Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Blue_Myst, Mar 14, 2009.

  1. Blue_Myst

    Blue_Myst Songster

    Feb 5, 2009
    I know this is a stupid question, but I have to ask. [​IMG] I see many members use automatic feeders. Will chickens only eat what they need if they are given an unlimited supply of food? I've just been giving mine a limited ration everyday to make sure they don't become overweight, but if there is an easier way, I'm open to it, lol.

    Oh, I forgot to mention, I know chicks need an unlimited supply because they are growing, my question is about the full grown gals.
  2. HorseFeathers

    HorseFeathers Frazzled

    Apr 2, 2008
    Southern Maine
    We give free choice. Unless you have meaties you don't really have to worry about it. They're smart enough to know when they don't need more food.
  3. 4-H chicken mom

    4-H chicken mom Crowing

    Aug 3, 2007
    Oberlin, OH
    Free choice is easier. You don't have to worry if you can't get to them at the same time everyday. It cuts down on the feather picking if they are not getting hungry.
  4. digitS'

    digitS' Songster

    Dec 12, 2007
    ID/WA border
    My understanding is that chickens tend to eat until they have supplied their energy needs (calories). If their available food is high-calorie, they will get more than they need - something like us.

    I think they get a little bored with the same-old, same-old every day but if it is good stuff - that is probably the best way to go. Probably, WE tend to get them in trouble with too many treats (BYC enablers).

  5. al6517

    al6517 Real Men can Cook

    May 13, 2008
    I feed my grown layers a pre-measured amount everyday, it helps with wasted feed and they still get all they need.

  6. Chicken Fruit

    Chicken Fruit Songster

    Feb 25, 2009
    Echo Homestead
    Certain breeds like to over eat, and tend to get a little fat. But honestly, I think if they have access to the great outdoors and a large enough run, they'll be fine.
  7. ScrambledAcresFarm

    ScrambledAcresFarm Songster

    Aug 23, 2008
    Caulfield, Missouri
    Awesome! This is just what I was going to ask about. I was wondering if I was feeding my ladies enough feed. I was given 10 hens and 1 rooster last October from a friend. No one was laying. I was trying to make sure they had enough to eat with out wasting feed. I guess I'll just do free choice! I just didn't want more money in feed then I was going to get in eggs! Make cents? Ha~Ha!
    I getting ready to put them in a 50'x50' pen, all grass! I'm sure then that my feed bill will go down! They'll be very happy![​IMG]

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