How do I know they are getting enough to eat

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by momofdrew, Oct 14, 2008.

  1. momofdrew

    momofdrew Chillin' With My Peeps

    I let my birds free range for up to 6 hours a day in a half acre yard... they also have free choise grower in pen and coop and I have just put down free choise crushed shell in their pen and I give them house scraps and yogurt every week...
    how do I know they are eating properly???...They are 6 month old silkies... they dont go through much grower...their droppings seem fine...

    Pam
     
  2. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    I'll bet they are doing just fine. Pick them up and feel their crops. You'll find it by just running your hand across their upper chest. It should feel firm. Most days I can see the crops of mine without picking them up, but I have piglets cleverly disguised as chickens.
     
  3. moodusnewchick

    moodusnewchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 15, 2008
    CT
    should the crops always feel full? I too wonder how to tell if I'm feeding enough or too much. Like, if you feed and all the feed is gone quickly, I would think you would want to give more. Then if you feed and notice that a lot is left over, you've given them enough/too much. Will they overeat?
     
  4. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    Quote:It should feel firm, but pliable. Of course it's not always going to be full, but if you feel it in the evening after they've had plenty of opportunity to eat that day (or free-range, as mine do) you should be able to feel it.
     
  5. Linda in San Diego

    Linda in San Diego Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 11, 2008
    San Diego
    Well, I have to say, after ranging in the yard, the Delightful Dozen have the most impressive crops I have seen outside of hand fed cockatiels. I am surprised they can stand still without falling forward. The crops absolutly bulge - but not all the girls show the same profile. My RIR have crops that are very prominent, while the EEs have to be in just the right postion for me to see the full crop.
    They peck and scratch and peck and scratch all over the yard. We feed all kinds of good stuff all day and the layer pellets are always available. The eggs are popping out quite regularly and even the BR have gotten into the egg business finally.
    I think by watching your hens you will get a feel for how well fed they are. Mine are out in the yard 2 - 6 hours each afternoon and are doing quite well.
     
  6. momofdrew

    momofdrew Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thanks all
    These birds are so fluffy it's hard to tell if they are putting on weight...being new to this I don't know how they are supposed to feel when I pick them up...
    Pam
     
  7. skand

    skand Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 29, 2008
    Odessa, Tx
    If they are alive and running, they have enough.
     
  8. carress

    carress Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 26, 2008
    Orange county NY
    Quote:I know! My darling buffy looks as fat as she can be, but it's all feathers! My friend's dog is the same way. My birds are very greedy, so I know they get enough. They've eaten may pounds of my tomatoes, they've got all the bigs they can eat, grass, garden scraps.. the loot from their garden burglary, bread.. I go through a 2-3 loaves each week.
     
  9. skand

    skand Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 29, 2008
    Odessa, Tx
    make your own bread, if it's possible, mine like homemade bread better. guess cause it crumbles easier, they dun have to tear it away, just break off a chunk from the chicken running away with it all. lol
    besides, homemade is healthier, for both you and the birds, and it's way cheaper.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2008
  10. Village Farm

    Village Farm Out Of The Brooder

    According to our chickens, it is not possible for a hen to get enough to eat.

    Therefore, there's no way to tell if they are getting enough.
     

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