Eating enough?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by SparksNV, Aug 14, 2010.

  1. SparksNV

    SparksNV Songster

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    Jun 13, 2010
    Spanish Springs, NV
    I have six pullets - got them one week ago. I have layer pellets in 3 feeders (2 in the run and 1 in coop).

    Dumb question - how do I know they are eating enough? I can't tell if the level of food in the feeders has gone down. I do feed them scratch and table scraps. They seem to have gotten a bit lean.

    thanks!
     
  2. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Crowing 8 Years

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    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    You are definitely feeding them enough, I think you have way too much food out, and will waste a lot of it.

    I have 5 hens, 11 baby chicks, and 1 rooster I have one feeder, for the hens, an old hub cab in the run, and a small pie plate of chick starter, out where the hen and chicks lay in the shade. They do get out and eat grasshoppers, and I do go through more feed in the winter. In the winter, they need more feed when it is cold.

    in my opinion, too much feed draws predators, and vermin. I do not keep food out 24 hours a day. Chickens do not eat at night. However, in this heat, I do make sure that there is plenty of water. Many days, I go and refill waterers twice a day when it is really hot.

    To kind of figure it out, put out about 2 cups of layer feed, on a day that you are home, check it through out the day. If there is feed at the end of the day, try a little less, if they run out mid day, add a bit more. Then you won't be wasting feed, or starving your hens.

    If your hens are full grown, they will need a little less feed than full grown hens.

    MrsK
     
  3. rdport

    rdport In the Brooder

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    Nov 27, 2009
    Texas
    They like the good stuff...table scraps and scratch and won't eat the pellets like they should because they know you will be coming with the "candy". We learned this lesson last year.
    But it is fun to see them run to you for their treat. Also to much feed out.
     
  4. jjparke

    jjparke Songster

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    Boise
    If you let them range around the yard they will not eat that much. 6 pullets don't eat very much anyway. My 20 go through 40 pounds of feed in about a week and a half. Just for perspective.
     
  5. 33yardbirds

    33yardbirds Songster

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    Our flock 0f 26 birds goes through #40 in about 2wks. They free range dawn till dusk and just started laying. 3 roos 23 hens, all Rocks. I say laying, more like ping pong balls. 20wks yesterday.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2010
  6. oldchickenlady

    oldchickenlady Songster

    May 9, 2010
    Cabot, AR
    How old are they? I started worrying about mine after it looked like they had finished feathering out. They looked ok, but when you felt of them under their feathers they were skinny. I had chick starter out all the time and they free ranged all day. I pushed their feathers in the wrong direction and realized they still were growing feathers even though they looked fully feathered. At that age they are like teenagers, skinny and gawky, still growing up, etc. I gave them a few more treats but quit worrying. Now that they have slowed down on their growth a bit they are filling out more.
     
  7. SparksNV

    SparksNV Songster

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    Jun 13, 2010
    Spanish Springs, NV
    I was told to have multiple feeders so that the "lowest one in pecking order" can get to the feed. And I definitely have one that is lowest. I live in No Nevada and grass is not easily grown & when grown will not be fed to the chickens unless it is from my lawnmower! My chickens have about a 17 x 30 ft run and an 8x4 coop that is raised. I do not let them otherwise free range.

    Should I cut back or stop the treats and scratch? So should I remove one feeder outside and leave the one inside the coop?

    It is fun to give them treats & see how excited they get...
     
  8. SparksNV

    SparksNV Songster

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    Jun 13, 2010
    Spanish Springs, NV
    They were hatched 4/28, 5/1, and 5/19.
     
  9. rdport

    rdport In the Brooder

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    Nov 27, 2009
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    If you want them to eat the commercial food, you almost have to take away the goodies...scratch/table scrapes, so they will eat it. Otherwise they will keep eating just what they can get from you. And they won't fill out the best. Also, 6 hens will barely eat anything, and one feeder is enough...even the runts can get enough to eat after the "queen of the run" finishes. But if you will feel better, 2 feeders are plenty.
     

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