A healthy diet is essential for the health of your hens. From about 16-18 weeks of age they should be fed on layers pellets
or layers mash
. This is a complete food designed for laying hens. There are many brands around at variable prices. We recommend Garvo which is one of the more expensive but it is exceptionally good! Hens will eat approximately 1kg of food per week but this will vary depending on whether or not they are free-range and also on the temperature and time of year.
In winter hens need more calories to keep warm. If they struggle to stay warm they will not produce eggs. Feed wheat
, mixed corn
or maize as well during cold spells - about one handful to two hens per day. This can be scattered on clean ground; hens enjoy pecking for grains. A small amount of greens is good for hens but if fed to excess the hens will get diarrhoea and lay soft-shelled eggs, or stop laying altogether. Nutri-peck blocks
are healthy and help prevent boredom.
Mixed poultry grit
should be provided in a separate container. This contains calcium for making egg-shells and small flint pebbles that are needed to grind food in the hen's crop.
Clean water should be available at all times. Hens in lay will drink approximately a third of a litre each per day. Supplements such as poultry tonic
and apple cider vinegar
can be added to drinking water.