5 Hens, 1 Rooster, 50 pounds of feed, about 200 pounds of Manure

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by shannara200, Jan 21, 2013.

  1. shannara200

    shannara200 In the Brooder

    Sep 16, 2012
    Ok about a month ago I purchased 5 hens and 1 rooster for my coop, this is my first attempt at backyard chicken pets. So far I have learn a lot about chickens.

    1) they are eating machines: I mean they eat all the time, I let them free range all day and I also keep a container of chicken layer food in the coop area it seems they will empty that container in about two days and their free ranging has made it where I have not seen a bug near my house in weeks. I had a lot of lady bugs in my area but they seem to be a real treat to the chickens, so far I have dropped 50 pounds of feed to them cost is building as I write this.

    2) The manure factor for chickens is amazing: When I say poop I mean it looks like a small dog left it behind. It looks nothing like other birds dropping, chickens poop like dogs or humans, I have so much manure that my father and I are building a composting container to use the manure to make compost. They are pooping machines

    3) My dad will sit on the porch all day drink wine, listen to the news from the old country on the laptop and watch the chickens walk around the house scratching picking and giving him a wink once in a while. He is the only one they will walk up to for treats...he is kind of like the Walt Disney zippity do da guy.

    4) The eggs are amazing when cooked over easy...enough said

    anyways I may have poop issues with them and cost concerning food, but seeing my dad enjoy them and my mother perparing kitchen scrap for them, with both of them enjoying the eggs make it worth while.

    This is the best hobby so far

  2. ChicKat

    ChicKat Crowing Premium Member

    Congrats on getting a flock..... Welcome to BYC
    Your story sounds idyllic

    Gail Damerow is the author of 'Storeys Guide to Raising Chickens' She writes on page 110 that the mature light breed will eat about 2-pounds of feed per week, medium breed about 3 pounds, and heavy breed about 4 pounds. Your chickens' age, size, breed and rate of lay, and even the weather will influence how much they eat. Feed conversion is the amount of feed needed to produce a certain amount of eggs.... So 6 birds x 3 pounds x 4 weeks is just about what would be expected for mature birds.....The rooster would eat less than the hens most likely, and the free-range supplements their food...

    Sometimes it seems like they are pigs instead of chickens...and they are always hungry -- so they are always ready to have treats..but over the long term it will probably balance out.

    Here are some thoughts:

    If your chickens poo is excessive, could it be the brand of feed? Do you add 1TBSP of apple cider vinegar per gallon to their water? The reason for this is to make sure that the pH in the chicken's gut is optimal. Is there a chance that your chickens have worms..if they are eating more than the 'average' chicken would? Or, is there a invader, like local birds during the day, or night time critters stopping by the feeders that you put out?

    And -- last but not least, I think that it takes 6-months for the chicken poop to be safe for garden use, so your compost is a great idea. There is a gardener who thinks that chicken manure is so good for the growing plants that he would have chickens even if they didn't lay eggs. wow. Although this link is an advertisement, Johathan White seems like a really good guy, and the garden is impressive

    What if you could package up your compost and sell it in packages for gardeners near you and help pay the chicken feed bill?

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by