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How much chickens eat?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by black_jade18, Mar 30, 2009.

  1. black_jade18

    black_jade18 Hatching

    Mar 30, 2009
    I am a student that was asked to design a chicken coop and give a rough estimate of how much income chickens can bring in. I have been looking everywhere to find out how much chickens can eat, but I do not get a straight answer. I know that it varies with breed and circumstances but I just need to know an approximation on how much they eat. I will take whatever you can give me please and thank you all. I really need this information. [​IMG]

  2. Cruiser

    Cruiser Songster

    Jul 6, 2008
    W. Terre Haute IN.
    OK, I'll give you the best answer I can. I have 7 chickens 1 roster & 6 hens all around 1-1.5 years old. They eat about 2.5 lbs.(a Folgers coffee can full) of layer pellets a day. That's when they stay in the run all day.
  3. Cruiser

    Cruiser Songster

    Jul 6, 2008
    W. Terre Haute IN.
    I should have mentioned they are all standard breeds no bantams.
  4. I have 15 hens and in the month of January they ate 150lbs of feed. They are now down to about 100lbs a month. I sell my eggs for 2/dz and figuring feed costs and carton costs, I make roughly 25-30 dollars a month profit.
  5. vortec

    vortec Songster

    Jan 29, 2009
    Martin County, NC
    31 standard breed chicks, roughly 50-50 hens and roos, and they will eat the 10 lb hanging feeder dry and be hungry for more each day. So 70 lbs a week and the oldest are 8 weeks.

    So to answer the initial question: A lot!

  6. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    Nov 18, 2007
    My Coop
    [​IMG] Here is a great reference book, Gail Damerow's 'Storey's Guide to Chickens' is an excellent guide, as well as this web site an excellent source of information.

    Also here are some other good sites and info and more good links.
    Henderson's Chicken Breed Chart
    There are the other expenses besides feed. I have over $2000. in the coops including feeders and waterers. Also I put up electric wire around the coops. runs and their yard, another $200. And $300. in the fencing with posts. I started with chicks. The chicks, brooder, chick feed, feeders, waterers, a wireless digital thermometer to keep track of the brooder temp and the brooder lamp and light. Also the electricity to run the fence wire and coops and brooder lights.
    Good luck with your project and please keep us updated on your progress. This is very interesting. One of the BYC Members is offering a Excel spreadsheet for keeping track of expenses. I'll look for the post.
  7. Hangin Wit My Peeps

    Hangin Wit My Peeps AutumnBreezeChickens.com

    Apr 20, 2008
    Birnamwood, Wisconsin
    12 full grown laying hens will eat 50 #'s of food in two weeks. Here our layena food is 14.00 per 50 #'s
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2009

  8. Judy

    Judy Crowing Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    My 4 hens are free range and eat almost no commercial feed, maybe 1 lb. a week. They find their own.

    It is very difficult to make money raising chickens on the small scale that most BYC readers use. There are, however, some people on here who survive on raising chickens as a business.

    You need to do some searches in the "Feeding and watering your flock" section. Many here do keep records, though many others do not. You will find some actual facts and figures there.

    Be aware that there are basically 3 different kinds of chickens, in terms of the economics. There are meaties, or Cornish Cross (Cornish X,) there are standard breeds (which includes "heavy" breeds,) and there are bantams, or smaller chickens. There will be 3 different experiences with each of the 3 groups. Since you were asked to design a coop, I assume the assignment has to do with a small backyard flock. In a backyard setting, none of the 3 is ordinarily profitable. The expense is probably most often varied by things like selling eggs, selling hatching eggs, selling chicks, and selling dressed birds. These are often complicated by local laws.

    Just trying to give you a little background from which to launch your research. Good luck.
  9. black_jade18

    black_jade18 Hatching

    Mar 30, 2009
    I would like to thank all of you for your answers. They have been very helpfull actually. I will most likely have more questions soon.

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