feeding question

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Kimberly4403, Oct 7, 2016.

  1. Kimberly4403

    Kimberly4403 Chillin' With My Peeps

    218
    4
    53
    May 18, 2015
    I know the general rule is have feed available 24/7 but i ferment my food.

    Currently i give my 3 girls (2x pullets and 1 laying hen) kitchen scraps in the morning and feed a big bowl of fermented feed in the evening after a little free range time.. Am i feeding them enough should i be giving them access to fermented feed 24/7 or at least putting a breakfast bowl out?
     
  2. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,418
    196
    216
    Dec 15, 2011
    SE Pa.
    Are they cleaning it all up? If so you could try giving them a little more each day until they no longer clean it up, then you will know. A chicken will eat between a quarter pound and one third pound of dry feed a day. With kitchen scraps, other treats and free ranging it becomes harder to know how much feed they need for sure. I would put some of their feed out in the morning, scraps can vary quite a bit in amount as well as quality.
     
  3. Kimberly4403

    Kimberly4403 Chillin' With My Peeps

    218
    4
    53
    May 18, 2015
    Actually they dont even finish it and i dont give them that much im worried there not getting enough of the fermented feed..

    Morning: kitchen scraps, left over pasta etc (which they clean up completely) i found when i put a bowl of FF in the run they just tipped it everywhere and when i had a bowl in the coop during the day it never got eaten. Maybe i should add couple of handfuls of dry feed to there morning scraps?

    They get around 2hrs of free ranging time in the afternoon/evening
    I usually put there bowl of fermented feed into the coop around the time i let them outto free rangeto make sure my youngsters come back in to sleep but even then they eat a little but dont finish..

    I let them out at first light into run which is when i give them the kitchen scraps then i go back to bed lol
     
  4. farmer jon1

    farmer jon1 Just Hatched

    18
    0
    12
    Jul 24, 2016
    I have a dozen chickens and 5 ducks. They free range all day. I don't ferment feed. I grind my own and feed it dry. I put a bunch in a pan and when its empty they get more. Some days they eat more some days they eat less. They get scraps and some scratch grains. The amount of scratch grains they get depends if I can keep my 3 year old away from it or not.
     
  5. chickens really

    chickens really Chicken Obsessed

    Just my thoughts....Give the FF in the morning...Chickens need balanced nutrition in order to produce eggs and remain healthy..Table scraps do not have enough nutrition to keep chickens in top shape...5% daily in scraps should be all a chicken gets..Free range is great, they find bugs and seeds plus get to run around...You asked if a feeder of dry should be left out...I think that would be great...

    Cheers!
     
  6. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,418
    196
    216
    Dec 15, 2011
    SE Pa.
    Yep. Sounds like they may getting to many scraps to show much intrest ing the FF, let alone a dry feed.
     
  7. Kimberly4403

    Kimberly4403 Chillin' With My Peeps

    218
    4
    53
    May 18, 2015
    Ok so cut back on scraps and feed scraps once thet have eaten all there FF first
     
  8. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Flock Master

    20,835
    10,138
    636
    Nov 7, 2012
    CENTRAL MAINE
    Kimberly, are you letting them out to range all day? If so, that may make a difference. Try taking away the scraps for a few days and see what happens. What are they getting in the way of scraps? That also makes a difference. If there is a fair amount of animal protein in there, that would be good. If it's just fillers like stale bread and such, try eliminating it.
     
  9. Kimberly4403

    Kimberly4403 Chillin' With My Peeps

    218
    4
    53
    May 18, 2015


    They only get 2hrs a day ranging..

    Kitchen scraps consist of fruit, vegetables, leafy greens, herbs/weeds from garden, cooked meat left over from my 11 month old, ham again if bub hasnt eaten it all, boiled eggs, mealworms/pupae/darkling bettles, left over pasta and stale bread (not everyday maybe 2-3× a week max), greek yoghurt if its near use by date and sardines.. But oviously not all of this is served daily and the amounts vary but majority of the time its just leftover meat fruit and veg..
     
  10. Braxton Brigade

    Braxton Brigade Chillin' With My Peeps

    764
    106
    128
    Sep 2, 2015
    Braxton, Ms
    I too use fermented feed and only allow my groups out for a few hours a day.

    My feed routine is:

    A scoop in the morning (each group goes nuts for that).
    The scoop is approx. 5 1/2 - 6 cups, the 5ish cups of FF will last a group of 10 birds for the day.
    I only feed as much as they can clean up by dusk (roost time), that way I don't have to worry about attracting animals or mold.

    Two of my groups are utility birds and my juveniles, I leave a feeder of dry crumbles for them just in case they need more feed.
    Honestly they hardly ever touch the dry crumbles anymore.

    If I am going to allow them to range a bit I pick up all their feed, this way I can lure them back into the pen with some whole grains (quality scratch mix).\
    I tend to only toss a hand full of scratch, dog food or ultra-kibble every few days.

    Making sure you aren't overfeeding is the bigger issue, you don't want them to have feed left in the bowl by the end of the day, they should be getting just enough to last them the day.
    Overfeeding = fat birds, fat birds = bad layers/breeders, bad layers/breeders = poor overall health and quality of the birds.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by