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Anybody raise hens?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by RJB, Mar 20, 2007.

  1. RJB

    RJB Monkey+++

    I bought some egg layers, food, and some oyster shells for calcium.

    As far as calcium goes I heard pioneers ground up bone and fed that to chickens. I was wondering, why couldn't you just grind up the eggshells and re-feed them their own shell?

  2. Scavenger Flatbedder

    Scavenger Flatbedder Scavenging The Wasteland

    I have 60 some hens and crush the egg shells than feed them back to them in the scrap bucket.Sometimes the hogs get them too.
    I haven't ever had a problem w/ them eating their own eggs.
  3. RJB

    RJB Monkey+++

    Thanks. Also I was wondering about feed for the high omega-3 content? Any feed better than others?
  4. Scavenger Flatbedder

    Scavenger Flatbedder Scavenging The Wasteland

    I just feed crack corn and mesh. Then they free range a majority of the day.Butchering time they get alot of extras off the carcuss.
  5. snowbyrd

    snowbyrd Latet anguis in herba

    had rhoad Island reds, fed back the shells. no probs. Let them roam as much as you can. When your garden is big enough let them grub about in it and there wiil not be too many bugs. Be sure the plants are large enough that the chicks will not dig them up..
  6. ozarkgoatman

    ozarkgoatman Resident goat herder

    We raise our chickens about like Scavenger does and have no problems. I mostly butcher in the winter when the chickens don't have as much free range food to eat, and a nice big gut pile will up egg production for a day or two.

  7. FalconDance

    FalconDance Neighborhood Witch

    Ditto on everything already said.

    I would clarify, though, that the eggshells should be cleaned (rinsed) and then dried before smashing and putting out for the hens. They can also eat just about any meat scraps but the best are, as Scavenger said, on butchering day.

    If you can, let them roam free in your yard for just a little bit every day. You'll never have trouble with grasshoppers, ticks, fleas, etc. again! Don't let them in the garden if there's tomatoes - they love those 'maters just like we do!

  8. Joe Dan

    Joe Dan Monkey+++

    We don't feed the shells because we fear the hens eating eggs...
    I'll talk to the Mrs about this (they are her birds)

    Ours free range, tuck themselves in at night.
    They get most meat scraps - our outside dog gets some somtimes.
    They get the scrapings from the supper dishes.
    Cracked corn, some "Meaty Bird" , some sunflower seeds, some oyster shells. More in winter, less in summer (more bugs then).
  9. snowbyrd

    snowbyrd Latet anguis in herba

    Also the light they receive in the winter affects their laying I use to leave a kerosine lamp on so they would get about 12 or so hours of light a day. Had eggs year around, guess they were solar hens.
  10. Gafarmboy

    Gafarmboy Monkey+++

    Read somewhere that you should never feed them oranges, or was that lemons. A citrus fruit anyway. It tends to put them off laying. I will try to find the article in one of my chicken mags and get back with a definitive answer.


    If you can not protect what you own, you won't own it long.
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