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· SM Entrepreneuraholic
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Anyone noticed a problem with TSC "Producer’s Pride” chicken feed?

Online claims have emerged, corroborated by others, that the popular “Producer’s Pride” chicken feed sold by the Tractor Supply chain has been recently altered and that its new formulation is causing chickens to stop laying eggs. Some suggest a deliberate reduction in the amount of protein in the feed may be causing the reduction in egg production​
Hens do lay fewer eggs in the winter time due to reduced sunlight. Farmers have often used a light to expose hens to longer light so as to produce more egg-laying. Yet farmer sources report that they are seeing a much-greater-than-normal reduction in egg production, to the point where many report that hens are laying zero eggs instead of merely a reduced laying frequency. There is no word on whether this is a temporary or a permanent change among Tractor Supply feed.​
GP
 

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I did some digging on this, and most of the sources claim that it is both TSC brands, Producer’s Pride and Dumor. We’ve fed Dumor to our free-rangers ever since we’ve had chickens. We’ve noticed nothing unusual this winter other than that we had a couple weeks surrounding the solstice with no eggs at all. We chalked that up to the heavy precipitation and clouds we had around that time.

Reading through the comments on Reddit and YouTube, it strikes me as mostly being Covidians who just started with chickens in the last year or two (maybe even going through their first full winter/molt combo). The comments also seem to be fanned by occasional posts from people who claim that something bought from TSC years ago caused their chickens to do such-and-such… and then they found out about the TSC transgender thing, stopped buying from there, and their chickens have been happy ever since.

I’m not saying it isn’t true; just that what I was able to find reeks of internet “Russian-troll”-myth.
 

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Nutrena or Southern States brands for our chickens.
We also get Nutrena Senior Equine, alfalfa pellets and beet pulp shreds from TSC.
We had tried various Dumor products before, wife was not happy with them.
 

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I had bought 25 bags because I was having trouble getting my usual at the other feed store due to supply issues. Normally this time of year I have 2 300 on the ground already and 3 large incubators running with my last hatch usually about first week Feb. I have hatched zero. I did all the usual I have done all my life as I helped my grandfather since I could walk. Nothing worked. Light...made sure my lights were on to give them 12hrs of light. Usually all that is needed. I tried upping the protein and adding some cayenne pepper. Always worked for slow to start layers. I finally ran out of the Tractor Supply. Went and replaced it with my usual now again available feed from the co op. I have hens dropping eggs left and right and thats without laying pellets. I prefer to do all my hatching before Feb. So no laying pellets and laying again. So...was the TSC stopping them? Coincidence? No idea. But I have never ever in 40yrs had this issue before.
 

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If your chickens all suddenly stop laying any eggs at all, there is a problem. Chickens are programmed to lay eggs, there has to be a good reason for ALL of them to quit completely simultaneously.
What the heck could be in the feed that would make them stop laying? (not being facetious, just thinking out loud)
 

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Could it be related to any of the avian viruses going around?
 
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My hens have always been free range with only oil seed being fed plus a little of various brands of layer feed. Always using a light in the coop over winter, I've seen little slow down of production thru the cold months, but my current flock of 15 or so started fallng off in production almost a year ago. This is also the first bunch that ever did much molting...???.
 

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Could it be related to any of the avian viruses going around?
Good question. It might be related.

.
 

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Our feed is from the CO and is locally produced. There has been the typical January slowdown but nothing that I consider out of the ordinary. Whether the problem is related to TSC or not, I'm paying attention.
 

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I been reading this on facebook.
I feed dumor layer and am not impressed with it lately. Bags have clumps
and chunks of stuff that I think came off the walls of the silos. And or equipment.
I will be asking for some satisfaction for the last 3 bags.
My ducks have not been laying their normal. Lucky to see one egg a day.
Chickens should be laying better than what I am getting.

My personal conclusion from what I read is that some mills that supply grain to TSC
don't have what they need to make the batches. There is 2 ingredients
, one starts with a L , other one M. , that is not going into the feed.
So some mills maybe okay and their product is okay.
Other mills may not be okay.
I just started feeding a 5 scratch again from a local grain farmer.
I an already seeing improvement.
 

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I buy from the local feed store. Brand I buy is as locally sourced as possible. My 5 grain actually has 5 grains, the layer mix no clue since it is a pellet. But, my chickens are going full bore and the pullets from last fall have started already. Got eggs coming out my ears. We have crappy, dreary weather and I don't use a light. So, make of that what you will.
 

