Chick to Hen: How much feed required?

Poop Cleaner

In the Brooder
Dec 13, 2015

I am a long time lurker, and finally made an account. I am wondering if anyone has an average of how much feed it takes to raise a chick from 1 day to 20 weeks? I am debating whether or not it is worth it to raise my own chicks, vs buying them fully grown. I am only considering to do this because I really would like Dominiques, and the local feed store has several chicks at the moment.

Also, because it is easier to sex Dominiques while they are still chicks.

So far my internet surfing has suggested that it may be anywhere from a lb a week to two 50 lb bags per bird! I am going to be feeding organic, so the price of feed is going to be even higher.

Thank you!

Percheron chick

9 Years
Apr 12, 2013
Hudson, Colorado
Count on #10 for the first 10 weeks. After that about #2/week is pretty average. That would work out to about #30/ bird to 20 weeks. If you take the plunge and ferment your feed, you will decrease that by about 20%. That works to significant savings on a sizable flock.

Poop Cleaner

In the Brooder
Dec 13, 2015
Thank you! That helps. Does fermenting work with pelleted feed? It seems like it would be messy. What kind of feeder is usually used?


7 Years
Mar 14, 2015
Northern Colorado
I feed organic, and I ferment :)

My flock of 40 used to go through about 250# of feed per month. Fermenting has indeed decreased my feed bill by about 25%; I feed about 8 lbs a day now versus 12 before fermenting.

Most of the waste was actually in the alfalfa pellets that they were leaving in the pan. Since I ferment now, the pellets are completely eaten, since they become pasty and dissolve in the grains during ferment.

I feed in shallow rubber feed pans, since FF is kind of sloppy and they eat it so fast a regular pellet or dryvfeeder won't work. ;)

The adult feed requirement is on average, about 1/4 lb of feed per day per bird. So in one month, 30 days x 1/4 lb should be about 7.5 lbs per bird per month as long as they are eating it all and not playing in it like mine used to lol :D


Premium Feather Member
12 Years
Dec 11, 2009
Colorado Rockies
Thanks! What are some good ways to ferment? Would a home depot bucket work?

I use two of those white plastic buckets, one to feed out and the other to ferment the next batch which takes around 48 hours to ferment, so you always have some ready to go.

I start by putting seven quarts of warm (not hot) water into the bucket. Add a glug of ACV to get the culture going. I take a 32 ounce plastic yogurt container and measure six of those (six pounds) of dry feed into the bucket. I add 32 ounces of scratch grain and 32 ounces of BOSS into the bucket with the dry feed. These whole grains create air spaces around the dry feed to make a more fluffy end product. Stir twice a day and leave in a room temperature spot (around 70 degrees) . Tip: when you've got the water in the bucket, draw a line on the bucket at the water line with indelible marker and you won't need to measure water when making future buckets of FF.

The mixture will begin to expand after a day, keep stirring twice a day, and feed after 48 hours. I begin a new bucket then, using a cup of the first bucket to jump start it. You can either add more water or more feed as you go to get the thickness you want. Most of us like it like thick oatmeaI. I feed in dog dishes. There is no end to the benefits of feeding FF, zero waste being the top one. Start out feeding a half a cup per day per bird of finished FF. I feed first thing in the morning and again in late afternoon. I keep my buckets in the garage in summer and in the kitchen near the water heater in winter.

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