Small chicken farmers realized their hens wouldn't lay eggs because of feed produced by big commercial egg layers, switched to goat feed and hens started laying again. #Chickengate (media.patriots.win)
posted ago by GetWokeGetBroke ago by GetWokeGetBroke +1690 / -2
Long ago when I had chickens, I learned that chickens need 13 hours of light per day in order to keep laying. Also, I think, when they moult, they discontinue laying.
Gotta have warm water and dry feet.
They'll lay in the winter if those conditions are met.
You also need more light than we get up here in the north. I keep a light on in the coop until 10 pm.
"Lights out, ladies! No reading under the covers with flashlights!"
The problem is, there are too many White chickens!
Came here to say this. I have chickens, I live far away from feed storage. I buy in bulk. My feed was purchases back in July of 2022.
My chickens laid fine up until winter set in. We have had an abnormally rainy / overcast sky where I am at. The previous year they slowed down but this year they have mostly stopped.
If there was a feed problem I would have expected to have experienced it sooner due to having bad feed, or to have been isolated from it since the food I had was purchased long before most backyard farms would have. That does not seem to be the case.
But one data point does not reveal a trend...
Here's another anecdote.
We feed Purina, was on Layena, went back to Flock Raiser for the higher protein. We also supplement with oyster shell on the side.
One of our girls was getting severely bullied by the flock and was underweight and didn't think she was going to survive the Christmas cold snap, so we brought her inside. She's been in a dog crate in the living room for a month and a half.
She eats the exact same food, but she's inside where it's a constant 65-68F and the daily activity in the house means she has light until 9pm. She's giving us an egg almost daily, while the six outside combined are giving us about one egg daily total. She's outlaying the others by a factor of 5 or more while eating the same food out of the same bag.
It's not the feed. It's the crazy cold weather we've had this year. They need lots more protein just to maintain. I suspect everything will go back to normal as spring approaches.
Having a chicken indoors / exposed to light sure adds greater context.
I am also very hopeful that as soon as we get a few weeks of mostly sunny days that laying will return to normal.
I am not aware of any tools or sites that can generate a report of sunlight-hours to compare them across this year and last but I suspect we would find that this year we have just consistently had less sunlight. Add to that the fact we have had an abnormally rainy fall / winter, it just makes sense that laying is down.
NWS has sunshine hours
Thank you for sharing this! Going to see if I can generate a comparison report between this year and last.
It's been 50 degrees in the midwest, hell its 45 right now in the middle of February and it hasn't been that cold at all all year round. Everyone knows chickens slow down during winter laying eggs. This is abnormal and its based on the purina based food using subcontractors rather than producing in house. Some are good with producers pride, others get shit subcontractors and their chickens completely stop.
It's been in the 30 for last week, sure. But it also dropped 50 degrees practically overnight back in late December, from 35 to -15. You don't think that affects them?
People are used to chickens declining in egg laying, they've been raising them for years and they know what to expect during winter. Purina changed the feed and it stopped their chickens from laying this winter in a lot of locations.
This has been one of the more milder winters in decades. I haven't had to use my snowblower once.
Purina outsourced their feed. The problem is with the subcontractors. Some of them are substituting ingredients that prevent egg laying, ie protein in feed under 16%.
I have heard this but do we have any verified data to confirm it?
I am an outlier here as my feed was purchased in July of 2023. Why did we not see the impacts sooner of feed was lower protein or otherwise tampered with back then?
If it was related to a recent change ( alt news doesn't have any reports that I can find earlier than December-ish of 2022 ) than why would my flock be affected?
I'm not saying the manufactures didn't do anything, I am just saying that I have not seen any credible evidence yet. I've heard the protein counts are down, since this is on the label of the product that would be class-actionable. Whomever did that testing would likely be in a position to cash in on the finding yet they don't seam to want to come forward. That itself is concerning.
There is no verified data, just conjecture. I have chickens, and I don't know anyone who relies 100% on storebought feed, it's just a supplement. They eat bugs, meat, shells, garbage, almost like pigs. We use a timer and light during the winter to keep production up. No issues laying whatsoever. It's been a mild winter, so there is even less need for supplemental feed than in previous years.
Producers pride and dumors are lying about their protein content or have otherwise fucked with their chicken feed. My birds hadn’t been laying at all and they normally even lay through the winter, I switched food and gave them a bag of flock party and some hippy shit and I shit you not a day later they all laid eggs for the first time in months.
I feed Producers Pride along with wild bird seed and cracked corn as supplements/snacks. They’ve laid all fall and winter just fine, except during their two month molt. I do keep a light on a timer on in the morning and evening to get them over 12 hours of light.
I'm for letting them rest during winter. You won't get as much eggs, but let those ladies rest. I'm not for putting a light up to keep them laying.
