WHAT TO FEED YOUR CHICKENS TO GET MORE EGGS
Personally, we were amazed by the effect table scraps had on our layers. We had always fed shell corn and layer pellets (our chickens do not seem to like the crumbles as well). They do love a variety of leftovers and it dramatically increased our egg production. We also wired the house for electricity and added a small yard. We leave a light bulb on in the winter to stimulate at least nine hours of daylight. We also took the advice below and feed some at night before roosting so they go to sleep with their crops full. Below is an adapted article that was helpful:
Feeding your chickens appropriately is essential if you want them to lay good, large and strong eggs while being healthy at the same time. Generally speaking, chickens are omnivores just like man. You will need to keep in mind the fact that what chickens eat is different from what chickens must eat to produce better. But chickens will eat nearly everything ranging from spaghetti and even less exciting foods such as grass, vegetables, flowers and fruits. They also eat seeds and grains and even bugs which they find on them. However, if egg production is the main reason why you rear eggs and you want more and more eggs, you will need to know about chicken feeds that boost egg production as detailed here below:
1. Grit is good—–
Some people worry that they are feeding their chickens too much grit but the truth of the matter is that there is really nothing that you should worry about here. Most people who have reared chickens for many years for ages will tell you that there is nothing wrong with grit. You can be assured of more, hard eggs which are exactly what you want. With chickens that are housed, we have set pans of dirt on their floor which they seem to love going through.
2. More corn is necessary—-
It is essential that you provide your chickens with more corn, together with the layers pellets and grit. In fact, corn is very essential if your hens are producing relatively soft eggs. Hens which live on the grass are able to dig the ground all day and get nearly everything that they want. You might see new layers laying some abnormal eggs that have odd shapes, soft eggs or double yolks but you really have nothing to worry about as they will be normal after some time. You will be amazed at how increases the production of eggs by your chickens.
3. Consider leftovers and table scraps—
It is also a good idea that you consider feeding your eggs some leftovers if you want to see their egg production increase. There is a wide range of leftovers that you can give your chickens such as pasta, potatoes, stale bread and beans and you will be amazed to see that they will even lay more eggs than you would probably imagine. However, even though chickens are omnivorous as highlighted here above, avoid feeding them meat as this will only have a counter effect on their egg production.
Table scraps is something that most chickens really appreciate and you should consider feeding them to your chickens if you want them to lay more eggs. The good thing with chickens is that they will eat nearly anything ranging from stale toast to coffee grinds and soggy green beans. Sometimes, what chickens eat all depends on their personal preference but always remember that some feeds are much better and more nutritious than others.
4. Give your chickens mealworms or allow them to free graze—-
Most chicken layers don’t understand how insects and worms can help their girls lay more eggs. However, the truth of the matter is that feeding your chickens mealworms can significantly increase their food production. Chickens also like to eat mealworms especially when given to them as a treat, that kind that is available for reptiles. Another favorite for chickens is dried mealworms that you have for the wild garden birds. If you take your chickens outside, you will be amazed at how they tirelessly hunt for worms on the ground as they know that they are very good for their health. A small lot can make a huge difference.
5. Commercial chicken laying pellets are the best—
While there are so many things that you can feed your chickens to lay more eggs, the best of them would be the commercially produced pellets for egg laying chickens. You will find them being sold in many stores that sell animal feeds and they are the best to buy if you want to increase the egg production of your eggs. These pellets are well designed to suit the dietary needs of today’s productive chickens. Creating and laying an egg on a daily basis is very depleting for the chicken. As such, these pellets are formulated with the right proportions of minerals, protein and energy needed by the chickens.
It is essential that you consider having much of your chicken’s diet comprising of these pellets as they are very nutritional for the hens. Ensure that your chickens are able to access the pellets the entire day, and that they go to sleep with their crops being full. Keep in mind the fact that a chicken creates an egg in more than 25 hours. This means that even when your chicken is sleeping, a lot is going on in her body as far as building that egg you are really waiting for in the morning is concerned. The materials which the chicken uses to create the egg are derived from the digested food and she can’t create an egg when her digestive tract has nothing. For this reason, allow your chicken to eat as much pellets as he wants right from morning to sundown.
While the commercial feeds usually contain calcium in large amounts, it is also important that you provide the minerals from another source as well. Even though it is undeniable that commercial feeds do your chicken a lot of good, remember that they are not the only thing which you should be feeding your chickens.Since your chickens are layers, the market is home to some very good layers pellets that you can feed your chickens and be amazed at their increased egg production. Layers pellets work pretty well and you will be thrilled at how they can boost the egg production of your chicken. Another must have in this group is poultry corn but still, avoid feeding more of it than you to do to layers pellets. Make sure that these feeds are available in their feeding trough on a daily basis not only to produce more eggs but also to ensure that the eggs are hard enough to minimize any likelihood of breakages.
adapted from an article July 27, 2014 by Aouad