Am I feeding my chickens enough

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Ryanm57, Jan 20, 2013.

  1. Ryanm57

    Ryanm57 New Egg

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    Dec 23, 2012
    Paducah ky
    Not sure if I give them enough food.i feed them in the morning and afternoon .i have 3 chickens and a rooster that I feed layer crumbles mixed with either crushed corn or scratch but they always seem like they are starving during the day . I have a 16 oz scoop that I use so they get 2 of those a day.is this enough or to much .
     
  2. Lilslinkfarm

    Lilslinkfarm Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 18, 2012
    Jane, MO
    It's always better to give them more than they need than too little. Is their feeder empty each time you go to feed them again?
     
  3. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Conventional wisdom is to give chicken feed free choice all day because they won't overeat.
    Additionally, don't mix anything with the feed. Scratch is to be scattered on the ground so they can 'scratch' for it. If it is mixed with the feed they'll eat that first. Oyster shell and grit should be in separate containers as well.
    If they act like they're starving they might be.
     
  4. Ryanm57

    Ryanm57 New Egg

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    Dec 23, 2012
    Paducah ky
    Yes there food is gone in no time
     
  5. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    First, quit giving the scratch or corn, etc. Give only the feed for a few days. This can help you judge their true appetite. My kids can be full of good food but sure they're starving to death for junk!

    Make sure your feeder is high enough they're not wasting a lot on the ground. Chickens can eat off the ground just fine, so let them clean up what they've spilled before you give them more. Doesn't hurt them at all.

    The amount you're talking about sounds like plenty for four birds.
     
  6. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    They will eat more in cold weather too. I agree with donrae - give them more than they need to find out how much they need.

    I always leave a feeder in the coop with feed in it so they never run out. But it is closed up inside the coop at night so rodents won't get to it.

    If you are starting with layer feed (16% protein) you don't want to dilute out your protein too much with scratch (10%) and corn (7-9% protein). Just give a little along with layer. Laying hens do need to be fed around the range of 15-16% protein in order to keep producing eggs optimally and maintain health/feathers.

    If you are cutting the feed for cost reasons you might look into the Flock Raiser feed or unmedicated chick starter feeds, which are 20% protein.

    For a flock that size I might throw out a handful or two of scratch per day.
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2013
  7. kdwag

    kdwag Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have 4 hens, 19 weeks, they are not eating their crumbles but act like they are starving. I try and not feed them human food too often to see if that changes their appetite but regardless, they aren't eating it. I used to find their feed dishes empty after morning feedings and evening feedings but in the last couple of weeks, they hardly touch it. They get a cup of scratch grains once a day but it has gotten in the single digits this week so i'm fearful they aren't eating enough.
     
  8. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    People with small flocks sometimes find their feed gets old and flavorless when stored too long. Make sure you look at the packaging date on the bag. It should be less than a month old when purchased because you'll likely have it on hand a few more months.
    Try freezing half of it when you bring it home.
     

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