Can I overfeed my chickens?


12 Years
May 10, 2010
My chickens have just begun laying eggs (2 out of 6) and they have been very noisy in the morning. It gets me very nervous since I live very close to my neighbors so I have been giving them more food in the morning to try and keep them quiet. They have their regular feed and then I'll throw in some BOSS and leftovers if I have any. I'm just wondering if I can feed them too much and could they be harmed if I did?
Yes, you can overfeed birds. In terms of harm, think about what happens when you over-eat or do not eat properly. Same thing

No. I did the same thing they will stop when they have had their fill. Be careful with too much fiberous material though. Peelings ets. They could get impacted crop. But soft foods are OK They usually stop when sated.
I think breed also plays a part, as some breeds tend to be more greedy than others. Also, if your birds stay in their run, they may also eat because of boredom. Mine all free range, and no matter what treats/food I give them, they will only eat so much and then they prefer to go off in search of bugs and what have you.
My girls will eat till there full then leave, I put out a pound of spagetti the other night tore inot ot but only ate half, gave em the rest the next day oh i have 9 hens and one roo
If your hens get too fat they will not lay well. it does not hurt however to give small amounts of scratch or treats AM and PM. the amount you give depends on how many hens you have
My flock remains in the run 24/7 but are far from fat and they have food available at all times. They are busy from dawn to dusk unless they are sunbathing or taking a nap in a fox hole even when our temps are in the 100's.

The girls are very healthy...BOSS keeps their feathers very shiny and nearly all of them have begun to lay and most lay daily.
Just to solve the apparent differences in opinion, you cannot overFEED chickens, they do stop (unless they are Cornish Cross "meaties") but dual purpose and layer birds eat until they are full.

HOWEVER, if you give them food rich in fat, lots of treats high in fat, and lots of corn, which is one of those "high carbohydrate" foods, they can get too fat because they are not eating the right amount of proteins.

Some breeds may be more prone to it than others. Your mileage may vary.

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