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feeding with the seasons - Page 2

post #11 of 14
My main concern with with feeding the fermented feed or grain is I'm not sure where I would feed it without causing a big squabble over it. I've got an 8x10' coop (that they basically roost in and lay in) and a 50x100'run with a couple of different sheds and covered areas in that they spend most of their time in, when their not free ranging. (Which is most afternoons) I have their feed and water in the coop which has been working out good. Most of the day the coop is empty unless they are laying. (Which in my opinion is good because even the lowest ranking hen can find a time to go in and fill up on feed) the good and bad about the cracked corn is it's its easy to feed and it's free. I can spread it out over a big enough area that they don't fight over it.
post #12 of 14

I use dog bowls from the $ store.  Have 2 in the run, and 1 in the coop.  Takes about 2 minutes to fill all bowls in the morning.  The shyer girls stay in the coop in the morning when everyone else charges out to get the feed in the run.  Then, those shy girls get to eat without being harassed.  I've also been giving a bit of cat food to the gals at the bottom of the pecking order, and am finding that they are becoming more assertive.  I wonder if there's a bit of a - feed back loop going on here:  bottom of pecking order girls get picked on, which limits their feed intake.  Their nutritional status goes down, which compromises them ever so subtly (not that we would notice, but their flock mates do) which makes them more prone to being picked on.  Increase protein, and they feel better, and become more assertive.  

Jesus Christ is my pilot.

My husband of 41 years is my best friend and co-pilot.

Enjoying my gardens.  My flock are my garden helpers.

Breeding a winter hearty flock with small combs and colored eggs.

Favorite breeds:  Dominique and EE.  Hatching addict.

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1084432/egg-gender-selection-survey

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1013154/byc-member-interview-laz...

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Jesus Christ is my pilot.

My husband of 41 years is my best friend and co-pilot.

Enjoying my gardens.  My flock are my garden helpers.

Breeding a winter hearty flock with small combs and colored eggs.

Favorite breeds:  Dominique and EE.  Hatching addict.

 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1084432/egg-gender-selection-survey

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1013154/byc-member-interview-laz...

Reply
post #13 of 14
There could be something to what you're saying (Lazy Gardener) It seems like the pecking order in my flock is always changing. The top half of my pecking order seems to stay the same, but the lower pecking order seems to change more. My lowest ranking hen was the first to squat for the rooster and for a while she was bumped up to the middle of the pecking order, I don't know if it was the extra nutrition she was getting (She got first choice of any treats he would find.) Or the fact that she had an 8# body guard, he never let her out of his sight. As the other hens started to breed she slowly moved back down the ladder. I lucked out with my current flock, I have a buff orpington in charge and she's pretty laid back and my rooster doesn't tolerate any fighting at all. He rules the roost with an iron fist (ha ha). My previous flock was ruled for a short time by a RIR hen who was an absolute terror.
post #14 of 14
Thread Starter 

What works for one, may not work for the other, as to ways of feeding. If I have squabbles, I just feed in multiple places. 

 

I do agree with the above notion that poor feed, can lead to weaker, picked on birds. In my flock, age is a big indicator too, once the pullets start laying, they move up in status. They are getting close (hatched in July) and they are less of a sub flock in the last week.

 

Mrs K

Western South Dakota Rancher
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Western South Dakota Rancher
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