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Best time to Feed chickens?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by hylandcreek, Jul 4, 2016.

  1. hylandcreek

    hylandcreek New Egg

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    Jun 10, 2016
    Northern British Columbia
    Hey All,

    So I had been having a problem with my chickens laying; I had been getting 18 or 19 eggs a day, out of 20 hens. Then, once I took the rooster out(he has a sore on his vent area still, so still separated) I noticed egg production went downhill(getting anywhere from 5 to 8 eggs a day!) At first I thought it was stress, because the rooster was gone? Anyways, I started to cook their food, so it's double its size now when I give it to them. Within a day of starting this, the eggs have doubled and they seem more full! So I am happy with the results, I think they are too! :)

    My question is, when is the best time to feed them? What I have been doing is feeding them their cooked food at dinner time(5/6ish at night), and by morning there is still some left over- I might throw them some scratch(but they don't seem too interested, not like before). It seems to be working, but just wanted some thoughts on this. I have never cooked chicken feed before; I have read about fermenting their feed, I dont have the time/patience for that right now, I might try it later on down the road, I Just have too much going on right now.

    Thanks so much!
     
  2. dindonuffin

    dindonuffin Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 19, 2016
    Central Alabama
    What do you cook for them?
     
  3. waddles99

    waddles99 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 22, 2013
    NJ
    Chickens should always have 24/7 access to food, clean water, and oyster shells. What exactly are you feeding them and for what purpose? It sounds like you are overcomplicating things. Why not just leave out chicken feed in a feeder constantly? Chickens aren't supposed to have set meals like humans have, they will peck around constantly for the entire day.
     
  4. ChickNanny13

    ChickNanny13 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 23, 2013
    Hilo, HI
    I'd like to know what you're cooking for them too?

    I do FF, LOVE IT. I would think having to cook for them every day is more work then FF. I feed mine in the mornings & top of between 1 - 3pm when they are older. As chicks I feed about 3 - 4x day but alot less wasting of feed. When I "lock" them up in the evenings I toss some dry feed on the ground, they got their water but no feed dish, they get fed when I wake (7 - 730am) and even then aren't starving. I let them out into the yard (fenced) to grub when I'm home usually in the afternoons.
     
  5. hylandcreek

    hylandcreek New Egg

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    Jun 10, 2016
    Northern British Columbia
    My hens do have access to food 24/7 in their feeders and fresh water(changed daily)- they do not seem interested in it; they peck at it, eat some of it, but they are not too excited about it. When I toss it onto the ground, they waste alot. But when I cook it, they eat every last bite.

    I don't believe I am over complicating things; I am just trying to find out what they need, and I am not sure why they are laying more eggs when the food is cooked for them? I am glad at the amount of eggs I am getting now, thats for sure!

    I am feeding them chicken scratch, laying pellets, and the oyster shells. (and of course scraps from the kitchen and garden, lawn clippings when I mow)- As for cooking the feed, It only takes 1/2 hour on the stove to cook it at a simmer, and I let it sit for a few hours to cool down and it doubles in size.
     
  6. ChickNanny13

    ChickNanny13 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 23, 2013
    Hilo, HI
    If that works for you great, I've often read (BYC) to wet the feed for certain situations when feeding chicks/chickens. Now that you mentioned this issue (more eggs with cooked feed) maybe that's why I'm getting an egg a day from my pullets on FF. They're 5 months old (2 EEs & 2 RIR) when they started laying and wasn't expecting that! Nicely surprised.

    FF is similar to what you're doing....I started with several scoops of feed in a plastic container with water, left it for several days, mixing daily and adding water as it swells. It starts to bubble & give off that sourdough smell (yummy). Then I scoop to feed with a strainer and add more feed to the mix as I need. So maybe chickens prefer "soft" feed?
     

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