# good at math? I need help with a feeding question!

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by 4H kids and mom, Mar 28, 2007.

1. ### 4H kids and momCooped Up

Mar 10, 2007
Southern Wisconsin
Math question for you to figure out! I'm close, but I just can't get it.

It is averaged that flock of 90 chickens goes through a 50lb bag of layer feed a day (when fed nothing else), or a bag every other day (when allowed to free range).

So...

1) How long would a 50lb bag of layer feed last a flock of 12 if they eat nothing else?

2) What if they also free range?

3) What if I cut the feed to a 50/50 ration with oats?

4) What if I cut the feed to a 50/50 ration AND let them free range?

5) What if I cut the feed to a 50/40/10 ration (50-feed, 40-oats, 10-scratch)?

6) What if I cut the feed to a 50/40/10 ration AND let them free range?

2. ### silkiechickenStaff PhD

50/90 = .55 lb a day per bird

.55*12 birds = 6.6 a day

50/6.6 = 7.57 days

if free range they eat half as much food thus feed will last 15 day.

In all situations where you cut the feed in half, the feed will last 15 days..

In all situations where you cut the feed in half and let them out, they will eat 1/4 of the feed... that's 30 days.

Not too bad, hope I'm right, did this just before headed to class.

I don't like averages because it is highly dependent on weather, age of birds, and type of birds... 4 cornish X's or 18 leghorns to get to 7 weeks eat the same amount of feed...

3. ### 4H kids and momCooped Up

Mar 10, 2007
Southern Wisconsin
Ok, thats about what I was getting, but here's my question....

a) If I'm cutting the feed 50/50 that normally would last them 15 days (if free ranging also), wouldn't the feed then last them 30 days (if NOT free ranging) because I am mixing it with equal parts of oats?

and...

b) If I'm cutting the feed 50/50 and letting them free range, wouldn't the feed then last them 60 days, if free ranging doubles how long the feed lasts?

4. ### wynedot55Songster

Mar 28, 2007
if you fed just layer pellets to 12 hens.a 50lb sack will last 7 to 10 days.going 50/50 with 2 diff feeds is 10days.free ranging an feeding still be 10 days to a sack of feed.in winter my feed bill would run \$50 a month for 16 hens an 8 turkeys.now with spring an grass its \$22 a month feed bill.so my feed costs have dropped 1/2.

5. ### silkiechickenStaff PhD

Feed lasts:

inside = 7 days,

cutting 50 50 = 14 days

free range = 14 days

cutting + free range = 28 days.

But this all depends on the free range season as stated by wynedot, the amount of area for the ranging, and what goodies they have available to eat out there. Cutting feed might also not be very healthy for them because they might end up with lack of calcium or other mineral deficiencies they would normally get from their feed and as a result actually eat more to try to get these minerals.

33,506
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Jan 11, 2007
NE Washington State
There are many factors that determine how much feed you go through. They will eat more when it is cooler and when they are laying. Less when the new grass starts growing and bugs start hatching. Mice and songbirds will eat from your feeders making it look like you are going through more feed. The free range eating will depend on what's out there.

Withholding feed to save a buck or 2 will hurt you in the long run. If your birds are not getting enough to eat they will lay less, not be in as good feather condition and be more prone to illness and disease and parasites. Laying hens need 16% to 18% protein. Cut their feed by half with oats and you get about 8% to 10% (depending on the protein content of oats). I would never do that to my animals.

My math is as follows......I keep feeders out all the time. The chickens and ducks and geese eat what they need and when the feeders are empty I refill them. When I am low on feed, I go buy more.

7. ### silkiechickenStaff PhD

Quote:a) You have feed that normally lasts 15 days with free range... cut 50 50 = last 30 days with free range.

Eat two times as much inside only, so only 15 days w/o free range and splitting.

b) this is only 30 because you need to account for the split and free range and they can only opperate on the base line one time each.

Start from base line of no range no split. Then apply modifiers one at a time.

8. ### MayberrySaintChillin' Out

Mar 7, 2007
Mount Airy, NC
up to
Quote:Terrie,

You are making a false assumption that oats have no nutritional value and 0% protein. Newer varieties of oats actually are quite high in digestible protein (up to 16%). Many University publications from their poultry science departments recommend that a laying ration include a whole diet (mash or crumble or pellet) PLUS scratch grains such as oats. The gut-fill provided by the scratch grains increases longevity through better GI health and reduces feed ration costs.

http://www.wvu.edu/~agexten/poultry/pfs17.pdf

You can see on the second page that if your whole ration is at 20% protein, the recommendation is a 1:1 (50/50) mix with scratch grains.

Andy

Last edited: Mar 29, 2007
9. ### wynedot55Songster

Mar 28, 2007
oats are like corn alone the protine value is 8 to 10% protine.its when you mix feed ingrediants that you raise the feeds total protine leavel.

10. ### MayberrySaintChillin' Out

Mar 7, 2007
Mount Airy, NC
Quote:For clarification, mixing feed ingredients alone doesn't actually raise the protein level unless you are adding a higher protein ingredient to the ration such as soybean meal (48% protein).