Feeding question

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by gessieviolet, Sep 9, 2011.

  1. [​IMG]I have started to constant feed my 23 six month old mixed breed hens using a hopper dispenser that holds a 50 lb bag of pellets.

    When I was portioning out the feed each day I went through a 50 lb bag of feed in about a week. With 23 hens I figured that was about right; I had read that each chicken could be expected to consume appx 1/4 lb of feed per day.

    Long story shortened, I filled the hopper last week end, today, almost a week later there is still plenty of pellets remaining. I know they eat, for I watch them peck at the pellets, I have discontinued scratch for a while since that was all they wanted when it was available, to force them to use pellets.

    I am worried they are not eating enough. They are penned with about 4 1/2 sq ft of space/ bird, with plenty of litter to scratch in, have constant fresh water using a auto float controlled waterer.

    This is the first large number of hens I have managed. Do I read and worry too much about nothing.

    And yes, I am getting about 1 dozen eggs per day.
  2. Auscal

    Auscal Songster

    Oct 29, 2010
    If you are sure all chickens have access to the feeder, and that no bullies are keeping some away, I wouldn't be concerned. Bases on the 1/4lb a day ration, you would expect them to eat 40lb a week - but, I have read that is for a mature laying chicken, it doesn't sound like yours are all there yet, so may be eating less. Alos, maybe they also have some food in the litter that they have now cleaned up.

    I have also seen figures that are 4 sq foot coop space per bird, and 10sq foot run space. Wondering if your chickens are confined to the 4 1/2 sq ft full time?
  3. yosemitesam

    yosemitesam Hatching

    Sep 5, 2011
    If you put the feed there every day they will eat it up, as if they aint gong to get anymore for awhile. But once you start using large feeders and the birds find out that feed is always going to be there they will only eat what they really want thus cutting your feed bill. Its like any other animals, take dogs if you feed one dog in pen, he might not eat it all then, but you feed 2 dogs in the same pen they going to eat it up as fast as they can to keep the other dog from getting it. I myself have large feeders and when using them I feed twice a week, but there is always feed there and they only eat half as much as if I fed them alittle everyday.
  4. yosemitesam, that is exactly what is happening. Usually I would have bought another bag of feed by now; under the new system there is at least 30lbs worth still in the bin! With the cost of feed, that is great new![​IMG]

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