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Find out how to maximize high quality egg laying capability in yard hens naturally with out resorting to unhealthy strategies generally really useful by standard authorities.
I’ve been retaining yard chickens for eggs for over ten years now.
I’ve realized loads throughout that point about what to do and what NOT to do relating to retaining them at their egg-laying finest.
You see, when a hen is harassed or in any other case feeling unwell, the very first thing that goes down the tubes is her egg manufacturing. I name it the “each day egg drop”.
Thus, retaining your ladies in tip-top situation is essential not only for their well being, however for YOURS as properly.
Your loved ones wants these nourishing eggs on the menu in spite of everything!
Under, I’ve summarized the highest issues that I’ve discovered are crucial to a layer rooster’s well being and general egg high quality and manufacturing.
This ensures that she not solely produces as many eggs as attainable…naturally…but in addition feels completely happy and wholesome alongside the way in which. Chickens make enjoyable and satisfying pets too!
To present you a really feel for why the information on this article are essential, the image under is of my 9-year-old hen who was STILL laying eggs a few occasions every week.
She was an everyday egg-layer proper up till she died of previous age weeks earlier than her tenth birthday. Wonderful!
Skip the Synthetic Gentle
One approach to maintain hens laying yr spherical is to place synthetic mild of their coop in order that they by no means expertise darkness.
That stated, I don’t recommend that you simply use this generally really useful method to maximise egg manufacturing.
To me, this can be a imply and nasty factor to do to an animal.
How would you prefer it if the lights had been left blazing all night time in your bed room?
This technique can be not good for a rooster’s well being. A hen won’t reside as lengthy if she is just not experiencing darkness and good sleep.
It’s also my opinion that eggs from chickens that by no means expertise nighttime will not be as nourishing as eggs from chickens which have a darkish roost to sleep each night time.
That is simply my opinion. I’ve not discovered any analysis on this.
However, contemplating that synthetic mild at night time would stress them out hormonally and shorten their lifespan, it could make sense that the eggs they produce wouldn’t be as top quality both.
So, skip the factitious mild regardless that chances are you’ll be tempted to take action to maintain the eggs going year-round.
In the event you want eggs throughout their seasonal downtime in the course of the shortest days of the yr, get a pair extra hens and retailer the recent eggs you don’t use for the winter as a substitute.
Spend money on the Greatest Feed
Even in case you free-range your chickens round your property and feed them veggie scraps like I do, you’ll seemingly want not less than some supplemental feed.
That is notably true within the winter months when inexperienced grass and recent plant shoots will not be plentiful for foraging.
On the subject of layer feed, I’d advocate staying away from the medicated variations and those who comprise soy.
Keep away from Medicated Chick Starter
Medicated chick starter accommodates amprolium for parasitic management. This isn’t an antibiotic, nevertheless it does block dietary uptake for some nutritional vitamins like thiamine.
Chicks on medicated feed don’t develop as properly or reside so long as chicks that develop on nonmedicated feed.
I’ve noticed each over time and that’s my conclusion.
So, go for the medication-free chick starter (this model is great) if you would like your chickens to be their healthiest finest once they get to the egg-laying age!
Soy-Free Feed Solely
As soon as your pullets are prepared to start out laying, transition them onto soy-free feed solely.
That is essential as a result of research have proven that the isoflavones in soy feed get into the yolks of the eggs these hens lay.
Until you need a dose of plant estrogens with each egg dish you make, avoiding rooster feed that accommodates soy is crucial.
Want solutions for what rooster feed is finest?
This model and this model are what I’m at the moment shopping for. I get each layer pellets (much more economical than crumble) and traditional grind.
I admit that I spoil my chickens. Some choose one over the opposite.
New Nation Organics can be wonderful however is dearer except you’ve a neighborhood co-op to purchase from.
Is corn-free rooster feed as essential as soy-free?
For my part, that is completely as much as you.
