I wonder how many people realise that Mixed Poultry Grit is needed by all birds to digest the food they eat.
Chicks and ducklings should have chick grit available for them when they are day old. This would be a good start for them to get the digestion working. They can manage full size poultry grit when they are 8 weeks old.
Grit is needed to grind up all the food that hens, ducks, geese, guinea fowl and quail eat. They will only eat it if it is clean and dry, if it gets wet and gets messy they will not touch it. If it gets covered in bedding and they cannot see it then they will not eat it. Birds only eat it when they need it which is usually once a month. It goes into the gizzard and helps to grind up the food so the birds will then get the nuitrition needed to grow and when full grown to lay eggs.
Eggs are on average 14per cent protein so the food you give them should contain more than 14per cent protein to get maximum egg production and so the hens can live a good life. Mixed Corn on average has 10per cent and hens look for the colour of the corn and stop eating pellets if they are given it on a regular basis.
Another word about food, if hens are left out on long grass they risk getting impacted crops they should only be on short grass.
Whole cabbages are good for them as they will pick at it and get short pieces to eat. It is a good way of preventing boredom with hens who are enclosed in a run all day.