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Feeding: Food all the time or at given times???

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by freefallinsunshine, Aug 26, 2008.

  1. freefallinsunshine

    freefallinsunshine In the Brooder

    May 14, 2008
    Paris, IL
    Should I be leaving enough food out that our chickens can eat at will? I have been doling out food every morning - even if I put more than enough (what I consider enough, I guess), they eat it allll. I wish that I could put out a large amount so that a day could be skipped (if we are out of town).

    How does everyone feed??? Thanks for any input!!![​IMG]
  2. Colored Egg Farmer

    Colored Egg Farmer Chicken overload

    Quote:I just fill up a 10 lbs feeder and then fill it up when it gets empty. Takes my 25 chickens a day to empty it.
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2008
  3. jenjen

    jenjen In the Brooder

    Jun 18, 2008
    Oregon House, Ca.
    I make sure there is always food available. I have a hanging feeder in the coop. It's always at least half full
  4. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Chickens have very high metabolisms just like other birds. Fill it up all the way and just let them have at it. Many figures for the "right" amount of feed apply to production leghorns which are 3 lb adults and efficient egg layers. A 10 lb rooster or 6 lb hen will eat a lot more to maintain their condition. I feed 24/7. Just make sure nothing is stealing the feed as wild animals will given the chance.

    Others do have different ways of feeding so you may get a number of opinions.
  5. goldensunriseranch

    goldensunriseranch Songster

    Jul 1, 2007
    Mays Landing NJ
    I always keep my feeders full, for the larger flocks it's a huge feeder, like 35 lbs I think it is.
  6. lavacaw

    lavacaw Songster

    Feb 4, 2008
    South Central Texas
    I have a hanging feeder that holds about 20 lbs of feed. The first time or two, the chickens tried to empty it but then they kind of slowed down to eating when they were hungry. Takes my 12 RIRs about three to four days to empty it now. Also use an automatic dog waterer to keep fresh water there at all times so I can get away for day or two without dire consequences. Hope this helps.[​IMG]
  7. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

    May 24, 2007
    I believe it's best to have food available 24/7. That's why most people use a feeder (hanging ones inside the coop work great). I have one that holds a 50 pound bag of feed and one that holds 25 lbs. of feed. I only use my small one for chicks and my large one for my adult chickens.

    This also gives you the opportunity to leave for a day and not worry about food. If you are using a large hanging waterer you can easily leave without concern. EXCEPT: you would want to make sure they are in a predator proof area if you are gone. My neighbor comes by and lets mine chickens out, checks for eggs and locks them up at night when we are gone.
  8. freefallinsunshine

    freefallinsunshine In the Brooder

    May 14, 2008
    Paris, IL
    DEFINITELY about the predator-proof area when we are out of town. I need to look into a hanging feeder, methinks. I have an auto-waterer that works well - although they can get it messy given the time.

    Thanks for all the input - it is greatly appreciated!! [​IMG]
  9. hinkjc

    hinkjc Crowing Premium Member

    Jan 11, 2007
    Yes, keep food available at all times. Regular chickens (not meat bird types) will only consume what they need and walk away. It is very stressful for chickens to not have access to feed when they need it.


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