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How much to feed my chickens?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

So, I'm just wondering how much feed a chicken should be eating in a day?  I have a 7 pound feeder, that I have to fill 2 times a week, but I also throw out some feed for them when they come out of the coop.  So, I really don't know how much they TRULY need a day.  1/2 cup per chicken???? 1 cup per chicken???

They also get to free range in my yard more days than not. 

I'm mainly asking so I can determine how much food to buy at a time, and for when we go on vacations and I need to have someone keep an eye on them for me. 

Thanks!

Kristina.  Proud owner of 8 chickens, 2 adult rabbits and 3 of their babies!  Mama to Austin and Audrey, expecting another blessing in June 2011, wife to Mark.
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Kristina.  Proud owner of 8 chickens, 2 adult rabbits and 3 of their babies!  Mama to Austin and Audrey, expecting another blessing in June 2011, wife to Mark.
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post #2 of 12

How much feed per chicken per day will depend on age, size, breed, and weather. Also how much they eat while free ranging.
Young chickens will eat more than adults because they're growing.
Large breeds will eat more because they're, well, LARGE. lol
Cold weather will cause an increase in feed consumption.
Your wild bird population will also eat a lot of feed.
I use about 100 pounds of feed every month for 14 chickens, most of them fairly young. They get a lot of other stuff though, vegetables, fruit, greens, BOSS, etc. And I have a huge wild bird population that is very well fed tongue Mine don't free range at all.

I live on 10 acres in beautiful Central California with my DH, pets, & chickens
22 Barnevelder chicks in my coop!
My fireworks stand converted to coop project:
http://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?pid=5043185#p5043185
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I live on 10 acres in beautiful Central California with my DH, pets, & chickens
22 Barnevelder chicks in my coop!
My fireworks stand converted to coop project:
http://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?pid=5043185#p5043185
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post #3 of 12

My chickens always have food.  If their dish is empty then there is feed they scratched out on the ground.  They never go hungry.  We have plenty of times but they are all fat and sassy.

NPIP#405 Check out the hatching eggs auctions for my current auction(s) of silkie hatching eggs and sizzle hatching eggs. Swap Page http://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=24309
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NPIP#405 Check out the hatching eggs auctions for my current auction(s) of silkie hatching eggs and sizzle hatching eggs. Swap Page http://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=24309
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post #4 of 12

We have 5 BR's and they get through about 1.5lbs a day so a 50lb sack will last a month, but we also supplement them with BOSS, scratch occasionally, chickweed and dandelions from the yard. Also tomatoes, grapes, canned corn occasionally....... All are growing well and moving across on to Layena this week.

Chicks are everywhere! Barred Rock, Buff Orpington, Dark and Light Brahma , Silkies,BLRW, Barnevelder and hopefully some Wheaten Amerucana's....
http://angloamericanchickens.weebly.com/
NPIP Certified NC 55-1045,Member of the American Silkie Bantam Club and the APA.

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Chicks are everywhere! Barred Rock, Buff Orpington, Dark and Light Brahma , Silkies,BLRW, Barnevelder and hopefully some Wheaten Amerucana's....
http://angloamericanchickens.weebly.com/
NPIP Certified NC 55-1045,Member of the American Silkie Bantam Club and the APA.

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post #5 of 12

Gavin  I would not start your girls on laying feed until they start laying. Hey my dad live in Indian Trail NC.He is what you would call a Dam Yank. A yank is a northener that come to visit then go back north,A dam Yank is a northener that come to visit and stays. He loves it there. He said the people are so friendly you want to punch them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gavinandallison 

We have 5 BR's and they get through about 1.5lbs a day so a 50lb sack will last a month, but we also supplement them with BOSS, scratch occasionally, chickweed and dandelions from the yard. Also tomatoes, grapes, canned corn occasionally....... All are growing well and moving across on to Layena this week.


