Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by ChickMagnet09, Oct 20, 2009.

  1. ChickMagnet09

    ChickMagnet09 Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 7, 2009
    I was curious about those of you who have feed available for your chickens all the time how do you have it in your coop?

    I feed my chickens in the morning and at night.

    Also I have heard that if you let chickens eat too much it can affect their laying -- any comments on that?

    Any suggestions to how I should switch over to a feeder that is low cost and can be in the coop 24/7 would be much appreciated! [​IMG]
  2. digitS'

    digitS' Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 12, 2007
    ID/WA border
    Magnet, I just hang a feeder in the coop. Having it on a chain means that I can adjust its height so that the birds don't bill out too much feed onto the floor. After they've walked on it for awhile, they tend not to eat that food.

    Mine is smaller than these at Fleming Outdoors but the size should fit the number of birds you have.

    The nutrients that the laying hen changes into eggs comes from her feed. If the feed is fairly well balanced to provide for egg production, she cannot really overeat. Usually, chickens are like people, they eat enough food to provide the calories that they need, and then they eat some more. High calorie foods may just end up as fat inside the bird but their feed shouldn't be simply high in calories. Instead, it should have the nutrients that make up a balanced daily ration.

    Since, modern breeds are genetically disposed to produce eggs - the laying hen will usually turn those excess nutrients into eggs.


    edited to say: If you are currently feeding the birds on the ground, you should probably start with a feeder at ground level. As they become accustom to finding their food there, you can raise it higher.
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2009
  3. chookchick

    chookchick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 18, 2008
    Olympia WA
    I think it would be difficult for a layer hen that was fed a good diet to become to fat, if she has enough room to run around. (Meaties--well that's a different story....). I would have feed available 24/7 for them, as that's what they do all day--forage for small amounts of food. Overfeeding scratch, or other low nutrition treats, could make them fat as they overcompensate to get the nutrients they need.
  4. Lazy J Farms Feed & Hay

    Lazy J Farms Feed & Hay Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:Actually this can be an issue in "Dual Purpose" breeds, but not typically so in Mediterranean Class birds.

    To help prevent fat hens we dilute their diet with scraps and forage or we allow the feeder to empty before we refill it.

  5. ksct

    ksct Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 23, 2009
    upstate, NY
    I Don't Know For Sure About All This But My Opinion Is.....

    We Have Buff Orpingtons.... From What I've Read, They Are A Dual Purpose.... We Leave Food For Them In The Coop 24/7. They Have Access To Their Run All Day As Well As The Coop During The Day. When They Go In For The Night, We Close The Chicken Door To Keep Them Double Safe.
    Some Days They Eat More Than Others. I Think Having It There For Them Is Best (again Just My Opinon) We Have Had A Couple Instinces Where We've Either Been Low On Food Or Not Realized They Were Low And They Have Emptied Their Feeder (we're Talking Empty For A Matter Of 1-3 Hours Max).... When You Fill It Back Up, You'd Think The Birds Hadn't Eaten For Weeks. And We Do Everything In Our Power To Stop That Because, We Dont' Want Them To Fight Etc Over The Food.

    Hope That Helps!
    Our Friend Has Meat Birds And The Vet Told Him If You Give Meat Birds Food All Day, They Can Just Plop Themselves In Front Of It And Eat Til They Burst (almost Literally) Just An Fyi On That.
  6. cnj-tx50

    cnj-tx50 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 19, 2009
    North of Dallas, TX
    I have a three pound hanging container that I got at TSC that cost around $11.00. I refill it about every 3rd day for 27 birds. They also get scrtach in the mornings and any left overs from garden/table. Both the food and water are in the coop, but I also have water available for them outside. Now that it is getting cooler it seems that they are going thru more feed.

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