For this issue though, its the feed, its not winter.
Not sure about sun requirement. Its -20C where in live during winter so chickens don’t go outside. If I can keep the nipples unfrozen in water dispenser then I get eggs, if I can’t and bring bowl of snow, they get along well but less eggs.
This must just be everyone's 2nd year with birds. They usually slow down and or stop laying in the winter unless they are first year birds. They always pick right back up in February; whether they switched the feeds or not, they would be laying again by now.
I am in first year with chickens and with 6 hens we are getting 3-6 eggs a day through winter and they are on the producers pride that everyone is blaming for low egg yield. Ours are free range, but I have no issue with the feed. But it prompted my wife to check around and we found a local feed store we'll be buying from. Hopefully next year we'll grow our own.
Local is always better!
Totally agree, but sometimes I need a kick in the pants to go and seek it out.
I don't think the feed is 'preventing them from laying'. I think it lacks the proper amount of protein. If you kept your girls locked in a run/coop with no access to foraging for insects, I suspect you'd see the same issue.
When I have bobcat or coyotes prowling, I keep my girls in the run. During those periods, I have very few eggs (less than 3 from about 20 hens). Within days of letting them forage in the yard and woods, they're back up to making about 8-10 per day.
Free range is what is keeping your birds laying.
I said upthread that I have had chickens for about five years and this is the first year I got zero eggs for months on end. I am aware of the winter slowdown on egg production, but I would get SOME eggs, a couple a week, even in winter. Until this year. So I changed out feed and they’re laying again. Not up to typical production but I am getting them again. So I wonder.
Actually its moving into year 3 if anyone got chicks during the pandemic (like me).
Starting in December, I add dry, fish based catfood into their feed because hens need a lot of protein to form their eggs and free ranging for bugs and worms doesn't give them enough protein. Cold weather sends the bugs too deep into the ground for the chickens to find enough. Spring, summer, and fall there are plenty of bugs and I don't need to give them much store bought feed.
When it gets really cold, I also add extra cracked corn as it is high energy and keeps the chickens warmer. It went to -7 degrees during the recent artic blast, and never got above 5 degrees for several days, without supplemental heat, my chickens never stopped laying, but production did drop by about 20%. Out of 30 or so laying hens, I get 20-24 eggs a day.
My family owned a commercial chicken farm for 20 years, broiler houses, so we have pretty good knowledge of chickens, lol.
Thank you! This is super informative. Much appreciated!
Glad to help!
Bugs and scraps
vooever masters dis technique vill in some vays be master of ze new vorld
Chickens will eat anything. Small snakes, table scraps, frogs, your entire vegetable garden, insects, ect. They will try to eat freckles on your skin, the buttons on your shirt. When they have a varied diet, they produce better eggs with more vibrant color.
If you give them scraps, I would avoid giving them fish. It can impart a bit of flavor to the eggs that is unpleasant.
Certain breeds are more likely to have a genetic defect that prevents them from "processing" a protein found in fish and causes them to produce some fishy smelly eggs. Perfectly safe to eat, but damn they smell nasty.
Compost and bugs
The likely cause is less protein in the mix.
Since the protein part is the most expensive part of any animal feed, this is the place that anyone who wants to cut costs would look first.
First step to see if it is true is a lab test of both the old and new feeds.
Everyone is screwing around with Biden in office, because these democrat unions are untouchable.
I live on the east side of Montana, I have had chicken's for going on 5yrs and mine always lay throughout the winter. I have not had any eggs since September/October. We buy bulk food from Tractor supply, it has to be the brand so we changed the place we buy our feed from, prayers we all can get this mess straightened out, in Jesus name Amen
chickens always look so judgmental
You should try showing them a card trick.
Can you post a link or a recipe? Any tips? I have considered this but haven’t looked into it too much.
Sue those feed producers and shut them down.
I’m remembering the dog food supplied by Chinese suppliers that was laced with melamine to boost nitrogen content. Apparently, purina only tested nitrogen content to make sure enough “protein” was in there. Shitty quality control standards. Assume something similar is happening with the chickens.
Goat feed has extra copper in it which you probably don't want in your eggs
Goat feed reportedly has a lot of fiber, and can be dangerous for some chickens. YMMV
At this point I'm not buying this story. Ours slowed down for awhile because it's winter. They are now picking up as it's getting warmer here in Texas lately. Keeps us and a few neighbords in eggs.
However I wouldn't put it past the big feed suppliers to put out bunk feed. It is strange though about all the chicken suppliers burning down and all the food wharehouses.
I wonder how many other stories we believe are BS? Hell if I know.
Analysis. Has anyone done it or is this still anecdotal?
