feed question..

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by irmad, Jan 6, 2014.

  1. irmad

    irmad Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I heard from quite a few people that they feed there chickens once in the morning.... would that be enough for them or does it depend on what you feed them.....
     
  2. pdirt

    pdirt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Some folks do this citing that their crops can hold a day's worth or so of food. Probably best to also free range unless you really can tell how much feed your birds need. I'd be assuming you're feeding a formulated chicken feed.

    We're experimenting with different feeding systems. I think a huge part depends on your climate and whether they free range or not. Our birds free range in the warmer months and seemed to eat about 50% of their diet doing so.

    Right now we're feeding most of their feed once in the morning. It was 14F this morning. We switched to about 75% fermented feed and 25% dry:

    * fed fermented feed once in the morning, they fill up on it in about an hour or so
    * once they're busy eating fermented feed, I unblock access to dry feed
    * they can self regulate if they need more feed with the dry feed
    * fermented feed is better for digestion and is dramatically contributing to less waste
    * about every other day we supplement with some kitchen scraps

    In the summer I may do a similar method or just skip the dry feed altogether. Then I'll turn them loose to free-range in the morning when they're really hungry and in the evening (a few hours before dark) will put out their fermented feed to supplement their free-ranging. Of course if we ever want to go away for a few days, we'll just put out the dry feed so a caretaker doesn't have to deal with feeding them.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2014
  3. BarredBuff

    BarredBuff Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I change mine throughout the year depending on the age and purpose for the birds, and also the weather.

    January-March
    **Corn/Catfood tossed out in the morning
    **Free choice 20% protein feed
    **Some scraps like poultry bones with meat, old cooked veggies, old bread, pasta, etc.
    **I like to sprout grains, and have in years past but haven't been able to yet.

    April-September
    **Per 25 birds, 2 #10 cans of 20% protein feed or sometimes 16% layer pellets
    **Unlimited free range with lots of diverse places to range. Garden, orchard, forest-type area, etc.
    **Corn as a treat
    **A host of scraps from meals, canning, and garden work.

    October-December
    **Corn/Catfood tossed out in the morning
    **Free choice 20% protein feed
    **Some scraps like poultry bones with meat, old cooked veggies, old bread, pasta, etc.
    **Unlimited free ranging (usually)

    I like to ferment feeds but usually do not get the time too. However, this is based on 25 laying hens, and 2 geese. If you have younger ones, you will need to allow more access to dry feed to grow them out.

    I'm a firm believer that, if left to their own devices, they will regulate their own diet.
     
  4. irmad

    irmad Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 22, 2013
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    Cat food? Seriously? At the moment here in uk the weather is really bad.... I do let my light Sussex free range and give the girls layers mash and mix corn.... I treat them to kitchen scraps once or twice a week.

    I have about 11 birds and they can go through some serious amount of food....
     
  5. BarredBuff

    BarredBuff Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes I found by trial and error if you solely feed cat food, egg production will be fine but they will lose weight. However, cat food will not provide all of their needs. So on combination it will help egg production.
     

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