Free range chickens-feed to egg ratio

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by cbourbeau32, Mar 11, 2018.

  1. cbourbeau32

    cbourbeau32 Chirping

    80
    9
    71
    Sep 29, 2014
    I'm trying to figure out how much I should feed my free range (free range-daylight to dark) chickens. If I keep free choice food out they lay more but it also seems that they hang around the coop and don't go "scrounge" around for much of their "living". I'd like to get the most eggs for the least amount of feed and have them free range for as much of their feed as possible. What are those of you who free range doing? If it helps I'm feeding a 20% layer feed.

    Thanks, Charlie
     
  2. centrarchid

    centrarchid Free Ranging

    22,294
    9,711
    666
    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    I assume the birds can go as far as the want looking for eats. My approach is to put out enough feed in early AM so it last them through noon. Then I watch egg production, how far they range and crop fill when they go to roost. Feed is adjusted up and down as a function of what is watched. Generally, ranging habits are most sensitive. Real challenge I have is birds will range beyond where predator management systems work. I use fencing that does not stop chickens if they want to cross but give predators pause. My objective is is to balance so birds stay in protected area yet give good production with minimal amounts of feed. Feed needs vary greatly with season. I also use an incomplete ration that changes with season as well.
     
  3. lins girrls

    lins girrls Chirping

    42
    98
    54
    Mar 12, 2018
     
  4. lins girrls

    lins girrls Chirping

    42
    98
    54
    Mar 12, 2018
    I never had that problem with my free range chickens. I had always kept the feeder tubes full and as soon as I opened the paddock door they are make a run for it. They have a great time on the 5 acres so much to peck at
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: