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Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by ben is a terror, Mar 13, 2013.
Do you leave food out all the time or do you have a feeding schedule? Which is better?
I have a feed trough in the coop that has feed all the time. The feeder outside, in the morning I only put enough for the day. I think it depends on your situation as to which is better.
Assuming we're talking laying hens, yes I leave them with a full feeder all the time. It's natural for birds to eat a little here and there all day long and slowly fill their crops rather then trying to consume one or two big meals a day in a short amount of time.
I have a feeder inside the coop that is available 24/7. They will snag a few pellets from it first thing in the morning - or on torrential downpour or snowy days when they don't want to go out - but usually don't touch it for the most part as they'd rather eat from foraging. I also give them kitchen scraps.
I don't keep any excess food outside the coop for fear of attracting pests and predators.
Mine always have plenty of layer feed and i also leave them grit and oyster shell. I find it helps reduce the pecking of the lower chickens because they don't have to fight over food all the time. Plus i get big healthy eggs and lots of them. Also my chickens get plenty of excercise. I think you will find in the summer when they can forage around you wont use much food.
I have a hanging feeder in my coop that I always keep full with layer feed. I keep oyster shell outside along with tossing some scratch out for them. I like to have feed and water available 24/7 for them.