Cost efficient ways to feed chickens organic layer feed and scraps

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by LisaChick1, Jan 8, 2015.

  1. LisaChick1

    LisaChick1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi ya'll,
    So... It seems that my chickens and ducks just can't get enough food. We have 7 chickens and 3 ducks... I feed them layer pellets in the morning and later afternoon, they free range and they get scraps of veggies and leftovers when we have them.... I would leave the food out for free access but they literally devour anything I put in front of them... they seem to be flying through bags of food, so my husband is frustrated spending so much on layer pellets than getting a couple of eggs a day... Does not seem very cost efficient. anytime I walk into the yard they squawk and flap and follow me like my shadow like they are absolutely starving. I absolutely adore it and love my chickens not only for eggs but as pets... But than also feel concerned... Are they not getting enough to eat?.. With them free ranging I didn't expect them to be so food obsessive. Is there something were doing wrong? Is there any advice on better ways to feed or even suggestions on where to buy organic feed that won't be quite as harsh on the pockets? I apologize for the lack of knowledge as this is our first year with chickens so we are learning. We want to have a happy flock, but need to be smart about our finances and we want to make sure we are doing it the best way possible. Any advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you so much for your understanding, I hope I am not repeating a thread!
     
  2. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

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    What breed(s) are your birds? Some are much more efficient in their feed intake than others. How much layer feed are you feeding at each feeding? What sort of area (size, type of plants, etc) are they free ranging in? This time of year even in the more temperate parts of the US there isn't much available to them to actually take in during free range time, while they may be better able to support themselves by foraging during spring/summer/early fall, this is not a time of year when they are able to do so - even the very best foraging breeds (there is a pretty wide range in the ability to forage depending on breed).
     
  3. LisaChick1

    LisaChick1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you for responding! At first we were letting them free feed with a large feeder out which I've heard is best to let them do, but recently we started feeding morning and afternoon to see if they would be able to free range about and not hover around the food all day. I put around 8 cups (EDITED) of food in the morning (estimating) and then again in the afternoon. I also give them organic spinach and greens regularly and other leftovers and treats from the fridge throughout the day. (I buy a clamshell of mixed greens from costco for them). They free range through a field of 2 acres that has lots of bugs and green grass but not many other types of plants... I have a buff orpington, 2 light brahmas, a golden laced wyandotte black austrolorp and Easter egger. Then 3 pekin ducks. Would you recommend going back to just filling the feeder? It seems the same both ways... They just want to keep eating! [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2015
  4. matt44644

    matt44644 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    24 cups a day total?
     
  5. LisaChick1

    LisaChick1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm estimating.... Ok so I just checked the measurement of my scooper, and I give 1 scoop of a 10 cup size scooper In the morning and another at night but I do not fill the scooper to the top... Id say they're getting about 16 cups a day for the 10 chickens and 3 ducks....I read that chickens eat approx 6 oz a day (3/4 a cup) and ducks will eat 1-2 cups a day but I didn't want to underfeed so I give them extra just in case and they gobble it all down. Again they also get fresh veggies and scraps and free range. I apologize I made an error in my original post. I have 10 chickens and 3 ducks, not 7 chickens. I'm sorry to be so naive to this, do you think it'd be better to go back to filling the feeder..? Is this not enough... or too much food? It seems like They're flying through food but I would rather them have too much vs not enough. Thank you for your kindness and advice!
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2015
  6. matt44644

    matt44644 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The chickens should be eating 2.25 - 3 lbs per day.I don't know how much ducks eat.At 24 cups a day that would be 9 lbs a day.
     
  7. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

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    If it is, in fact, 24 cups of feed - as OP has stated that is an estimate I would suggest that OP scoop out a normal feeding's worth of feed and both measure but, more importantly, weigh the feed so that they have an accurate figure of the feed being used....this will give everyone a good place to work from in assessing the feed program.
     
  8. matt44644

    matt44644 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I used the numbers that were originally provided for an example.Most feed and grains that i have weighed using a standard US 1cup measuring cup has been 4.5 -6 oz..
     
  9. chixmaidservice

    chixmaidservice Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ok--- in reading thru this I have to chuckle 'cause we have a case of "chicken math" being applied to chicken feed. Lol . O.P. stated she is giving 8 cups twice /day. In the "normal" world of mathematics 8 x 2 = 16, not 24. If OP's feed weighs close to Matt's estimate of 6 oz /cup we have 6 x 16 = 96 ozs, which then have to go back to pounds -so 96/ 16= 6lbs as total feed for flock of 13 birds. Hence, her hens and ducks are eating the correct amount of just a hair over 2 lbs/day /bird. ....I think.... was much better in history and english than math!
     
  10. matt44644

    matt44644 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The original post has been edited
     

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