free range chickens hardly eat

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by ChickenMommy, Jul 8, 2007.

  1. ChickenMommy

    ChickenMommy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 9, 2007
    North East Texas
    MY laying chickens hardly eat any food. The do free range for about 6-7 hours everyday. My 4 younger chickens have eated 1 1/2 bags of chicken starter and my 6 laying hens have barly eaten 1/2 bag of layer feed. is this normal.
    They are laying big hard shelled brown eggs and there feather are shiny and fluffy.
     
  2. okiechick57

    okiechick57 Chillin' With My Peeps

    I think it is.......I have 5 that free range right now........they eat all day..... then come into coop like they are starving....take a bit of feed and thats it.............run out in the morning like mad and get at it.......... they are the only ones out right now.......the others are too new......but I cant wait until I let the other 13 out to save on my feed bill..... Mine are out from morning till dusk........ until the coyotes show up again.... [​IMG]
     
  3. firetrie

    firetrie Out Of The Brooder

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    May 7, 2007
    Niles, MI
    I'm with ya there, I finally let my birds out into the field and now they hardly touch the feed bins. I used to go thru 100 lbs a week, now 50 lbs every two weeks. and I have 52 chickens!

    They are probably eating lots of tasty bugs and grass. And I feed them the veggie/pasta scraps from dinner. Mine are chubby (if you can call a chicken chubby) and happy so I think that your birds are doing ok. As long as they look good and they don't start to be overly aggressive to each other. Just make sure that you keep plenty of fresh water avaliable and the food bins with something in them....
     
  4. Zenbirder

    Zenbirder Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 3, 2007
    New Mexico
    I am amazed at how little chick grow they eat, my 50 lb. bag is lasting WEEKS! Mine free range all day and I really wonder what all they eat. I follow them around occasionally and watch, lots of bugs of all sizes, pebbles, green growing things, and even bits of charcoal from where I dumped the wood stove ashes. Oh well, they are beautiful, happy, healthy and not remotely skinny.
     
  5. bayouchica

    bayouchica Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 23, 2007
    N.E. Louisiana
    Hi, free ranging does save on the feed bill. I've got 70 ranging all day with three feed/water stations & they go thru 50 lbs. in about 2 1/2 weeks. We've got several fig trees & table grapes ripening for them so it's a buffet time. LOL
     
  6. SandraChick

    SandraChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    ah yes...the wonders of freerange!

    Let's see-
    They eat all the bugs
    They even eat the dandelion heads (although they aren't keeping up!)
    They fertilize the lawn
    They feed themselves
    You get "Better than science" omega three hard shelled eggs!

    gotta luv the chickens!

    Before I got ducks, I always had to worry about my feed getting too old/bad---took me months to go through 50pounds. Well, the ducks are pigs so the chickens eat a little of the duck feed, but other than that, they don't even get feed in their coop anymore.
     

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