24/7 food?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by MomMommyMamma, Nov 24, 2010.

  1. MomMommyMamma

    MomMommyMamma Songster

    Jun 13, 2010
    West Virginia
    We have 22 chickens and we're going through a 50 lb. bag of feed about every 10 days. Sound about right? Do they need to have feed freely available or can we feed them twice daily or ?? Any suggestions appreciated. We are only able to let them free range for about an hour a day. More than that and they go into the neighbors yards.
    Last week we changed over from crumble to pellets and we also made a PVC feeder so that there would not be any more feed lost to spills or rain (feeder is inside the coop).
    Don't want to under feed them of course, but with hubby laid off and the chickens just beginning to lay (ie: not enough for us to sell yet), money is tight and I want to be sure we're not overspending on feed.

  2. Southernbelle

    Southernbelle Gone Broody

    Mar 17, 2008
    I've always offered feed 24/7. I don't want to ration feed because I'm afraid the ones on the bottom of the pecking order wouldn't get enough to eat. Letting them free range more (maybe a moveable pen to keep them out of the neighbors?) and giving them kitchen scraps can help reduce feed costs.
  3. MomMommyMamma

    MomMommyMamma Songster

    Jun 13, 2010
    West Virginia
    Quote:We do offer scraps as much as possible. Our issue w/ our tractor is that it's too awkward to move much. Maybe this spring we can figure out a really light weight larger frame we can move more.

    I also worry that if we don't offer enough feed they may get grumpy at the lower birds. I can always tell when I look out if they are out of feed because they look/act more agitated.
  4. hinkjc

    hinkjc Crowing Premium Member

    Jan 11, 2007
    I feel poultry should have free choice to feed at all times. They will only eat as much as they need, but it's difficult for us to determine exactly what that is. Even with free ranging, they don't always have access to all nutrient requirements. Their feed balances that and keeps them strong and in good health.

  5. swimmer

    swimmer Songster

    Aug 17, 2010
    I also feed 27/7. Switching to pellets, you should notice less waste.
  6. HeritageHens

    HeritageHens Chirping

    Aug 9, 2010
    I don't have any clue how much food that many chickens would go through but just make sure you aren't feeding rodents. If the food is in the run or in a coop that isn't tight, you could very well lose unnecessary food. I have food in the run during the day but lock it up in the food barrel at night. The chickens have a feeder in the coop that is always available to them.
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2010
  7. 33yardbirds

    33yardbirds Songster

    Jun 15, 2010
    Southern New Jersey
    I never let them be with out food or water.

  8. MomMommyMamma

    MomMommyMamma Songster

    Jun 13, 2010
    West Virginia
    It's a good idea to make sure we've got good seals so we don't have other animals feeding.
  9. crazyhen

    crazyhen Crowing

    Aug 26, 2008
    mtns of ,NC.
    [​IMG] Thats about what I feed too. I also give lots of veg. Mine like the butternut squash and pumpkins. I bake them first. They fight over them. Any left over veg. gets put in their bucket and taken to them the next morning. How old are your hens? If they are old enough to lay, You can jump start them with a light coming on early in the morning. [​IMG] What kinds of hens do you have? Take care Gloria Jean

  10. MomMommyMamma

    MomMommyMamma Songster

    Jun 13, 2010
    West Virginia
    Quote:We put a light in the coop a few weeks ago. Maybe a month ago now. They're all between 6 & 7 months old. We have 6 layers so far.

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