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Layers Mash - Are We Doing The Right Thing?

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Having had great problems getting our three girls to eat their layers pellets, we decided to give mash a try.

We have been cooking up some potato and carrots, mashing this up, adding layers mash, grit and some left-over vegetables (or baked beans). They seem to quite like it - pick out all the beans first and eventually eat the rest.

However, we still only have Matilda laying eggs. The other two both stopped two weeks ago when they were mistakenly overfed on sweetcorn by a well-meaning sister who was in charge of them all for a couple of days when we were away.

I know everyone says that fat hens don't lay eggs - so is that our problem? :oops:

We just don't seem to be able to get it right.

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I'd be tempted to offer them layers mash (or pellets, whichever) only.

The mash and pellets are designed to be a complete food by itself and provides all the nutrients that hens need. The treats are not necessary at all. A bit like feeding children chocolate and crisps, they all love them..... but they should be a treat, not part of the staple diet. Much like children the hens will pick out the treats first and stuff themselves on those given half a chance, to the detriment of their appetite for the healthy stuff. If they're getting an insufficient supply of nutrients they'll not lay eggs

So I'd be cruel to be kind, no carrots, potatoes or beans, just the mash and see if a bit of healthy eating does the trick. They will still need grit of course, and possibly some baked egg shells or oyster shell if you're concerned about their calcium intake and shell quality.

If you like to give the chickens a few treats can I suggest that you restrict it to a light evening snack, so that they've filled up on the mash during the day, laid you some yummy eggs and then they'll desrve a small treat :wink:

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