feeding open source or timed

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Mountain Bear, Feb 12, 2013.

  1. Mountain Bear

    Mountain Bear Out Of The Brooder

    51
    5
    41
    May 26, 2012
    This may be a stupid question, but how do you feed your full grown chickens. I just saw a video on youtube. The lady went out in the morning and set a bucket of food down. The chickens went crazy for it.
    I normally keep food in my hanging feeder all the time, the chicks eat when they want. Is this ok? or should I feed a set amount each morning and evening. I haven't had any problems so far.
     
  2. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

    25,645
    1,885
    463
    Jul 17, 2011
    North Central Kansas
    I give my hens (who free range as well) a feeder full of food every day - they eat most if not all of it by bed time. When I raise Cornish X for meat I limit their feed to 12 hours on unlimited, then 12 off. They squawk in protest but I feel I have fewer leg problems and big - not just fat, chickens.
     
  3. cknkids

    cknkids Chillin' With My Peeps

    177
    13
    81
    Jun 27, 2012
    Camarillo, CA
    We keep food in the feeder at all times, we top it off about once a week. We have 4, that we got last June so not quit full grown. We keep a hanging feeder in the run. They spend most of the day roaming our yard with access to their run. Works for us.
     
  4. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    We ration or portion feed. It has many advantages, but requires more precision, and of course, more trips to the hen house. [​IMG]
     
  5. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

    6,193
    1,109
    356
    Oct 16, 2010
    NEK, VT
    yup, we keep the feeder full and it's hung under the coop with water so they have access all day after coop is opened.
     
  6. Mac in Wisco

    Mac in Wisco Antagonist

    3,479
    52
    246
    May 25, 2007
    SW Wisconsin
    Keeping the feeder full is fine. They only eat what they need. If you are feeding mash where the birds may pick out the largest particles then it's best to give them just enough to let them clean out the feeders by mid-day and then feed them again in early evening. This ensures they are taking up the finer particles and minerals. That's not a problem with pellets or crumbles.
     
  7. Mac in Wisco

    Mac in Wisco Antagonist

    3,479
    52
    246
    May 25, 2007
    SW Wisconsin
    What are the advantages?
     
  8. Lupa Duende

    Lupa Duende Chillin' With My Peeps

    102
    0
    69
    Sep 7, 2012
    The advantages of precision feeding is control of what they eat and how much..., like i with-hold milk until my children choke down half their supper.
    The advantages of free-choice with water and grains is that they never get thirsty, hungry, whatever. I leave veg and fruits out for my family in the hopes that at least I will fill up on nourishing foods instead of cake.
    I leave the chooks to eat what they want, when they want. This way the lower ranking females do not forgo meals because my chicken mafia is guarding the feeder.
    I suggest water and scratch free-choice and treats when you want them to come to you.
     
  9. nok13

    nok13 Chillin' With My Peeps

    411
    21
    101
    Dec 8, 2012
    ah, so that is what my layer feed is, mash... and there is always a huge amount of 'dust' left in teh feeder that they dont eat... what a waste... the feed company has improved a bit after many backyarders complained but still, the chickens like to pick out the large grains, corns, and the pellets (do they put mollasses in that, cause th dogs go crazy for it also?)...

    so now, i mix that leftover fine powder in with our leftover rice and stuff that the chickens also get, so they eat that also... they go nuts for cooked rice which we always have. we make it in a rice cooker in the morning and eat it for all our meals, what is leftover theat we dont eat the next morning, goes to the birds and dogs... i caught hubby making rice for the chickens but nooooooooooo way... put a stop to that..

    today i stood outside to watch the hens eat: i hvae two new ones and one is a battered hen... i clipped her beak, and i also put down three feeding stations (same amount as before just spread out in different areas to allow the weaker hens to access their food...

    i saw the weaker one actually eating to day after i held her manually at the water nipple for a drink... (i have three bottles also at different heights so the chicken mafia dont hog the water area...)

    i also sprinkle some of that leftover mass out in the common lawn so that all the doves and sparrows that come to eat will eat there and not from the hen feeders... divide and conquer...
     
  10. Mountain Bear

    Mountain Bear Out Of The Brooder

    51
    5
    41
    May 26, 2012
    Thanks for all the replies. I think I will limit the feed this summer for my free rangers just so they are forced to go outside. Free choice is so much easier since I don't need to be out there first thing in the morning or at set times. Has anyone noticed how much they eat per bird per day?
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by