Originally Posted by AuntNomi
So I have been feeding my chickens the FF for about a week now. When I go out in the mornings they are going absolutely nuts for me to feed them. I can not get them feed fast enough. I don't even have to close the coop door behind me cause no one is leaving til they eat! It's crazy. I don't let them out til afternoon once I know all that are gonna give up an egg have done so. Then once they are out they constantly follow me, right under my feet. I do feed them again in the evening an hour or so before they are close to roosting. And they again behave as tho they haven't eaten at all. My husband swears I am starving them?!?! I keep telling him I am not but each day they are more and more dramatic...... Do they really love this FF this much, or is it possible I am not feeding them enough? I have 8 pullets (about 9 months old) in one coop and 8 pullets (about 4-5 months old) in the other coop. I am feeding them a 5 pint scoop each morning and then again evening plus they get scratch and free range. They are out free ranging min 2 hours but up to 6 or 7 hours a day depending how much time I have to be out there with them.
Thank you in advance!
You are feeding 16 birds 20 cups of feed, which is enough for 40 birds if you go by the books' suggestions for half cup of feed per bird per day, plus scratch. I'm feeding 14 birds 6-7 cups of feed per day...that's it. Yours are only getting good exercise 2-7 hrs a day, mine are ranging over 3 acres from daylight to dark, so expending a lot of energy. Mine are fat and sassy, so I can only imagine yours are even more so. They are not starving, I can assure you.
The reason your birds are acting that way is because they have had their buffet removed, whereat they could peck and sample all day long and were never truly hungry nor competing for food, but now they get fed in meals, which increases their food competition instincts. You could feed them their meal, let them eat all they can stuff in their crops at one time, take away the left overs and in a half hour do it all again and they'd still act like the feed was the first they'd seen all day. And that's chickens for you....most people never get to see that because they feed continuous feeds.
If anything, I'd advise you to cut WAYYYYYYYY back on that amount of feed or you are going to have some horribly obese girls that won't be able to lay an egg past all the fat in their abdomens.