Originally Posted by JackAubrey
Hello the forum! I have a BUNCH (40+) chicks. They are 5 weeks old and all feathered out. I buy a 50 lb bag of chick starter, and they eat it all in less than a week! I leave feed in there for them 24/7, can I get by with feeding them once or twice a day or do they require access to food at all times? I have 7 full grown hens that forage for most of their food. I feed them a big scoop of layer feed once a day, usually in the evening. If they fill up in the morning they don't forage as well! A 50 lb bag of layer feed lasts almost a month. What say ye? Best regards, JA
I also ferment my feed and have between 40 and 60 chickens of different ages... chicks, hens, cockerels. I go through 200# of Flock Raiser (20%protein) per month. I also ferment and free range. Note, my 50# bag is NOT 3 or 4% oyster shell... I serve that on the side.
Chicks that are awake 24/7 being brooded under a light eat way more than chicks that are sleeping under a broody hen. And when in the brooder they have no way to forage. Get them out to pasture asap... saves more than fermenting for me. And think about another brooding method in the future. I have chicks from the same hatch, some went to a broody while the rest were under a light. No surprise the ones who were up eating all throughout the night are bigger (at least right now) than the ones who were sleeping all night and waiting at the door every morning to get some feed.
If you haven't broken them off the lamp yet, I would do that instead of feeding a couple times a day.
Whatever you choose... don't go bankrupt!
I mix like thick oatmeal. I also have 2, 18 gallon totes... one ferments a whole 50# bag while I feed the other one out. Works great for my climate.
@shortgrass I'm just guessing you can only get your grains that cheap because you are buying in major bulk?