Eating habits of free range hens

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by horsefeathers09, Jul 8, 2010.

  1. horsefeathers09

    horsefeathers09 Chillin' With My Peeps

    97
    8
    101
    Mar 1, 2009
    Phoenix, Arizona
    I have retired some of my older birds to free range over an area of approx. 3/4 of an acre of barren land about three months ago. My question is feeding them as they have little interest in chicken feed, and here in the low desert food I would think is scarce. I quit leaving feed out in the open because wild birds are eating it and my girls after grabbing a few bits of it turn up their little beaks. I offer them layer pellets in the morning only now, they pick at it for about 5 minutes and walk away. I've tried every possible table food and they are not interested in ANYTHING except bread. It is 115 during the day, I have to take extra measures to keep them comfortable - worrying about food intake has never been one of them until now. What are my girls eating out there, are they not eating chicken feed because they are getting enough from bugs/lizards? Looking for peace of mind... thanks for your help. amy
     
  2. DLS

    DLS Chillin' With My Peeps

    where do they get water at?
     
  3. horsefeathers09

    horsefeathers09 Chillin' With My Peeps

    97
    8
    101
    Mar 1, 2009
    Phoenix, Arizona
    Water is everywhere, they have two 5 gal drinkers under shade trees and buckets scattered here and there where I know shade is during different times of the day. I also flood a huge area for them. I bought them a mist system but of course they will have no part of that, geez, you'd think they would love it near them as it lowers the temp by 15 degrees - but nope.
     
  4. Sir Birdaholic

    Sir Birdaholic Night Knight

    A chicken won't starve itself, unless it,s sick, or very occasionally, broody. If they're not hungry, they won,t eat, so they must be getting plenty to eat by free-ranging.
     
  5. Bryanccfshr

    Bryanccfshr Out Of The Brooder

    81
    0
    39
    Mar 29, 2010
    Farmington , NM
    I live in the higher desert of NW New Mexico and Between lizards, flies, mice( there water dishes get a couple of mice drwoend in them a week if thats any indication) and fresh tumbleweed sprouts:rolleyes: my group seems to stay pretty full. when they have access to enough area. I garden around the house so the extra biodiversity attracts extra wildlife///
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by