Feeding on schedule?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by CompostQueen, Jul 20, 2010.

  1. CompostQueen

    CompostQueen Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 18, 2010
    I took a class on raising chickens a few months ago. The instructor suggested not leaving food out for the chickens all the time but instead feeding at specific times of day for a specific amount of time, I think a half an hour.
    Do any of you do this? How many times a day do you offer food? Do you offer treats at the same time?
  2. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    I have self-feeders and they eat any time they wish. No schedule.

    I give them treats once a day, sometimes it's just a handful of BOSS, other times it's other things they like. This is usually around 4 PM on weekends, and 6PM weekdays. (I don't get home from work until then.)
  3. swordgeek

    swordgeek Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 23, 2010
    Westford, MA
    I keep food in the coop all the time, and they can eat whenever they feel like it. (I never nursed my kids on a schedule either, come to think of it. I guess it's a pattern!) I don't put their feed outside because other critters are more likely to get at it, and I don't want it getting rained on. Like I tell my kids, if they want to eat, they have to come to the table. If they're hungry, they'll go inside for it, and they do. None of the birds look overweight, and all are very healthy.

    That said, both my kids and my chickens are allowed to snack elsewhere. [​IMG] I take a breakfast snack out to them in the run in the early morning (after my coffee, thank you very much) and they come running for it. They'll leave a lot of it for later, but they're very excited when they first hear me coming.

    I keep clean water available to them indoors and out. And when the older ones are free-ranging, I keep a big bowl of clean water near them, and they drink from it all the time.
  4. MakNugget

    MakNugget Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 31, 2010
    Portland, OR
    I'm bad. I have chicken feed in a L shaped ABS feeder (which does wonders at keeping waste down btw) and I feed them treats twice a day.

    Once in the morning around 5am to make sure everything is in order by checking for predator activity, checking feed and water levels, and overall health of my honeys. I have to feed the dragon some kale in the morning so I take some out to them as well. Sometimes I'll put out some boss or scratch in the deep litter for them to pick through during the day.

    After work I let them out with some boss/scratch in run while I do some maintenance in the coop if I haven't done it in the morning, then give them kale/grapes/corn/raisins/whatever in short intervals while I spend time with them. I don't give it all at once because they'll put piranhas to shame, so I'll start with some hand fed kale, maybe a grape, then let them do their thing for a while, then surprise them with a raisin. Raisins are hand fed too since they like to swallow them whole. They've come to recognize the Sun-Maid raisin lady, so I have to hide the box or risk having a lapful of birds. Whatever is left I'll sow in the coop in preparation to get them inside. Right now it's kale and corncob with some boss. I wave a leafy bit of kale in the air and guide them up the ramp to their dinner.
  5. Rennie

    Rennie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 28, 2009
    Derbyshire, England
    Im bad too .. I have a home made auto feeder in the run that always has food in, A pot inside the house for the birds that are maybe not allowed near the feeder when the big girl gets there .. I feed treats nearly every time i go to them ..I hang lettuces about twice a week to keep them entertained and let them out to roam and eat the grass if im working down the garden,also throwing in the weeds and veg scraps that have no place in the garden .. I think im a bit soft on them really.. but never mind they love me for it [​IMG]

    As long as they always have water and food then i know they are happy imo
  6. Dorte

    Dorte Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 27, 2010
    Did he have a reason why not to leave the food out?
  7. okiechicken

    okiechicken Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 7, 2010
    mine have a food dish out and available 24/7. i give stuff daily too.

    stupid question here: Whats BOSS?
  8. mickistoy

    mickistoy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 21, 2010
    northern ohio
  9. pontoosuc

    pontoosuc Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 9, 2010
    Richmond, MA
    my birds free feed during the day. get treats in the am with a water change.
    in the pm we go out and monitor "free range" then in the coop for the night.

    I throw some white millet into the grit (think since that's how I introduced grit
    when they were little).
  10. Olive Hill

    Olive Hill Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 19, 2009
    Quote:I too would like to know why that was the instructor's recommendation.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by