Feeding for Eggs - June, 1939
I found this neat little pamphlet printed in June of 1939. This was printed for the commercial producers. It talks about suplimenting your flock's diet to increase egg production, by adding protein, milk, fresh meat and supplying minerals.
They explain why shells are thin, benefits of pasture feeding, importance of fresh water, benefits of yellow corn and use of artifical lights.
Some points I found interesting:
"Successful poultry keepers, find that a liberal supply of green feed increases egg production and helps to keep the flock in good health. A laying hen will not last long unless the bowels are kept in a laxative condition; and most poultry keepers find green stuff more practical than drugs. Green feeds such as grass are a dependable source of vitamins A, B, flavin and other elements. Hens running in a good range will usually lay eggs with better shells than hens kept in dry yards." **This confirms the benefits of "free range."
"There is about a pint of water in a dozen eggs and hens will not lay "dried" eggs." **Reasons to keep an adequate supply of fresh clean water.
"Hens fed a ration containing yellow corn, produce eggs that will hatch a higher percentage of chicks." **It pays to provide corn in addition to the layer ration.
"High egg laying records have been made without the use of artificial light, but its correct use will increase the winter egg production." "Because the stimulating effects of artificial lighting, care must be taken that the ration is complete. Otherwise, the flock may lay well for a time on an imcomplete ration, but exhaust the storeage from their bodies." "If lighting is used, make the change gradually, shorten the use by 10 minutes a day until no lights are used."
**I don't use artificial lights. I let my hens "rest" for the Winter, and do what their bodies do naturally. I still get fresh eggs all Winter (need to check often so they don't freeze and crack). I do not use any form of a heat lamp here in Wsconsin with windchills way below zero. You might want to codill your hens, by providing heat now and then. Howerver, this is actually mean and too much of a shock on them if you don't keep up with it. In 17 years of Winter keeping, I've never lost a chicken due to the cold weather.
"Direct Sunlight: increases egg production, improves hatchability, prevents egg paralysis, improves egg shell texture and increases food value of egg." **Another reason to let your chickens outside.
"There are 4 causes for shell-less or thin shelled eggs. 1. hens being too closely confined, 2. not getting direct sunlight, 3. an accident - like falling off the roost and 4. if the hen became frightened."
"The use of tonics for laying flock is a useless expenditure of money that should be discouraged...good mixtures, good hens and proper feeding methods eliminate tonics." **As in any profitable production, care in stock, feed and health is the only way to insure a good product. Afterall, there is no magic cure to or way to increase your production. Just hard work and effort put into your flock.
I hope you enjoyed this. Blessings from Wisconsin.