I still think this is just too many people who are new to chickens. Chickens stop laying for a lot of reasons, or the laying slows. Sunlight is a big one.
This is true but. I have raised chickens for maybe five years now. Yes they do lay less in winter but I would get a few eggs here and there, maybe one a day (I currently have 8 chickens). This winter I got zero for months. They did molt so that of course is a consideration, but for months? I switched feed and maybe almost 10 days later they started laying again. We are past 14 hours sunlight daily here now, so I’m sure that helps, but going from zero eggs for months to at least two daily now, after switching feed, makes me wonder. Just my experience though.
It's hard to say, because there's so many variables. Sunlight, molting, temperature, stress levels, food quality, age of hens, egg thieves.
I'm not saying you didn't experience it, only that it's more likely MOST people are experiencing something else. Especially for newbies.
Use tractor supply co = Dumor. No issues
Calling bullshit on the goat feed... it's loaded with copper, which goats need, but is toxic to other animals.
Yeah the cat food anecdote sounds more plausible.
Also, OP believes in ghosts.
I call bullshit on this one.
Theyve already succeeded in AZ and California.
I question the value of oyster shells as a source of calcium although it might make good grit. Oyster shells don't break down over many years outside.
They could have strategically gave certain farms less tainted food, then buy stock in those companies that are less stressed by the egg shortage.
Sounds like fraud at best, treason most likely as it is stressing the food supply of the US.
this is so evil
Unless you have 1000s of chickens you can just grow all your own chicken feed for pennies.
There's more nutritional value in goat feed than in baby formula.
This whole story line is made up bullshit.
I feed my chicken nothing but compost
This crap needs to stop. The only issue with chickens is people who dont know how to take care of them, and think a little bit o feed is all u need for eggs.....
I've had chickens for years, and I got a gap in egg production in December. By gap, I mean no eggs at all from over thirty hens. It lasted about a month, but most of my chickens are laying again.
I mix pellets with corn and other grain. Typically, my chickens will pick out the layer pellets first, then graze the grain at a later point. I've noticed recently that they eat the grain and leave the pellets.
I had same, added lighting and moved coop to get more natural light and laying started again. This winter has been unusually cloudy and wet. My hens don't eat Pellets, so they get crumbles amd shells. My neighbor who sells eggs has a better set up than I do and she hasn't had an issue.
I'm starting chickens for the first time and I keep hearing they need alot of shade. I'm in the deep south, so lots of heat and humidity. Not sure what to believe.
There is "light" and then direct blazing sun. Added light is generally for winter when days are short and extended cloud cover. And mine liked hanging under oaks in FL summer and did fine. Not fans of frying themselves in summer sun.
I have a few australorps in Florida and they’re ok. But yes they aren’t in direct blazing sun. I am actually about to redo and move my coops under a different tree and expand my operations. I really like my australorps and my black stars. Great chickens. I am considering Plymouth rocks now, I’ve heard good things about them.
I like the Plymouths, had good luck with them and RI reds. Never had the other two. Might put them on the list for future. My neighbor uses heat lamps if it's under 45; says it helps keep production up. I haven't tried it. Mine do like lots of natural light tho. Good luck expanding!
If you buy dark chickens like australorpes, they will fry in the sun if you don't have shade, but there are plenty of chickens more tolerant to heat. Do some research before buying. White leghorns and buff orpingtons may be good, but I have plenty of shade and was more interested in cold weather tolerance in the north.
Orpingtons are good birds, the extra fluff though may not be suitable for hot summer climates. Rhode Island Reds are fucking assholes
We have buff and red roosters and the reds were about a week younger and are so docile now and the buffs are jerks. I think it is just pecking order, but some are calmer.
I guess so. I had 2 reds and 2 orps and experienced the opposite, especially interacting with me as I only had hens. Orps would run up to me and were pretty docile, the 2 reds seemed to push the orps around and would not let me pick them up. Raised them all at the same time
They were originally native to jungles in Asia “Jungle Fowl” humidity won’t hurt them. They do need a place to get out of the sun though, it doesn’t need to be massive. You can make a dowel rod roost or a tiered platform in the shade and they will love it
Shade is fine, indirect light is enough light.
It’s possible. We have talked to feed stores and Tractor Supply employees. Their stories match up with what you are hearing. My wife is convinced that Purina is doing something to the feed.
Or maybe your just a dumfuck who doesn’t know what they are talking about. I switched brands and magically got eggs a day later it wasn’t a fucking coincidence faggot.
You're hyperbolic vitriol made me chuckle. Thanks for the laugh. By the way, tho that's not how changing feed works. If your flock were nutrient deficient from poor feed or poisoned feed, just one day on a new feed won't "cure" them. That would be a slower process. So yeah, laying the next day would be a coincidence.