Chickens eat like they are starving

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Gardenlady2, Feb 8, 2014.

  1. Gardenlady2

    Gardenlady2 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have 11 chickens that are almost 18 weeks old. I take food out to them every morning and again about an hour before they go up to roost for the night. Every time I feed them they act like they are starving and gobble up all the food at once. Based on how long it takes me to get through a 40lb bag of feed, they should be getting the 4 ounces a day each that I've seen recommended.
    Is it normal for them to act like this? Or am I not feeding enough? The way they act leads me to think they'd eat the entire bag of feed in one day if I put it out for them!
     
  2. fosterson

    fosterson Chillin' With My Peeps

    Yup. That's normal. My chickens get the same ration every day, at the same time, and 5 minutes before I'm due to walk out the door with their food, they're ganged up at the door like they're going to beat me down to get the feed bucket. Chickens act like they're starving to death pretty frequently.

    Some of it may be boredom if they usually free range but can't right now. I'd suggest throwing them a head of cabbage or some greens and see if that helps take the edge off the 'feeding frenzy'.
     
  3. Percheron chick

    Percheron chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If they are acting like that, they are hungry. If it's cold where you are, that 4 oz average gets thrown out the door. We had some sub zero night this past week and I went through an extra 50# with 23 (100# total plus generous scraps). They are also getting close to POL and growing so their needs are still high. Just fill the feeder up and let them eat what they want and need. They won't overeat.
     
  4. petrel

    petrel Chats with Chickens

    I agree. I keep two filled feeders available to my small flock all the time. They eat their fill, then move on.
     
  5. ChickenLegs13

    ChickenLegs13 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    4 oz per bird per day is just a general guideline, your mileage may vary.
    One way to know for sure; feed them 4 oz per bird in the morning and if they eat it all in 1 setting they're not getting enough. "Enough" is when you put out an amount of feed that lasts all day.
    Birds of that age need feed available all day because they're in their critical growing stage.
    To answer your ?? if it's normal for chickens to go ape at feeding time, yes, that's pretty much TCB (typical chicken behavior)
    If I feed my hens a 1.75 lbs scoop x 3 times a day they go ape each time, reminds me of that Alfred Hitchcock movie The Birds. But if I give them the 3 scoops all at 1 time they make it last all day, stay calm & peaceful and don't explode out of the pen and fly up on my head & try to peck my eyeballs out every time I open the door.
     
  6. chad-o

    chad-o Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Just a normal chicken thing. When your feeder is full bring out some bread they run like they haven't been fed in days. If it rains and there is a puddle they run to it like they are dyeing of thirst.
     
  7. Gardenlady2

    Gardenlady2 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yesterday I stayed outside longer. While they all initially attacked the food like they were starving, I noticed that most of them walked away from the food dish before it was completely empty, so that was reassuring!
     
  8. lizmcd

    lizmcd Out Of The Brooder

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    Yes chickens are always hungry or bored. My girls eat much more than my roosters. Every morning I cut up grapes for them. They love them. I get fussed at until I make it out there to feed them. Bread as well but they defiantly love their grapes .
     

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