Grossly Overfed? What's this, the Soup Kitchen for Chickens and Ducks?

John Henry Jr

In the Brooder
5 Years
Dec 31, 2014
Lord Help us IGNORAMUSES! I've been feeding my seven chickens 200 lbs of food a month! 4 Fifty Pound Bags! Not to mention one or two 50's of Corn! My Darling feeds them in the morning, bless her generous heart, and I go to buy the feed! She insists that they are nearly starving to death! We also have eight Ducks (Four Peking and Four Muscovy's but I'm told to feed them once a day about two cups each with chicken feed, some cat food for Protein, a little corn and some Brewers' Yeast)
So I just read on here that one with 26 chickens feeds them one 50# bag/month approximately, plus table scraps and they are free ranging, like mine, are. no wonder the Fox doesn't bother them! They're fat and big enough to EAT THE FOX!


Queen of the Coop
Jan 14, 2015
Placerville, California, USA
Four bags a month? Are you sure chickens are all you're feeding? I can't imagine any flock of 15 eating four bags a month. I just don't think they'd be physically capable. They must be wasting quite a bit, or other animals have found a way to eat it. What breeds do you have? Have you tried weighing any of your birds? Have you wormed your birds recently? (Tapeworm infestation can cause a HUGE jump in feed consumption).

A sack or two of corn a month? That's very bad. Corn is nothing but fat and contains practically no real nutrition. I bet if you checked their fat pads (on the belly beneath the fluff) you'd find they're inches thick! That's the chicken equivalent of morbid obesity.

The average chicken eats 1.5 pounds of food a week. I would guess the average sized duck eats about the same. 1.5 x 15 = 22.5 pounds of feed a week; let's say 25 to include a normal amount of waste. So 25 pounds a week. That's two bags a month!

Get a feeder that prevents waste (I recommend one similar to this:, cut back on the corn significantly (Actually, I'd suggest forgoing the corn at all for a month or two!). Restrict scrap feeding to 10% of the diet and greens/veggies to 20%! And try switching your flock to a flock raiser feed to accomodate the ducks. You should probably start feeding limited rations for a bit - try only filling a feeder about the size of the one I just linked to halfway up. If it's completely empty at the end of the day and there is very little or no feed on the ground, add more the next day. If there is feed all over the ground and the feeder still has quite a bit of feed left, add less the next day. If there is a very small amount of feed on the ground and a layer of semi-dusty feed about 1/2 inch deep left in the bottom of the feed, you've struck a perfect balance. Keep them on this restricted diet for a while until they seem to be eating a proper amount.


Aug 23, 2014
Not sure what ducks should eat but the chickens are getting too much corn. What breed are they? Do they look skinny or malnourished? Post pics of you can. Corn fills them up but there's little nutrition in it. What kind of feeder do you use? Open containers let them rake food out onto the ground and waste it. They will dig through food to find food. They have small brains. Definitely get a feeder that prevents waste. Take the food away at night so scavengers don't get a free meal.


Apr 17, 2015
Long Beach, WA
Is feed available all day and all night, or do you remove it at night? What kind of feeders are you using?
Either you've got a serious pest control problem, or your birds are spilling a lot of feed. And you are giving way too much corn.

John Henry Jr

In the Brooder
5 Years
Dec 31, 2014
Thanks for the Heads Up, Mechanic 57! Breed? Well...the three older "Reds" are Rhode Island Reds, I'm told. I have two whites (Heinz 57?) Not really sure, and one Copper/Gold colored, but one of the Whites gives us beautiful Green Eggs which I'm told are low Cholesterol Eggs. Cool. And the Rooster, Ol' John Henry Jr, He's a MESS. He's the "Boss wid da Hot Sauce"! and watches out for his ladies like a Soldier.
I'm "rethinking" the feeder bit bc it's in the Duck Pen right now and the holes are too small for the Duck Beaks so we've been laying out the Duck Food Freelance but the Feeder is definitely going into the Chicken Pen where it belongs. That 50# bag of Cracked Corn is going to last for a LONG TIME bc I'm thinking like you are and they don't need, normally, but a small bit as "CANDY" but for now i'm going to cut it down to NADA. That feeder in the Chicken Pen will/should do as you suggested and I'll definitely keep a keen eye on it for sure.
So! I've got some "work to do" in keeping with the info and experimenting with the feedings to keep my babies feelin' good and putting out those D E L I C I O U S Eggs which I'm so Grateful for!
73's to ya and Happy New Year!

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