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How many pounds of feed per day per chicken?

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

My son is doing a school project on raising and caring for backyard chickens.  He asked me how much food, in pounds, does our chickens eat each day???  And how much water per day do they need??
Uhhhhh........good question.  My answer was it depends on the breed,  how old, how much fruit/vegi scrap and rice they get, how much they are laying, did they get to range that day.  And the water is as much as they want because we have a automatic watering dish.
That wasn't good enough for him, he told me to go and ask "my chicken people" online. 
So, my chicken people, how much would an average heavy breed egg laying hen eat per day if it got just feed??  How many gallons of water do you put out per day for how many chickens?
He also wanted to know what are the best and worse economical eaters that are quality egg layers?  My guess was the best would be leghorns, RIR & sex links since they are your commerical layers.  Worse would be huge chickens like jersey giants, brahmas & cochrins??
My son thanks you for your input.

Cory

Living in expensive, but beautiful paradise with my wonderful (and understanding) DW, 3 children, 2 dogs, 3 austrolorps, 2 BR, 4 mutt hens, & a BR roo.  A dozen large koi powering a backyard aquaponics system for fresh vegis.  Just set 10 turkey eggs under broody hens.  Surrounded by thousands of wild jungle fowl (moa) and miles and miles of beautiful blue ocean.
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Living in expensive, but beautiful paradise with my wonderful (and understanding) DW, 3 children, 2 dogs, 3 austrolorps, 2 BR, 4 mutt hens, & a BR roo.  A dozen large koi powering a backyard aquaponics system for fresh vegis.  Just set 10 turkey eggs under broody hens.  Surrounded by thousands of wild jungle fowl (moa) and miles and miles of beautiful blue ocean.
Reply
post #2 of 4

1/4 pound per day per bird for Large fowl is the average. 1 gallon a day for ten birds, but this will vary drastically with weather.

RIR is a yes and no. RIR "production strain" is feed efficient, but the heritage strain is not as efficient. Rocks are definately up there too.

"If you want to be happy for a year, win the lottery. If you want to be happy for a lifetime, love what you do."
Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.
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"If you want to be happy for a year, win the lottery. If you want to be happy for a lifetime, love what you do."
Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.
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post #3 of 4

Your son may be developing good (personnel wink management skills, Cory.

In all likelihood, your local Coop Ex (cooperative extension wink office has a library where he can develop research skills.

There are a few "rules of thumb:"

One-quarter pound of feed each day is what laying hens usually eat. Of course, this varies by breed, temperature, etc. Hens consume twice as much water as feed - so, it is 1/4 lb feed and 1/2 lb water. But, water intake varies even more than feed intake.

Leghorn pullets will eat from 16 to 18 pounds of feed per bird and heavy breeds will eat from 20 to 22 pounds from hatch to 20 weeks of age. So, the pullets are eating all this feed before they've ever produced a single egg.

Many commercial layers are specific strains and hybrids. Feed efficiency is a real science and the way $$ is made. I believe that modern layers perform at about 2 lbs of feed to 1 lb of eggs over the life of the chicken from hatch to 58 weeks or so.

Steve's digits

edited to say: I'm a little slow in responding and have some of the same info as kstaven . . .


Edited by digitS' - 3/11/08 at 3:09pm
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post #4 of 4
Thread Starter 

digitS' :

Your son may be developing good (personnel wink management skills, Cory.

In all likelihood, your local Coop Ex (cooperative extension wink office has a library where he can develop research skills.


Well actually this is part of his project, interviewing someone and reporting on someone elses business, job, hobby, interest.   I guess it is good people management....if you don't have the answers for your supervisor he makes you go and find it.  Job training for a 9 year old, never too early to start I guess big_smileroll
I wish we had a local Coop Ex here that we could go to.  All our is a desk and clerk that will take samples and questions and forward it to the UH Ag dept......such is living on little island in the middle of the Pacific.
Thank goodness for the internet as that is the only place we can get quality correct info on just about anything.
He did go through the henderson chicken chart and find some comments about eating, just we didn't know what kind any of the economical eater breed were.

Thanks for the info.


Cory

Living in expensive, but beautiful paradise with my wonderful (and understanding) DW, 3 children, 2 dogs, 3 austrolorps, 2 BR, 4 mutt hens, & a BR roo.  A dozen large koi powering a backyard aquaponics system for fresh vegis.  Just set 10 turkey eggs under broody hens.  Surrounded by thousands of wild jungle fowl (moa) and miles and miles of beautiful blue ocean.
Reply
Living in expensive, but beautiful paradise with my wonderful (and understanding) DW, 3 children, 2 dogs, 3 austrolorps, 2 BR, 4 mutt hens, & a BR roo.  A dozen large koi powering a backyard aquaponics system for fresh vegis.  Just set 10 turkey eggs under broody hens.  Surrounded by thousands of wild jungle fowl (moa) and miles and miles of beautiful blue ocean.
Reply
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