For those that FF...

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by cestial225, Nov 18, 2013.

  1. cestial225

    cestial225 Chillin' With My Peeps

    121
    6
    83
    Apr 8, 2013
    How many times a day do you feed your chickens and if you only feed once a day do you do it morning or night? And do you also keep out dry food?
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

    21,690
    2,639
    466
    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    I keep feeders filled all day. Chickens won't overeat feed. They can overeat scratch like corn etc..
    Their crops are empty when they wake up which is their hunger signal. They fill their crop and then do other activities like dust bathing and scratching for bugs and seeds. Then throughout the day when their crops empty, they'll eat feed again.
    A complete poultry ration is important for health.
    As for scratch grains, some people feed in morning but I do so in the afternoon so they get the more nutritious feed first.
     
  3. Peplers chicks

    Peplers chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Because my chicks heva a total free range on 5 acres, I only feed in the morning when I open them up at six, sometimes during the day they do come home, and then I will give them again some corn, just to let them know to not wander to far off, home is the place for food
     
  4. Aussie-Chook

    Aussie-Chook Out Of The Brooder

    47
    4
    31
    Apr 23, 2013
    Pennsylvania
    I feed my 4 'girls' (small run - can't free range) most mornings with about 1-2 cups of kitchen scraps - veggie & fruit peels/scraps, cereal dregs, old bread, black oil sunflower seeds, cheese, old taco shells!! It's a different mix every day!

    Occasionally I pull weeds in the garden and now I am giving them the frost bitten annuals that I am pulling out of the garden (they loved the marigolds)! In summer we gave them a pile of grass clippings every time we cut the lawn to scratch through. Mine don't eat worms (we vermicompost with red wigglers!)

    Oh, they LOVE the green caterpillars that keep attacking our Kale & Broccoli! We pick off 1-2 dozen caterpillars every couple days!

    In addition, they have organic soy-free layer feed available at all times, with added oyster shell grit.

    Contemplating switching to afternoon feedings, as I want them to eat layer feed predominantly.
     
  5. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

    21,690
    2,639
    466
    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    I'm hoping that oyster shell is in a separate container and not mixed with the feed.
    Just checking. [​IMG]
     
  6. Aussie-Chook

    Aussie-Chook Out Of The Brooder

    47
    4
    31
    Apr 23, 2013
    Pennsylvania
     
  7. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

    21,690
    2,639
    466
    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    Because you're already providing layer feed which is 4% calcium. They need to be able to choose additional calcium if they feel the need for it so it needs to be in a separate container.
    I don't want to alarm you but excessive calcium (which they're getting if one mixes oyster shell with layer feed), especially if out of balance with available phosphorus, can cause kidney damage, urolithiasis, gout and death.
    Even 4% calcium is way too high for birds not actively laying.
    At a 1:20 ratio, you're adding another 5% calcium to the feed without much ability for them to choose not to consume it. So now their ration is 9% calcium.
    This is a common mistake.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2013
  8. Trefoil

    Trefoil Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,316
    210
    218
    Dec 7, 2011
    I feed at night, the free rangers have wheat always available and the cooped ones have multi flock always available.
     
  9. Aussie-Chook

    Aussie-Chook Out Of The Brooder

    47
    4
    31
    Apr 23, 2013
    Pennsylvania
    Thanks for the info! I'll separate it from here on out :)
     
  10. cestial225

    cestial225 Chillin' With My Peeps

    121
    6
    83
    Apr 8, 2013
    My chicks were wasting so much feed it was crazy so I started feeding the chickens once a day. I wet the crumbles so they cant toss them around. They go crazy for it. I feed them enough that it is always gone before the end of the day but it usually takes a few hours for them to finish it off. So what I have been doing is letting them out first thing in the morning and letting them forage for most of the morning then I let them in before I leave the house and I feed them then. I used to feed them first and then let them out but I was having a hard time getting them back in the coop before night time and I lost 5 birds in 2 weeks from not being hom early enough to let them in before dark. Anyway, they are still laying and seem healthy enough. But I cant help but worry that I am not feeding them enough. There were a few times that I gave them more scoops of wet feed and they would not finish it before they went to roost.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by