My chickens are now 6 weeks old and have moved to outside. I made sure to get breeds who were good at foraging (or so says the online information). I have Faverolles, New Hampshire Reds, Black Australorps, and Speckled Sussex's. They have a lot of pasture to roam and free range, lots of yummy bugs and worms now that it is summer. So far, we have just kept their feeder full most of the time with the chick starter, but I was wondering when I can start to give them less feed and have them rely more on free ranging and just supplement them with the feed? They spend their time pecking and scratching, they are getting the hang of it, but if they run out of food and I replace it, they go nuts over each other trying to get to eat as if they haven't eaten all day. I love my chickens! Anyway, just looking for some advice on how/when to get them more dependent on the bugs in the garden and yard rather than the feed. Thanks!
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Personally, i would always ensure that they have access to feed. Nutritional demands for todays' chickens are higher than they were back in the day, and its good for peace of mind to ensure that they have access to commercial chicken feed, so that you know they are getting a balanced diet.