There isn’t any doubt that cross-contamination does happen in some natural corn crops from GMO-corn grown within the neighborhood. (1)
Luckily, there’s a new sort of natural corn that’s immune to GMO cross-contamination. (2)
I couldn’t discover a lot info on how widespread any such corn is to be used in animal feed at the moment.
Thus, it’s as much as you in case you really feel the chance is giant sufficient to warrant sourcing each soy and corn-free layer feed.
This model and this model are each corn and soy-free and what I’ve used up to now.
My private method is to attempt to supply corn-free feed, but when it isn’t accessible, I’ll get feed with natural corn once in a while.
In different phrases, whereas I insist that my layer feed is soy-free, I’m not as strict about it additionally being corn-free, offered the corn is licensed natural and examined to be GMO-free (no cross-contamination).
Daylight is Crucial
If you don’t free-range your chickens resulting from house points, then not less than maintain your coop in an space the place your hens have entry to direct daylight daily.
This implies not utilizing any form of mesh overhead which filters the daylight.
If it’s essential deter rooster hawks, use an owl decoy or holographic reflective “scare” ribbon as a substitute.
Direct daylight is essential so your hens can sunbathe on clear days to remove parasites akin to mites.
As well as, hens that get publicity to UVB daylight in the midst of the day produce eggs which can be dramatically greater in Vitamin D!
After solely three weeks of exposing chickens to UV mild for six hours per day, the vitamin D content material of the eggs elevated three to four-fold. (3)
This examine used synthetic UV mild too! Think about what the total spectrum of direct daylight can do!
Definitely, entry to direct, unfiltered daylight is essential for the very best quality eggs attainable.
Preserve the Laying Space Snug and Clear
When the egg-laying space of your coop is just not stored clear or in any other case makes use of bedding they don’t like, hens will lay their eggs elsewhere in my expertise.
This makes eggs onerous to seek out and losses a certainty.
This text on the very best and most reasonably priced coop bedding outlines the varied choices and which kind my hens have most well-liked over time.
Altering the bedding as typically as essential to maintain the egg laying space comfy and clear is essential.
There’s all kinds of egg laying capability by rooster breed.
Thus, in case you are strictly retaining yard chickens for eggs, be very cautious which breeds you select.
I maintain a mixture of pleasant, enjoyable breeds which can be extra like pets and people which can be extra aggressive and lay essentially the most eggs.
To present you some thought, Plymouth Rock and Rhode Island Reds lay essentially the most eggs per yr in my expertise.
Lavender and Gold Orpingtons are candy and cuddly and wish to be held, however lay far fewer eggs.
Different breeds I’ve stored fall someplace in the midst of these two extremes.
Word that the Rhode Island Reds appear to be essentially the most simply seen and attacked by rooster hawks by my remark. Breed colour issues on this regard.
Water High quality
Lastly, I’d advocate that you simply not give your chickens faucet water to drink.
Toxins within the water together with chlorine and fluoride not solely will seemingly shorten their life, however might doubtlessly influence the standard of your hens’ eggs.
Properly water or spring water is finest with added uncooked apple cider vinegar (1 tablespoon per gallon) is perfect in my expertise.
Make sure you ONLY get uncooked apple cider vinegar packaged in glass. ACV is acidic and can leach toxins from plastic containers. Higher but, make ACV your self from apple scraps.
Uncooked ACV added to their untreated ingesting water helps maintain hens’ digestive system on the correct pH in order that widespread well being issues like bitter crop don’t happen.
I can let you know that nearly each time I uncared for so as to add ACV to the chickens’ ingesting water for greater than every week (resulting from being out of city and the rooster sitter didn’t do it or I ran out of ACV briefly), certainly one of my hens bought ailing.
Do you’ve layer hens? In that case, what are your finest ideas for completely happy, wholesome birds which have maximized high quality egg manufacturing?
(1) Natural Farmers Report Growing GMO Contamination with Corn
(2) Is ‘Natural Prepared’ Corn a Answer for GMO Cross-Contamination?
(3) Exposing Chickens to UV Gentle Dramatically Will increase Vitamin D Content material of Eggs