Feed and light

Posted by: Jeff in KY

Feed and light - 12/04/05 07:09 AM

My chickens have also quit laying, and after reading many postings I guess it is the lack of light. Question, If I provide the light now, will they resume laying, or am I wasting my time? Next, can anyone advise me on the proper amount and type(ie protein% and any other relavent #s) of feed to use for 29 hens and 1 rooster. They are all this years(april)chicks? I do not know if I am feeding enough or not. Also, will they consume hay? I put some out in the lot occasionally just for them to scratch in, but I don't know if they are eating or playing. Thanks allot! this forum is great.
Posted by: Rack

Re: Feed and light - 12/04/05 03:32 PM

Chickens are tempermental, but you need to do the light thing. Mine lay all winter and have actually started laying more lately. This will probably not continue at this rate, but they will still lay. The more freeranging the better since they get protein from bugs and other needed nutrients from grass.
Mine freerange all day/everyday so I feed them a coffee can full of mixed cracked corn and laying pellets (as organic as I can get without the high price someone said SUNFRESH) in the morning plus snacks.
Then when I put them up I give a half can to get them in the coop. Now if I leave them in the coop all day I have oyster shell/grit in a place they can pick when they want and then I give 2 cans in the morning and 1 can in the afternoon (Usually I give some snacks).
Mine are extremely healthy looking compared to all the other chickens I've seen. I think it's the freeranging, the cedar trees they roll around under since they don't get bugs, and cleanliness of the coop and the water. No they don't really eat hay that's for them to nest in.
Posted by: Sarah B.

Re: Feed and light - 12/04/05 06:10 PM

It will take about two weeks, more or less, to get them back laying again under artifical light. They need about 14 hours of light to lay an egg. For protein you need 16% or more to keep your chickens healthy. Mine don't free range so I like a higher percentage. Supplements of dry cat help to boost your protein levels too. Chicken love it and it is especially good for them when they are molting. Try not to over do it with your scratch mix. Scratch is a form of carbohydrates. Because of this it decreases the amount of protein in your feeds. Your chickens may eat parts of the hay but it is nothing to be concerned about.

Posted by: Jeff in KY

Re: Feed and light - 12/06/05 05:50 PM

Praise be! One lonely egg in the nests tonight. I hope that the light will continue to work. Thanks for the help! I appreciate it. Jeff
Posted by: Loveful Heights

Re: Feed and light - 12/06/05 11:11 PM

Jeff i agree that your chickens need about 16% protein maybe a little higher even. But you also need to make sure you supply them with grit and oyster shell(or some form of calcium). Many people say they offer oyster shell as grit but your birds need some type of nonsoluble grit. The brand I use is called granigrit, it or something similar should be available at your local feed store. My birds free range but they always have free choice feed, grit, water,and oyster shell. They also lay very well through winter and I privide no additional light source. they do spend most of the day out foraging in the sunlight though. Good luck
Posted by: Jeff in KY

Re: Feed and light - 12/07/05 04:03 PM

My chickens also "free range" over the course of the day. They have access to a 1/4 acre lot. This is really new to me. We had chickens when I was a child and I never remember them stopping egg production. Slow down maybe, but not stop altogether. I have 10 RIR, 10 black star, and 5 barred rocks. Could breed have anything to do with it? I have been supplying them with grit and oyster shell, so I am stumped. P.s. They layed 4 more eggs tonight. I hope it is only the light. Can anyone tell me if some breeds are more succeptible to the loss of light than others? Thanks. Jeff
Posted by: Sarah B.

Re: Feed and light - 12/08/05 09:44 PM

That is a good question Jeff. Certain breeds probable do handle the loss of light better. Also, the breeding of them, the breed itself(is the bird an egg layer strictly, dual-purpose, or for show), how they are taken care of, stress factors,diseases and the like effect egg production. Not for sure what else to tell you; except keep your finger crossed. Sorry

Posted by: Jeff in KY

Re: Feed and light - 12/13/05 08:30 PM

Sorry for the lack of reply's! Been busy collecting eggs! Took in 22 eggs tonight, and they are layiong more and more each night. I guess it was the light after aoll. Thanks Allot guys and gals! This forum is great!!!