12 Tips for Top Egg Production
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Autumn has Arrived 🍁🍂
As the leaves and temperatures fall and we head into the winter months most of our chooks will be going though the annual moult. Egg numbers will have dropped off dramatically or might have ceased. With the shortening of daylight hours the chook’s natural cycle recognizes that winter is approaching so she needs to stop laying to build up her reserves for spring. This is a perfectly natural thing to do. Most hens will spend nine months of the year laying and three months shedding and replacing their feathers. Both activities require large amounts of protein.
Laying an egg is a big job! Essentially an egg is protein wrapped in calcium. For nine months of the year the hen has done an awesome job producing us lovely, fresh eggs. Now she needs to concentrate on giving her body a rest and replenishing her reserves for the next laying season. During this time she will be shedding and replacing her feathers and building up the calcium reserves she has depleted in her bones over the past laying season. Making new feathers requires lots of protein and she will need quality feed to achieve it.
Remember to keep feeding your chooks a quality nutritionally balanced feed during the moult. We feed our chooks all year round on a nutritionally balanced complete feed which contains high levels of ruminant protein. Chooks are not vegetarians so make sure the feed you are feeding out has meat / bone meal, blood meal and tallow in it. Look on the labels of the feed you buy and check what the crude protein levels are and what type of protein it is. You might be surprised to find that some of the feeds out there have lower levels of crude protein in them and are vegetable based hence the lower prices. Soybean meal used in these vegetarian based proteins have low levels of the essential amino acids like lysine and methoinine which, if not substituted synthetically, will cause problems such as poor feathering, faulty eggs and low egg production. Cheap feed with the lower levels of crude protein, especially vegetable based proteins, will not give your hens what they need to be top producers.
12 Tips for Top Hen Health & Premium Egg Production
To Sum It Up
Feed your birds the best you can! Feed them the best feed and keep them in good health and they will lay well for you. It is a false economy to think that buying cheap feed, or just feeding out kitchen scraps or grains or leaving your chooks to forage will be sufficient to provide you with lots of lovely fresh eggs.