Laying hens' individual production rates are, generally, a reflection of their health. Among specimens of a single layer breed, factors such as age and stress affect hens' ability to lay eggs, and diet plays a major role. The right food helps hens reach their full laying potential.
Good Nutrition Leads to Good Eggs
Laying mash is chicken feed that's formulated to meet the nutritional needs of laying hens, whose bodies require a lot of protein and energy to produce eggs. Laying mash contains ground grains, proteins such as fish and bone meal, and legumes such as alfalfa. It can be fed dry but is often moistened -- hence the term mash. While alternatives such as pellets can provide necessary nutrition for laying, hens on a diet of mash will typically lay more eggs than hens on an incomplete diet, such as kitchen scraps or forage. This is because nutritional deficiencies cause a hen's body to produce eggs at a slower rate or to stop laying entirely. Ideally, a laying hen should eat a laying mash or other formulated diet that contains about 15 percent to 17 percent protein, a calcium supplement and a small amount of greens, vegetables, fruit and kitchen scraps. The greens, scraps and other food items should not make up more than 20 percent of the total diet.