Keeping hens healthy and ensuring they lay high-quality eggs is a top priority for any poultry enthusiast. In this article, we will delve into the importance of providing hens with the right feed, the importance of fresh water availability, the role of calcium in egg formation, and additional dietary considerations for optimal results.
1. Quality Feed for Quality Eggs:
Hens that are fed a balanced and nutritious diet are more likely to remain healthy and produce eggs of superior quality. It is essential to invest in a quality feed that meets their nutritional requirements However, for those considering an organic approach, keep in mind that you’ll need a budget for it because it roughly costs double that of conventional feed.
2. Feeding Schedule and Varieties:
To ensure hens have constant access to feed, it is recommended to provide food in portions throughout the day. However, we do advise chicken keepers to remove the feeders from the enclosure or run during nighttime to help prevent rodent infestation. When filling the feeders, it is advisable to use layers of pellets or mash specifically designed for hens. It is crucial to resist the temptation of solely feeding them corn, as it lacks complete nutritional value. Corn can be offered as a treat in the afternoon, following their primary meal from the layers pellet.
3. Water and Drinkers:
Fresh and clean water should be available to hens at all times. A large drinker is preferable, especially during hot months, as it helps them regulate their body temperature and reduces the frequency of refills. Hens can consume up to a pint of water per day, so it is essential to monitor their water levels. If their current drinker consistently runs dry, considering an additional drinker is recommended.
4. Calcium for Egg Formation and Health:
Calcium is a vital nutrient for hens, as it enables them to form strong eggshells and maintain good overall health. Offering grit, which contains calcium, is crucial. It is best to provide grit in a separate ramekin or dish, rather than mixing it with the feed. Hens that have access to outdoor areas and grass can also aid in obtaining calcium naturally. Their exposure to grass and sunlight can contribute to the vibrant yellow-yolked eggs we all love. That’s why our predator-proof 2m run may be the perfect addition to your coop.
While a balanced feed provides necessary nutrition, adding leafy greens to the hens' diet can enhance their overall health and egg quality. If you have your own vegetable garden or allotment, incorporating fresh greens into their diet can provide an extra boost. However, it is important to note that in the UK, kitchen scraps are not permitted for hens due to regulations. Allotment-grown greens are a permissible option to supplement their diet. Check out this video where Sabina, our hen guru, takes us through the list of veggies that are safe for your flock.
Proper nutrition is the cornerstone of maintaining healthy hens and obtaining high-quality eggs. By investing in quality feed, ensuring continuous access to fresh water, providing essential calcium through grit, and considering dietary enhancements such as leafy greens, poultry enthusiasts can create an ideal environment for their feathered friends. Remember, healthy hens not only lay excellent eggs but also contribute to a fulfilling and rewarding experience for those involved in poultry keeping.