6 weeks feed and predators

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Essentiallyokanaganmom, Jun 25, 2019.

  1. Essentiallyokanaganmom

    Essentiallyokanaganmom Songster

    May 22, 2019
    Okanagan Valley
    Chicks are 6 weeks old! We have been feeding them several times a day keeping thier feed dish full for the most part, however I'm realizing I have no idea how much food they should have, how long they can go between eating if we are out/sleeping, either now or when grown; and also now that they have been out in the coop for a week I'm reading that the food is the big attractant for wildlife and we live on a mountain so would rather not leave food out 24/7 if it's not needed, especially if it's supposed to be left in the run/range area. Please chicken people tell me what's normal for feeding chicks and chickens! 20190618_092754.jpg
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Got my Puppy

    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    I always have feed available in the shed. You can pick it up at night, others it should always be available if possible.
    EggSighted4Life likes this.
  3. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Free Ranging

    Hi there. :frow

    Man, your chicks are at that UHGly phase. :love

    I leave free choice feeders with as much as they want to eat all day long... especially if they aren't able to free range and forage. Water should always be available.

    Noting chickens don't eat or drink when they are sleeping. I collect my feed every night to avoid rodents, raccoons, and other possible chicken predators/parasite vectors.

    I try to let every body out within an hour or so after (or at) sunrise, making sure it's as early as possible during the short days of winter when they went to roost before 5 pm. But this will vary for you and changes for some people according to their predator load and seasonally.

    Whether you put feed in the coop or run is a personal choice. I keep it in the run because I don't want any extra moisture or POOP inside my coop. Some keep it in their coop because it helps them avoid feeding other birds (white crowned sparrows are my free loaders) during daytime hours.

    Once fully grown... most chickens will consume about 1/4 # per day of feed. If you are finding yourself way over that, then it's good to check who else is eating at your station and/or internal parasite load... IF waste is not the issue. If waste is an issue raising the feeder level with their back can help and even wetting it to make a mash for some people makes a big difference. My flock isn't wasteful... and being free range with flock raiser feed so oyster shell is on the side (not included in the measurement as it is when you feed layer) ... my birds (mostly fowl dual purpose breeds) consume closer 1/5 (.18-.20 #) each per day. But it can vary with the weather.

    Most rules regarding chickens aren't written in stone. Just don't give more than 10% of total daily intake in treats... and avoid thinking "grains" must be good to add in.. as they do not have the added vitamins, minerals, and important amino acids added in like our boring LOOKING rations do. It's always important not to diminish protein too far. :)
  4. Essentiallyokanaganmom

    Essentiallyokanaganmom Songster

    May 22, 2019
    Okanagan Valley
    Thanks this is helpful!
  5. GC-Raptor

    GC-Raptor Crowing

    Jul 26, 2016
    Connecticut, U.S.A.
    If your pen is secure from songbirds and chipmunks and protected from rain or snow. Go ahead and place feed in the pen, but I would secure it at night in a metal trash can with a locking lid, or bring inside.
    My pens are not secure from songbirds and chipmunks.
    My coops are big enough with plenty of ventilation to keep feed and water inside. I also have water outside under the raised coops. I only open the pop door in the morning, not the people door, so far no songbirds or chipmunks in the new coop and only 2 songbirds found in the old coop in 3 years.
    The chickens only go into the coop to eat and lay during the day. They hangout in the pen or under the coops if raining or to keep cool during the summer.
    I always keep feed in the feeders unless they need cleaning, then I let them get nearly empty. They are hanging feeders with the feeding trough level with the smallest chickens back. 20190430_090843.jpg They only need cleaning monthly or more often in damp or humid weather.
    Feed consumption varies with temperatures. Here during February a 50 lb bag of feed lasted 10 chickens 18 days. Average of 0.27 lb per chicken a day.
    Last month a bag lasted 27 days. Each chicken ate around 0.18 lb per day.
    I do give them a daily treat of Scratch Grains about 2 Tablespoons per chicken scattered in their pen. GC
    EggSighted4Life likes this.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: