Can anyone please tell me if hens need layers pellets inorder to lay eggs or will they lay anyway. my hens stopped laying a couple of weeks ago so i have just been feeding them on scraps they seem happy enough with it but i am worried that i will stop them laying by not giving them pellets, can anyone please adivce me? Thanks
Welcome to the forum.
I am not an expert, just a keeper of chickens for about 10 years.
Terrier (Jan) is right in saying if they free range they are likely to be fine without pellets but it is winter & it has been very wet so the chickens need a good balanced diet to get them back into laying regularly. I don't think winter is the time to cut back on their food, in fact just the opposite, at this time of the year they use most of their energy just keeping warm & growing back any feathers that have moulted. I don't think just feeding scraps from the house is nearly enough.
Many of my hens really dislike the pellets & prefer eating mixed corn. I give the scraps from the house as an extra, as well as sour milk, cheese rinds etc. Consequently they come into lay earlier. I have already had a few eggs, starting at Christmas & I can see more hens' combs getting redder, a sure sign eggs are on their way. My advice is don't stint on food in the winter as you will delay the first eggs of the year.
I hope this helps.
"The beautiful is as useful as the useful...perhaps more so."
from Les Miserables
My hens do not seem to like layers pellets, so I buy layers mash which on the cold days I mix with warm water. They also have mixed grain and household scraps. I like to make sure they have plenty of food in them before dark. I have no eggs yet, but a couple of the hens have combs which are getting redder, so it should not be too long now.
Old teachers never die, they just lose their class
I feed my chickens and ducks layers pellets all year round, along with corn, wheat, pasta, cheese occasionally, greens, bread and a mash of old veg. Out of 8 hens and 6 female ducks I get one duck egg and two chicken eggs every day at the moment. So far I have not been without possibly due to warmer than usual weather. It keeps me and a friend supplied.
Trying to enjoy life as it is
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