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Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Girl43, Oct 24, 2013.

  1. Girl43

    Girl43 In the Brooder

    Jan 25, 2013
    Nova Scotia
    Hi all. I have a quick question.

    Here's the warm up first. I have 24 chickens, 24 muscovys (soon to be down to 16) in a couple of weeks. They are all very healthy and free range on 5 acres everyday. I am wondering if I am hitting the mark with feed.

    Before I let out the chickens, I feed a muscovy and her 14 ducklings first as they are growing and I don't want them to have to compete. I feed these guys about half of a Folger's container of feed. When I let out the 24 chickens I feed them two full Folger's containers of feed and I spread it around in a couple of feeders so no one's being left out. When I come out of the house between say 10 am and noon (feed them at 8 am) they all come running! Everyone seems to be starving. I usually go back out at about 3 or 4 pm and feed them again (same 2 containers full). Is this too much, too little, or are my chickens just gluttons? In addition to this and the free ranging they do, I give them a couple of hand fulls of scratch at midday.

    Is this a hit or a miss? They are by no means looking malnournished.


  2. MoonShadows

    MoonShadows The Jam Man

    Jan 23, 2013
    Pocono Mtns
    My Coop
    In addition to free ranging, leave their food in appropriate containers in their coop. They will self-regulate.
  3. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 Free Ranging Premium Member

    Feb 18, 2011
    Just because they come running, doesn't mean they are starving. Mine are free fed (except cornishX) so always have food available... and they act like they are starving if somebody walks out the door with a bucket. And you are risking your life if you show up with a loaf of bread. The commercial feeds all seem to list the feed requirements at around 4 ounces of feed per (adult) chicken, and 4-6 per duck per day (will vary by breed/size). Not sure what a Folgers can of feed would weigh. They will hopefully pick up some free ranging, but how much they will be able to pick up will vary by time of year, condition of land etc. In general I would go by the actual condition of the chicken/duck and how it looks/feels if you pick them up, especially check the lower ranking birds if you are not free feeding, since those will be the most likely to lose condition. If you have an accurate enough scale, a good idea is to weigh a few representative birds periodically and see how they do over time. Most people do recommend free feeding laying hens at least since egg production is going to suffer if they are hungry.
  4. Girl43

    Girl43 In the Brooder

    Jan 25, 2013
    Nova Scotia
    Thank you very much for such SOUND advice. I have felt their crops in the evenings and they are pretty full. I just needed some reassurance. The thing with the free feeding is that the muscovys are actually pigs in disguise and will sit there and eat until it is gone, unlike the chickens, who will eat a bit and then wander off. I am having 10 of the ducks processed in a couple of weeks and this should even things out. Thanks again. I really appreciate it.
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Would be helpful to know the size of the Folgers can....1# or 3# or 5# or whatever

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