what to feed this winter?

foxcrossing26

In the Brooder
11 Years
Jul 4, 2008
29
0
22
This will be my first winter with my three laying hens. I know that at some point, they will stop laying and molt. Do I feed them anything different during this time? They now have an automatic feeder with layer pellets & crumbles, plus daily scratch treats, plus some garden leavings (melon, zucchini, etc).

Do I just keep up this same regimen all winter? Do they need anything additional to grow their new feathers?
 

gritsar

Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!
12 Years
Nov 9, 2007
28,906
237
421
SW Arkansas
I intend to add scratch next month when the weather will start turning cooler here.
I remember reading somewhere on this forum that you can offer them a bit of dry cat food, not much. The protein in the cat food should help with new feather development.
 

snowydiamonds

Songster
11 Years
Feb 9, 2008
1,382
14
176
On top of the world in Alaska
they don't like change, most animals don't that we raise and stress is change, they'll be undergoing stress in the molt so don't change a thing...and don't be stingy w/the feed or treats or your time w/them, that is stress, too...
(not accusing you at all, just feeling a bit blue from yesterday's downsizing-my own stress even after the deed is done)
 

silkiechicken

Staff PhD
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
13 Years
Jan 25, 2007
21,494
963
393
Everett WA/Corvallis OR
When moult hits, I usually buy a bag of "layer supplement" that has 20% protein in it and is formulated for the birds. Either that or a game bird feed with 24-28%. Feed it for about 2 months when they go though the heaviest of moult and then back to the regular 16% layer. If it's really cold, and they are getting lots of scratch, I often stay on the layer supplement so they have a lesser tendency to pluck feathers for protein.
 

simba49450

Songster
11 Years
May 23, 2008
160
0
119
Michigan
hey there

depending on where you are is what kind of feed. i live in michigan and i feed them cracked corn mixed in thier feed for the warmth. if you live down south the winters are not cold at least for us northerners. if you live in the north thats your best bet is mix thier feed with cracked corn. it works and it kept all of mine warm and fuzzy
 

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