Keeping backyard chickens for egg production is an excellent way to decrease your grocery bill while ensuring that you and your family get the best possible nutrition.
Hank Will, Editor-in-Chief of GRIT Magazine, talks with Purina animal nutritionist Dr. Gordon Ballam about increasing egg production in your flock.
For quality eggs, make sure your chickens are receiving proper nutrition in their feed. Dr. Ballam recommends a diet of 90% high-quality laying feed and 10% treats and other supplements. Your flock’s eggs can only be as nutritious as their feed, after all!
Egg production also depends on the amount of daylight your chickens receive, with an ideal day length of 16 to 18 hours. Avoid decreasing the amount of light during the laying season, as this may slow egg production or encourage an early molt. Supplemental lighting on timers can help maintain a steady day length throughout the laying season.
Molting is a natural stage in a laying hen’s life, giving her a chance to rest from egg-laying. Most chickens molt in fall, around the end of the laying season. Make sure molting chickens have clean, dry, comfortable living spaces and watch for any signs of bullying. Isolate a bullied chicken until her feathers grow in, or isolate the bullying chicken until after the molt is over.
Here at GRIT Magazine, we are passionate about rural American know-how and helping people learn more about the crops and animals they care for. Check out Videos from GRIT to see more from our editors.