Bossy Chickens!

DaniCHE

In the Brooder
Sep 3, 2018
10
23
39
Does anyone else have chickens who yell them as soon as the feeder is empty? Seriously! They are sooo bossy! My 3 RI Reds and 2 Barred Rock ladies have a big fenced yard with trees and grass and plants. I don't officially free range because there are no leash laws in our area and folks out here let their dogs just roam free. We have lots and lots of critters and grass since we live out in the country, in Central Texas and have had a TON of rain lately. My husband thinks that I am spoiling them and they are just being lazy. Should I be giving them less feed so they forage more? Thanks in advance!
 

JedJackson

Crossing the Road
Jul 6, 2016
6,256
19,525
882
NW Washington state
If you are concerned with egg production, then I would give them as much feed as they want. Foraging can be a good supplement, but chances are they won't have the balanced diet that they get with formulated feed, which means less eggs. Also, it sounds like you run the risk of losing your hens to predators if you let them free range without supervision, and they would need to free range a lot to find enough food if you cut back their layer rations.
 

DaniCHE

In the Brooder
Sep 3, 2018
10
23
39
If you are concerned with egg production, then I would give them as much feed as they want. Foraging can be a good supplement, but chances are they won't have the balanced diet that they get with formulated feed, which means less eggs. Also, it sounds like you run the risk of losing your hens to predators if you let them free range without supervision, and they would need to free range a lot to find enough food if you cut back their layer rations.
Thank you! Yes, we already lost one chicken to a neighborhood dog last year.
 

DaniCHE

In the Brooder
Sep 3, 2018
10
23
39
Are the out foraging too? How much do you feed them? Do they look overweight?
Sorry. Didn’t mean to bombard you with questions. Mine usually don’t run out. Maybe run low a by evening but we usually give them a small amount in the evening to.
Oh, yes they forage too! Just very vocal when they want more feed. They are pretty health looking but not over weight, I don't think. How would I be able to tell? They all look great to me! I was keeping the feeder full, all of the time, until my husband suggested that I not feed them quite so much to allow them to forage more. He mostly acts likes like he knows what he is talking about but I doubt he did any research on the subject. In any case. We get 5 eggs per day from 5 chickens pretty consistently.
 

imnukensc

Crowing
May 22, 2017
1,633
3,615
319
SC Midlands
If their feeder is running out of food, then regardless of whether they free range or not, they're not being fed enough. My chickens free range daily nearly all day long, but their feeders are never out of food.
 

DaniCHE

In the Brooder
Sep 3, 2018
10
23
39
If their feeder is running out of food, then regardless of whether they free range or not, they're not being fed enough. My chickens free range daily nearly all day long, but their feeders are never out of food.
Because you refill the feeder daily?
 

DaniCHE

In the Brooder
Sep 3, 2018
10
23
39
No, because my feeders hold enough food for several days whether they free range or not.
So do mine. I let the feeder run out ever couple of day so I can clean the feeder with less waste. I was just curious how others do things and if I had extra vocal chickens. Thanks for input!
 

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