free choice or rations for free ranging ??

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by jamband, Aug 29, 2011.

  1. jamband

    jamband Songster

    Apr 26, 2011
    This is for a laying flock.

    Just curious if people who allow the birds access to fresh green grass etc etc......still feed free choice 24/7 or if they ration feed and if you ration what do you feed per bird each day and when?
    Right now i feed mine free choice but it seems they hang in the coop alot as a result so was considering removing feed for part of day or feeding a daily ration. Other thought was an outdoor range feeder to keep food out of coop
  2. FriendlyFlyer

    FriendlyFlyer Chirping

    Jul 16, 2011
    My flock are layers also...although they haven't began laying. I will be rationing them, feeding them in the morning. That is also what my friend has always done with his flock. I don't know how much feed it would be though. [​IMG] Just try something, and use common sense about it. If your birds start to seem unhealthy or the eggs are not right than give them more. As far as being i the coop a lot...I guess I don't know what to tell you, you can buy a new feeder but what it comes down to is this: if they want to be in there they will be! I know my chickens like to spend most of their time outside at their age (12 weeks) but they do like to go inside for what I call naptime in the afternoon. They all go in there and just rest. Hope I helped!
  3. aggie9296

    aggie9296 Songster

    Jan 28, 2011
    Panama City, FL
    mine free range all day and still have 24/7 access to feeder. it was in tractor, but now outside under cover to keep out rain.

    now they only go into tractor to lay or sleep.
  4. krcote

    krcote Songster

    May 21, 2008
    Concord, NH
    I offer free feeding in addition to the access of the grass/forage.
  5. tarragon

    tarragon Chirping

    Mar 3, 2011
    Bothell, WA
    Mine free range all day, unless I won't be home (and then boy, do I hear about it from them!). They have free access to layer crumbles all day. They wander in and out all day, mostly out in the grass, but they do go in for drinks of water and to have some feed. They do not go through much feed-I've been buying it in 10 lb. bags and it lasts about a month for my 3 pullets. They have been laying for a few weeks now. Their "range" is our suburban back yard, so they get grass, dirt and bugs.
  6. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    My flock has an acre to range, they usually only cover a quarter of it. I feed them every night, basically enough food the feeder is very low the next night. I've found an excess of food in the feeder leads to more waste and rodent attraction.
  7. yinzerchick

    yinzerchick Songster

    Jun 13, 2011
    Mine free range, and I have layer crumbles available 24/7 in the coop. I don't fill the feeder all the way, I just keep an eye on it to make sure there's always some in there. (a 3lb Foldiers plastic coffee containe full every 5 days or so seems to be plenty for my 24 hens and 1 roo) I don't want it to spoil, get wasted or attract pests. I noticed they wander in and out of the coop, and some will usually stop and eat a little, especially after getting out of the nest boxes.
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2011
  8. BellevueOmlet

    BellevueOmlet Songster

    Jul 10, 2010
    I like mine to have full access to food at all times. I let them free range all day every day but feel better about them being able to eat at the coop if they need it.

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