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What to Feed Your Laying Hens

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Grasses, Grains and Bugs

What to Feed Your Laying HensDo you want to own and rear your own chickens? Do you like the thought of having access to fresh, good quality eggs? If so, you are in good company.

A growing number of people are attracted by the idea of owning and breeding their own hens. The good news is you do not need to live on a farm to do it.

If you have an average sized yard or garden, then you have enough space to own your very own flock. Keeping chickens is really very simple.

However, if you are new to chicken owning, you may need some advice on what to feed your hens, especially when they are laying.

Typically, if your birds have access to plenty of fresh air, sunshine and grass, they will need very little extra nutrients. In fact, free range chickens only need three staples:

  • Grain

  • Greens

  • Protein

Your hens will usually be able to get enough greens and protein from eating grass and the bugs, such as small worms, that they can find within the grass.

However, during the winter, or if your birds are kept indoors, they will need some supplements to ensure that they remain healthy. Obviously, when your hens are laying it is particularly important that they get all the nutrition they need.

Simply, if your birds are not being fed the right things egg production will decrease and there will be a marked reduction in the quality of your hens’ eggs.

Getting Maximum Egg Production

Therefore, if you hope to get a good egg yield, make sure that your birds are getting all that they require.

Usually, your birds will begin to lay at approximately 20 weeks of age. However, you may wish to wait until a bird has begun to lay before altering her diet.

To help ensure your birds are in tip-top health while laying, you may like to consider adding extra protein and calcium to their diet.

This can be achieved by purchasing a complete ‘laying feed’ that is specifically design to boost the well-being of a laying hen. Be sure to keep plenty of fresh water, too.

Nutrition

However, there are other ways to ensure an elevated intake of calcium and protein, for example feeding your birds worms, soya, dairy milk, sea fish and/or meat.

As a rule, chickens are not fussy eaters and are happy to tuck into any kind of human food. However, it is wise to ensure that your birds are getting a balanced diet.

Additionally, if you choose to feed them with food from your own kitchen, it is advisable to make sure that it is fresh produce, rather then processed junk.

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