am I feeding too much?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by calaveraschickens, May 8, 2011.

  1. calaveraschickens

    calaveraschickens New Egg

    4
    0
    7
    May 8, 2011
    I am new to raising chickens. I have 4 RIR hens. They are 15 weeks. I have had them for three weeks. They have an acre to free range on. I also give them feed in a feeder. They have access to it all the time. They seem to eat all day long out of the feeder. I think it holds about 3 pounds of feed. I fill it morning. I also give them scratch at night. I am going to stop feeding them scratch as it gets warmer. Their droppings are very very runny and they have alot. Is this normal for their droppings or am I feeding them too much? Should I limit their intake by removing the feeder for most of the day and make them free range more? I what to make sure my chickens are healthy. How much feed should one chicken eat in a day? Thank you so much for any advice. Calaveraschickens
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Moderator Staff Member

    34,028
    453
    448
    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    If there is a lot of forage on the acre, they should be spending their day their foraging rather than hanging out in the coop eating from the feeder, by choice. Personally I don't think I would deprive them of the feed, though. It sounds like something is going on, like there is a reason they are avoiding the acre -- predators, nothing interesting to eat, too windy/hot/no shade -- something. Maybe it's just that they have not lived there long and really explored; maybe they are hanging around the coop because it is more familiar. You could try putting a feeder out on the acre. Is there any cover? Do you have hawks or other large birds around?

    Tell us a little more; maybe we can figure something out.
     
  3. calaveraschickens

    calaveraschickens New Egg

    4
    0
    7
    May 8, 2011
    I have them in a coop on wheels. No floor, so they have access to the ground. They do scratch when I take out the feeder. They get moved around 3 to 4 times a day. They are fully protected from predators. I thought maybe because I was offering food 24/7 they were over eatting. Do they overeat? They seem happy and healthy other then the runny droppings. I just want to be a good "chicken mom".
    Thanks again. Calaveraschickens
     
  4. mdbokc

    mdbokc Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 22, 2009
    Oklahoma County, OK
    "Their droppings are very, very runny." is the point I would focus on. Mine are rarely runny. I am wondering if there is something going on that causes that AND thus they are at the feeder all the time.

    ETA - I am certainly no expert on poop and have looked at all the pictures of poop (Oh boy, there are lots of them.) I am just musing.
     
    Last edited: May 8, 2011
  5. calaveraschickens

    calaveraschickens New Egg

    4
    0
    7
    May 8, 2011
    thanks for that point of view. I hadn't thought of it that way. I'll keep my eye on them.
     
  6. agregg15

    agregg15 Chillin' With My Peeps

    352
    0
    109
    Apr 8, 2011
    Connecticut
    Birds stop eating when they're full so it's rare if they overeat. Hence the saying, "Eat like a bird."
     
  7. calaveraschickens

    calaveraschickens New Egg

    4
    0
    7
    May 8, 2011
    I have limited their food to just the morning and then the free range. This weekend they seem to be having less runny droppings but no decrease in the quantity. I have noticed a lot of plant matter in their droppings. I think this is more healthy for them.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by