good.
  5. cposz

    cposz Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 5, 2009
    Twin Cities, MN
    Thanks to you both - this is helpful.
  6. 1muttsfan

    1muttsfan Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 26, 2011
    Upper Peninsula Michigan
    That is an interesting point about the roosters, is a layer diet unsafe for them? I keep my young birds heading for the egg producer pen separate until point of lay - bright combs, increasing friendliness - and feed them a finisher ration. If you have a breeding pen what would be a good diet for both the layers and roos?
  7. Arielle

    Arielle Chicken Obsessed

    Feb 19, 2011
    Massachusetts, USA
    Funny I just PM'd a friend about this. Read somewhere that breeding stock needs a high quality feed to produce higher quality eggs with better yolk quality to produce stronger chicks. Led us to talking about increasing the quality of feed for the hens that produce our eating eggs. . . . .Food for thought!
  8. schellie69

    schellie69 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 8, 2009
    Since mine free range and I had a mixed flock of layers and pullets who had not laid I went to a game bird feed and offer free choice egg shells it works great for mine
  9. hansolo

    hansolo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 7, 2011
    Fremont, CA
    How old is chicken considered old and usually stop laying?
    what do you do with retired birds?
  10. cposz

    cposz Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 5, 2009
    Twin Cities, MN
    I suppose in the big picture of chickens she's not that old - 4 or 5 years old, I guess. But for a good solid three years she laid every day - and now she hasn't laid for a good while, six months or more. I'm guessing she's pretty much done.

    Since we are just suburban back yard chicken farmers, what we will do with our chickens after they are done laying is provide a good, safe, happy home for them until they die. Just like the dog and cat, they'll be pets and have a home here for as long as they live. She's a sweet girl and lends a good bit of stability to the henhouse dynamics.
    1 person likes this.

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