Always hungry?

haleychickmumma

In the Brooder
5 Years
Aug 29, 2014
35
2
31
Gold Coast Australia
Hello
I'm worried I'm not feeding my girls enough as they always seem to be hungry and obsessed with food (is this normal?)
They always have seed available. I use a free range mix from the pet store. They just pick out the bits they like and the rest ends up on the ground though.
I also give them roughly a take away container or 2 of mixed veges, rice, eggs or whatever left overs are suitable to them in the morning. And sometimes some more veges in the afternoon.
We have 4 chickens nearly a year old.
Every time anyone walks out the back door they will rush over to see if they have food. Is this normal?
 

junebuggena

Crowing
Apr 17, 2015
23,102
8,203
491
Long Beach, WA
So, are you feeding them an actual complete 'feed,' or is it scratch grains? Are any of them laying yet? Most breeds start laying by 6 months old, if they still aren't laying they probably have some nutritional deficiencies. They should be on something made specifically for laying hens and also some sort of calcium supplement. "Treats" should not be more than a 1/4 of their diet.
 

haleychickmumma

In the Brooder
5 Years
Aug 29, 2014
35
2
31
Gold Coast Australia
Yes it's a complete feed for free range laying hens. We have 4 chickens and usually get 4 eggs a day and have done since they started laying. I also have a small bowl of shell grit in the coop.
 

junebuggena

Crowing
Apr 17, 2015
23,102
8,203
491
Long Beach, WA
Are they actually free range chickens? Or do they spend most of their time in a coop and run? Free range feed is not going to meet the needs of birds who spend most of their time in a coop and run, due to the lack of forage. It's alright for free range birds to pick and choose what they want to eat as they will make up those nutrients somewhere else. A pelleted feed will ensure that they are getting what they need with each and every bite.
 
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haleychickmumma

In the Brooder
5 Years
Aug 29, 2014
35
2
31
Gold Coast Australia
we tried the pellets but they don't eat them. They are out of the cage about 5 hours every day. I thought that considering we give them treats and extra protein occasionally that the free range seed would be ok?
 

Folly's place

Enabler
9 Years
Sep 13, 2011
22,979
37,562
1,096
southern Michigan
x3. They are picking out the yummy bits and not eating a balanced ration. Feed Flock Raiser or layer pellets with oyster sll on the side, and cut the goodies to less than 10% of their ration. Better yet, eliminate it altogether until they are eating the right feed! Mary
 

DanEP

Songster
10 Years
May 15, 2010
1,026
142
226
Cadiz Ky
If their picking thru their food and just eating the goodies in it and wasting the rest your probably not saving any money due to the amount of waste. Chickens are just like kids, given the chance they will eat the ice cream and pass on the veggies. Feeding a layer ration could save you money in the long run I take advantage of the fact that chickens are always up for a snack when switching over to pellets. chickens don't like change but won't starve themselves. Try throwing the pellets on the ground like scratch and and give them time to eyeball it for awhile till some one gets brave enough to try it, once they do it will make changing over easier. When you change over take away all other food and keep them in the run for a day or two, they will eat.
 

donrae

Hopelessly Addicted
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Jun 18, 2010
31,453
4,057
581
Southern Oregon
Just cause they rush you looking for food doesn't mean they're really hungry. It's kinda like my boys mobbing me when I bring home groceries. Trust me, those boys aren't really hungry, just opportunistic.
 

MANNA-PRO

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