How much do they REALLY eat? 8 weeks old

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by slg, Oct 26, 2009.

  1. slg

    slg Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 15, 2009
    SF Bay Area
    Just brought them home on Saturday -- a RIR, NHR and an Australorp. All really sweet and getting used to their new home. They had previously been free ranged most of the day. We are in an urban area -- so they have a small coop and run. They are going to free range about an hour a day -- and longer on the weekends.

    Feeding them a mix of chick crumbles and 16% layer crumbles -- but primarily layer crumbles. Also giving them access to about half a cup of scratch a day. Plan is to give them access to some greens in the run (last few days -- lettuce, chard, zuccini and a bit of spicy arugula) They go nuts for the greens but aren't eating that much of the feed. They got a big dinner size plate piled high with chard this morning and it was all gone pretty quickly. So how much should they really be eating? Can we give them too many greens or will they just eat until they are full and leave the rest...

    Thanks for your help! Your wealth of knowledge is incredible!
     
  2. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Well, someone with more knowledge will come along and correct me if I mispeak I hope...lol.
    From what I've read, they'll eat like kids. If you offer kids candy, cookies and chips all day, that's what most will fill up on. So IMO, I'd offer less of the yummy things they are filling up on so that they'll eat more of the formulated feed, especially now that they won't really be free ranging, so that they'll get a balance of nutrients.

    Congrats on your new pullets!! [​IMG] Chickens are so fun and relaxing!
     
  3. digitS'

    digitS' Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 12, 2007
    ID/WA border
    They won't need all the extra calcium in the layer feed until they start producing eggshells, slg. There's all this extra food you have for them to dilute it but "layer" is really for "layers."

    They are probably willing to eat so many greens because green food was such a big part of their diets when they were free-ranging. I really don't think that it should harm them but it may be that they are eating very little of their commercial feed because it is something new.

    The DO eat like kids - growing kids! Best to not give them too many treats and they are going to really "pack it away" for the next few months. It's best if it's nearly all good food. An 8 week old pullet is only about one-third the size of an adult but she will easily eat one-half of what an adult will. They've got lots of energy and lots of growing to do.

    Steve
     

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