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Open feeding or once a day??? - Page 2

post #11 of 18
A night light works too. Mine had to get carried back to bed till I put a cheap solar light in their house. Now they are cuddled round it when I go to lock them up.

Aussie Mum to
our sizzle Al

our neurotic Partridge Silkie Penny

and our sweethearts the Salmon Favorelles girls, Colonel , Winry & Carl
And our big girls the Australorps, Pepper, Blackie and Tonio

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Aussie Mum to
our sizzle Al

our neurotic Partridge Silkie Penny

and our sweethearts the Salmon Favorelles girls, Colonel , Winry & Carl
And our big girls the Australorps, Pepper, Blackie and Tonio

Reply
post #12 of 18
I free feed. Never had any problem. To train chickens to return to the coop - keep the feed and water there. If you need to add light (I.e. winter laying) add it in the morning, that way they will always know that sunset is the cue to go home and roost. Mine free range all day long and I manually open the coop in the morning and close it at night. Sometimes the coop gets left open at night when I'm traveling because of my lazy "farm hand (wife)"! When I first started cooping them up, a few wanted to stay out or try to roost on the gate. I just picked them up and put them in the coop a few days in a row - talk about getting your feathers ruffled! They all know that everyone sleeps in the coop only! They don't get any extra heat - they cozy up next to each other when it gets cold.
Edited by drlcb - 5/18/13 at 7:23pm
post #13 of 18

I haven't been doing this long, maybe 3-4 months. I have 4 ladies and I have a watering system and feeding system that lasts about 8-10 days. This also depends on how much "extras" I feed them. Have not had a problem, they seem happy and they will leave me 2-4 eggs daily. My only issue, when I am away, is getting friends and family to collect the eggs. What they collect they get to take home. Plenty of volunteers. 

post #14 of 18

It's never a good idea to take food away from growing chicks. They need to feed often at a higher protein level to grow and not doing so will cause them to grow slower and lay later. Some pullets raised on a poor diet will never grow as large or lay as well as other pullets from the same hatch fed a good diet.

  If your looking to cut back on waste there are feeder styles that do this or just use a standard  feeder and hang it at shoulder height and switch to pellets. This what I use and have almost zero waste. 

  As far as training them to come back to the run a little scratch will work wonders for that and is a nice treat as well.

If  you ain't the lead dog the view never changes!
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If  you ain't the lead dog the view never changes!
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post #15 of 18

Hello.  This is a question I've been having.  I just received my five, 10-month old hens on Christmas Eve.  I'm trying to learn all of the ins and outs of raising and keeping chickens.  I feed the hens with Layena pellets in a white plastic feeder with a red base.  Holds about 6 or 8 cups of feed, trickling down as they eat. They eat most of it by dark, I lock up their coop at dark, and in the morning at sunrise, I open the coop and they come charging to the freshly-filled feeder (and water pan).  My question is: Am I under-feeding them?  Should I place food and water into their coop during the night?

post #16 of 18

I am sure there are many others that have way more experience than I do on this. However, I have read from others that the ladies will not over eat themselves...unlike us humans do. 

 

I personally have a 4 in PVC pipe that is 3.5 feet long that I fill every 10 days or so and they work at that whenever they are hungry. Water is in a 4 gallon bucket with a heater in it for the winter months and chicken nipples to drink from. This also lasts about 10 days or so. 

 

Mine have been doing just fine. Laying eggs and looking healthy. 

post #17 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by cajunater View Post
 

Hello.  This is a question I've been having.  I just received my five, 10-month old hens on Christmas Eve.  I'm trying to learn all of the ins and outs of raising and keeping chickens.  I feed the hens with Layena pellets in a white plastic feeder with a red base.  Holds about 6 or 8 cups of feed, trickling down as they eat. They eat most of it by dark, I lock up their coop at dark, and in the morning at sunrise, I open the coop and they come charging to the freshly-filled feeder (and water pan).  My question is: Am I under-feeding them?  Should I place food and water into their coop during the night?

At night, chickens don't eat. Once they go to roost, that's where they stay. It's normal for them to run out of the coop, first thing in the morning, and head straight for the feed and water.

post #18 of 18
Chickens eat twice a day, yes they will peck around all day. They eat 2 times, early in the morning and depending on the length of the day. They will eat late enough to be full whe they go to roost.
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