I've been reading the posts on feeders. Everyone seems to put the feed in containers of one kind or another. Are feeders really necessary, or is it acceptable to just throw the feed on the ground? The run is 45'x45'. I throw lay pellets, whole oats and a small bit of scratch on the ground in the run every morning when I feed scraps. I keep them in the run until I clean the horse stalls and put all the manure in the run. My chickens free range the rest of the day on an acre of heavily covered desert. About 1:00, I throw out some more oats. In the evening I give them a couple more handfuls of oats and pellets in the run to get them back in. They get a couple of handfuls of dry cat food once a week. I have nine laying hens, 1 hen w/ chick, 3 adolescents and 1 rooster. I get seven to eight eggs every day. The eggs have dark yellow yolks. Are they getting the nutrition they need? Also, someone is here twice a day to feed because of the horses.