Edited by The Tinman - 11/6/10 at 5:54am
1 not to thrilled with chickens wife,2 daughters 19,16, Charlie T Crow and the Jersey Girls(1Roo and 16 Jersey Giant pullets) and 1 moose(She is really a reindeer)
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1 not to thrilled with chickens wife,2 daughters 19,16, Charlie T Crow and the Jersey Girls(1Roo and 16 Jersey Giant pullets) and 1 moose(She is really a reindeer)
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post #6 of 12

Not sure how much they eat.  I just buy a 50lb bag and dump it into a trash can with a tight lid.  When it gets down low I buy another bag (empty the dredges into my 5 gallon bucket feeder first) and start all over... smile  If you have mouse issues, I'd make sure the trash can is metal.  Two of my cats are good mousers, so I've never had an issue with the plastic ones.

Caretaker of a lovely mixed flock including: australorp, plymouth rocks, wyandotte, d'uccles, silkies, EEs, andalusian, and a few seramas, plus a golden retriever, great dane, and three cats.  I always swore that I wouldn't succumb to chicken math.  I lied.
 

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Caretaker of a lovely mixed flock including: australorp, plymouth rocks, wyandotte, d'uccles, silkies, EEs, andalusian, and a few seramas, plus a golden retriever, great dane, and three cats.  I always swore that I wouldn't succumb to chicken math.  I lied.
 

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post #7 of 12

The feed bag tells me 1/4 pound per bird per day.

Liars!

Perhaps my leghorns eat that but the others forage free range (not so much to eat being late fall now) and still easily eat 1/3 pound per day. Of course that is an estimate based on needing to buy a bag of feed every 3 weeks instead of every month.

Even chickens dare to hatch an egg.
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Even chickens dare to hatch an egg.
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post #8 of 12

Kristina93, I breed game chickens. Being so, I have to keep roosters seperated, or with one hen. I can tell you that a six pound game rooster does nicely on 3 ounces of 14% protein feed per day on average. If they start to get thin, I increase it by 1/2 oz. If I see fat, the opposite. It`s hard to judge in a flock situation. Most folks just keep feed in front of them and don`t care if they get fat. To see fat on a chicken, turn it upside down and look at the skin just foreward of the vent. If the chicken is fat you can usually see yellow fat under the skin. Hope this helps ya...........Pop

In God We Trust

Siyah Rampuri Asil, White Chinese, Emden, and African Geese, Guineas, a Rottweiler (Bella), and a Yellow Lab (Booger). Fifty five years with chickens and still learning.

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In God We Trust

Siyah Rampuri Asil, White Chinese, Emden, and African Geese, Guineas, a Rottweiler (Bella), and a Yellow Lab (Booger). Fifty five years with chickens and still learning.

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post #9 of 12

I have 30 chickens not counting babies (because they eat starter ) and 5 Gineas (sp?) and I go through 100 lbs a month in layer pellets and about 100lbs in scratch (DW's fault everytime she goes out to see them she has to feed them scratch) but as I tell my friends and family and all of those who tell me how much they should eat but don't own any chickens themselves........ My girls are happy the eggs buys the feed so as long as I can buy the feed and scratch for them and they are happy don't woory about how much I feed them they eat free choice and they don't eat it all the time........
So as long as you feed them and they aren't costing you an arm and a leg feed them the way you do now but to truly know how much it is marked on the bags of feed being that you use nutrena layer pellets /mash.

Youre just jealous because my chickens only talk to me.....:-P
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Youre just jealous because my chickens only talk to me.....:-P
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post #10 of 12

That's a good question. It's never felt necessary for me to keep track. We just refill their feeder when it gets low. I'd say we go through a 30 pound bag every 6 weeks or so with our 5 girls. As others have said though, feed consumption decreases for free rangers during the summer as they get to snack on plants and bugs all day!

In love with my two Barred Rocks, my Golden-Laced Wyandotte, my Buff Orpington, my mystery breed chicken girl, and my mountain man of a boyfriend.
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In love with my two Barred Rocks, my Golden-Laced Wyandotte, my Buff Orpington, my mystery breed chicken girl, and my mountain man of a boyfriend.
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