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Could it be related to any of the avian viruses going around?
That is certainly possible.
Monday I decided I was going to get to the bottom of what was going on with the flock at work. I put a trail cam in the coop pointed at the nest boxes. Pulled the card today and looked at the pics. Turns out, the entire flock has been hanging out inside the coop most the day and patrolling the nest boxes. They have been busted on camera eating their own eggs. 🙄🤦‍♀️
Now I have to try and adjust their diet and I may try a couple of the roll out nest boxes. If that doesn't work they are all going in the freezer.
My small flock at home, I did get one egg today and have been watching the situation closely. I manage my home flock a lot differently than the flock at work so the sudden loss of eggs from both flocks had been really interesting to me.
Again, they were not getting TSC feed.
 

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I have a friend that geeks out on chicken feed and she has been feeding Nutrena, I believe. I think she worked out that Vit A was lacking and causing issues with her flocks. She has ended up buying a premix and is making her own feed now.
 

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I don't have any chickens just now, but when I did I fed COB (corn, oats, and barley) and table scraps. We always had more eggs than we could use. Some hens slowed down in the winter. The ones that stopped laying all together, went into the cook pot.
 

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I hate to even say what I feed my chickens lol COB, some laying pellets, some scratch, some BOSS, we rely heavily on lots of scraps, some cat food, bread, whatever looks halfway reasonable in addition to whatever they find out there scritching around. I've had several chickens live to be 12 or so and the ones I have now are 8ish and right now laying every day now in January. My chicken ways are not scientific but my chickens seem to do well!
 

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That is certainly possible.
Monday I decided I was going to get to the bottom of what was going on with the flock at work. I put a trail cam in the coop pointed at the nest boxes. Pulled the card today and looked at the pics. Turns out, the entire flock has been hanging out inside the coop most the day and patrolling the nest boxes. They have been busted on camera eating their own eggs. 🙄🤦‍♀️
Now I have to try and adjust their diet and I may try a couple of the roll out nest boxes. If that doesn't work they are all going in the freezer.
My small flock at home, I did get one egg today and have been watching the situation closely. I manage my home flock a lot differently than the flock at work so the sudden loss of eggs from both flocks had been really interesting to me.
Again, they were not getting TSC feed.
Egg eating can be a problem but I was always able to break them of it. It seems to just be a habit they pick up. One hen will start it and eventually others copy her. If you can catch the ones doing it and isolate them, the others will not start doing it. The ones that are doing it will usually stop because they are more concerned about their new surroundings than eating eggs and they tend to forget they had the habit. I have also 'blown' eggs (poke a small hole in both ends of the egg shell and blow the yolk and white out the other end). Then fill the empty shell with plain yellow mustard using a syringe and put it back in the nest. Chickens hate mustard. Once they learn those eggs taste horrible, they will stop. I've also used fake eggs my wife got at Hobby Lobby. The hens can't break them and soon get bored with trying. But, you need to be around to gather your eggs several times a day for a few days for that to work.
 

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Egg eating can be a problem but I was always able to break them of it. It seems to just be a habit they pick up. One hen will start it and eventually others copy her. If you can catch the ones doing it and isolate them, the others will not start doing it. The ones that are doing it will usually stop because they are more concerned about their new surroundings than eating eggs and they tend to forget they had the habit. I have also 'blown' eggs (poke a small hole in both ends of the egg shell and blow the yolk and white out the other end). Then fill the empty shell with plain yellow mustard using a syringe and put it back in the nest. Chickens hate mustard. Once they learn those eggs taste horrible, they will stop. I've also used fake eggs my wife got at Hobby Lobby. The hens can't break them and soon get bored with trying. But, you need to be around to gather your eggs several times a day for a few days for that to work.
We have ceramic eggs in there already. The ceramic eggs being scattered all over the coop floor and some buried in the wood chip litter was what made me suspicious. That and their hanging out inside the coop all day which is abnormal during good weather.
I have been toying with the idea of splitting the flock in half and putting them in another building to see if a change of scenery makes any difference. I don't have unlimited financial resources to correct diet and get expensive nest boxes so I have to try to find a balance that works out well for everyone.
My first action today was to change out the bedding with something less interesting to them than wood chips. We'll see if it helps them hang out in the coop any less. I can keep the camera in place to try and figure out who the offenders are but we have several of the same couple breeds so that isn't going to be easy.
 

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A year or two ago, there was a lot of internet chatter against the brooders that TSC was using. Maybe TSC is just an easy target.
Around here, the weather has been fairly mild, but lots and lots of gloomy, cloudy days. I'd guess that since egg production is stimulated by sunny days, there wouldn't be many eggs laid.
 
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