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Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by whatsup chickenbutt, Oct 22, 2008.
I really like this thread.
I feed mine free range too!
I free range the flock as well. I have 5 that don't but that's because the rooster is pretty protective HAHA! I get a 40kg bag of laying mash and a 40kg bag of 3 grain scratch from the COOP and that lasts all 18 birds for a month! Even when the coons got into the bag! (My hens seemed to like that....they just cleaned it off the floor). They eat out of the manure pile alot (fresh horsey poop!)...and they get kitchen scraps. They seem happy...NOW TO KEEP THEM OUT OF MY GRAPE VINES!!!!!
Quote:Start this way. Feed 2 pounds of feed in the am. When that is gone, feed three pounds in the afternoon. If that is gone by roosting time, you likely underfed them. 5 pounds wasn't quite enough. Next day, try 6 pounds, do it like this:
Feed 3 pounds of feed in the am. In the afternoon, feed 3 more pounds of feed. If there is a touch of feed left in the feed tray at roosting time, you nailed it. 5 1/2 pounds of feed per day.
The point is this. Let your flock tell you what they'll eat each day. If you just dump out gobs and gobs of feed, they'll flick it and beak it everywhere. If you leave feed out overnight, pound and pounds of it, chances are great you're really feeding the nocturnal vermin, not the chickens, as they don't see well in the dark and usually are asleep.
Adjust all figures appropriate to your flock. Give it a try. You've nothing to lose. Wasting feed is really, really tough on the wallet and attracts mice/rats.
I have a total of 41 chickens (39 hens and 2 roos - although one of the roos is down at the "Green Mile" coop). During the summer months when they're free-ranging it, I only have to fill their 12-lb feeder once a week and there's always feed still in it when I do. During the winter months? I have to fill it about 3x per week since they're spending more time indoors (but it probably breaks down to 24-lbs per week since there's still feed in it when I fill it) and they still free-range it as much as possible. They are fred fruit and veggie scraps as well as tossed out BOSS.
I have one of those big round trays that you put under flower pots ($4). It has a raised edge about 2 1/2". I feed the 7 girls in that. They can scratch with their beaks and the food stays in the tray. They all huddle around it, and for some reason they all keep from stepping in it. Gets the food where it's supposed to be, and I don't loose any down in the cracks in the adobe. They love water mellon, and leftover oatmeal.
My feed is rationed, I give about one vienna sausage can full per American game cock (think it is somewhere around 3oz) and half a can per hen. Shamo get 1 and a half cans per cock 1 whole can per hen due to being bigger birds. This varies though of course, as no bird can be set on that amount throughout their whole life; generally speaking yes but at times they need more and other times they need less- it just depends.
The birds will let you know. If they are leaving feed they are being fed too much, guess about how much that is and cut it back; pick them up to see how they feel in your hand (underweight? Over weight?) and watch how they're acting and you'll know if you're not feeding enough.
God bless, Daniel.
I was told by the farm that sells me chicken feed that I should feed my chickens 1/7 pound per day per bird. I have taken their word at face value because they also raise chickens and sell eggs. Since I started this regime their laying habits have not decreased. This is a major issue for me because my feed is $31 for 50lbs.
7lbs feed for 11 chickens , the 4 guineas free range , they where in the chicken coop , but the feed was gone before the chickens could eat,
So it sounds like you feed them about a pound of feed per week per bird?
IMO, bad idea... Chickens (with VERY few exceptions like select hybrid meat birds) will only eat what they need and stop (this is especially true of laying hens, they rarely if ever over eat) forcing most chickens to a daily ration isn't healthy... The blunt reality is that if you offer them free choice and they are eating more then the 1/7 pound of feed per day that you have been giving them it's because they honestly require more food then you have been giving them...