Amount to feed 8 week old chicks?

chickarita

In the Brooder
7 Years
Apr 28, 2012
20
1
34
Central Massachusetts
We have recently switched over from Medicated crumbles to pellet poultry feed (and will switch to layer feed as they get older) but I'm not sure how much they should eat. We fill the container (a standard plastic "chick" feeder) in the morning and by mid-later afternoon it's mostly empty. Should I be refilling it? Sometimes I do, sometimes not, depending on the hour, as they go in to sleep for the night without the food.
They usually get snacks in the afternoon too - veggies and bugs my boys dig up from the yard for them.
Thoughts?
 

Fred's Hens

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Yes, re-fill it in the afternoon. See that they empty it before light's out, but my guess is they will.

You don't say how many birds you have, but for certain, at 8 weeks all the way until you see eggs, they'll eat like nobodies business. You might want to look into a more adult sized feeder.
 

chickarita

In the Brooder
7 Years
Apr 28, 2012
20
1
34
Central Massachusetts
Oh, whoops! We have six pullets - 2 buff orpington, 2 barred rock, 1 RIR, 1 leghorn (a very runty little girl!).
Okay, so as much as they can eat before bed.
 

Fred's Hens

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Get a larger feeder, that's number one. They should eat MOST of their calories through their balanced feed, at least that is my point of view. Six pullets would wolf down a couple of cups easily before noon, typically. They'll also eat that much again in the afternoon and evening. The problem with a small feeder is that as the birds grow, there simply isn't room for them all to approach the feeder. This causes squabbles and bullies eating more than the lower totem pole pullets.

A larger feeder, say a nice 3' or 4' feeder, would be more appropriate, as soon, they'll be full sized and need both more space at the feeder and more feed, by volume.
 

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