How much do you feed??? And what kinds-Layer, grower, scratch?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Double T, Apr 9, 2011.

  1. Double T

    Double T Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 11, 2011
    W Texas
    Grown chickens?? My small flock is penned up in their coop (it's got an outside run with it) becuase we are not currently living at the place, will be there full time hopefully in a month though. I've been going over and checking on everything 2 times a day, and they are eating 1 full small coffee can of the layena two times a day and cleaning it up in about 30 minutes! I've got 7 small hens and a arunacana(sp) cross rooster. Am I feeding enough? Too little? Too much?? They still act hungry. I also got some scratch to mix in with it yesterday, what would be a good mix ratio on the two?? Oh and how much Oyster shell would you give them a day? Do you mix it with the other feed or put it in another container?

    I also got 4, 8 week old red star hens yesterday, how much should they be getting of the start and grow feed? And at what age can I switch them to the layena? Or is there another type that they need between the two? All feeds are purina brand feeds as that is all I can get out here.

    I will say I'm having a ball with my chickens, lol you drive you to the coop and you see all these little heads staring at you, and you walk in the coop and they follow you around like little dogs, the Rooster, CJ is too funny, he can't eat if he thinks your watching him, and he'll follow you around till you face him, then he squawks and flaps his wings and leaves, lol. He also can't just crow once, he has to do 5 crows and then he's quiet for a while, thought that was funny.
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2011
  2. greenfamilyfarms

    greenfamilyfarms Big Pippin'

    Feb 27, 2008
    Elizabethtown, NC
    That doesn't sound like enough food, unless they are allowed to free range every day to get the rest of what they need.

    We have 10 adult chickens, 3 Amerauancas and 7 Buff Orps. We use a 3 pound scoop to mix their food. They get 3 scoops laying crumble, 1 scoop calf manna, 1 scoop black oil sunflower seeds, and 1/2 scoop of scratch. The Ameraucanas get 2 scoops of this mixture and the Buffs get the rest. For the 10 birds, I'm feeding 11.5 pounds of food a day. Plus ours free-range every other day or every third day.
  3. hennyannie

    hennyannie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 12, 2011
    North Carolina
    I find that when I keep layena out free choice in a feeder the hens actually eat less bags per week. Then you could take over some scratch for a treat when you check them.
  4. JLT9807

    JLT9807 Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 4, 2011
    I have 5 hens and they don't go through much at all. I feed them the Layena pellets and I have to fill their (somewhat small) feeder every 2 or 3 days. They free-range every day and I give them treats at night. For treats, they normally get 1/2 container yogurt, strawberries, and some pasta. Occasionally I give them a sweet potato. Otherwise, during the day, I will throw them a mixture of cracked corn, bird seed, and oyster shell. They don't get too much of that, though - maybe 1/2 cup combined for the day.
  5. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    You can certainly give them a little scratch, now and then, but you should maintain their layer pellet diet for maximum performance.
    Do you dry, crush and feed back the egg shells? If so, in addition to the full complement of calcium in Layena, you're likely good.

    As for a coffee can, twice a day, being enough, I'd say it is marginal. I'd feed two cans in the morning and see if they've finished it by the afternoon visit. If they have, they'll need another single can in the afternoon. I think 4 cans for 7 hens is too much.

    Ration feeding is growing in popularity mainly to eliminate waste and especially for rodent control. The trick is to get it right.
    Chickens get excited to see you and they over re-act to your feeding them. They act like they've not eaten in weeks. Take that into account. Don't over react to their over dramatic behavior. I want my hens well fed, but I don't like excess in the feeders overnight. It encourages visitors of the nasty kind.
  6. Shanda

    Shanda Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 20, 2010
    Elk Grove, CA
    I have started ration feeding since I went through a 50 lb bag in one week and I had seen mice and squirrels in their coop! They ARE very dramatic when they see us. In fact, if anyone just opens the back door to let the dog out, they are all walking back and forth at the front of their fence trying to poke their heads through the fence. I think they even hear us drive up because they do the same thing right when we walk in the front door. They are probably 100 feet from the back of the house!

    I have 17 chickens, 5 are very large australorps. I had been feeding them a pitcher 3 times a day. However, many times when I go for the last feeding, I notice there is still food from the previous feeding on the ground, so I have started to go to just 2 pitchers in a day with the second pitcher at around 3:30-4:00 PM. They also get some scratch grains, alfalfa occasionally (with grit sprinkled on the ground), and fruit and veggie scraps. The benefit to the last feeding being around 4:00 PM is less poop for me to clean up in the morning! [​IMG]
  7. CoyoteMagic

    CoyoteMagic RIP ?-2014

    I feed chicks 1 bag of medicated starter when that is gone, they go on Flock Raiser. It's got more protien than the starter. You can feed it to lots of different poultry. I provide oyster shell in another feeder. If they want it they eat it.
  8. digitS'

    digitS' Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 12, 2007
    ID/WA border
    Feeding by the coffee can or by the handful or by one container or by another or by Gosh & by Golly is problematic.

    How much is a coffee can? Is a coffee can of feed and a coffee can of "original roast" - the same amount?

    My feed weighs about 1/3 pound per cup. But, I use a scale and weigh the feed. It is really quite simple. Put the feeder on the scale, dial it back to zero, and fill it with feed. How much did the chickens eat?

    My hens have their feed and then they have their treats. Some of those treats might be from the kitchen, the garden, or from foraging around the backyard.

    But, I want them to eat about 1/4 pound of their feed each day.

    They aren't Leghorns so 1/4 pound isn't enough food for them. ((Altho', it is about right for a Leghorn hen.)) But, I don't want them loading up on left-over pasta from the kitchen or zucchini squash from the garden. If they aren't eating about 1/4 pound of feed each day -- I cut back on the treats. And no, I don't weigh their feed each day - just when I fill the feeder.

  9. perolane

    perolane Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 20, 2010
    Quote:Same here! New chicks get medicated starter for 3-4 weeks, then on to Flock Raiser. Everybody gets Flock Raiser, oyster shell, & the ground granite free choice.

    I mix wild bird seed, scratch, & BOSS....throw in a couple of handfuls once a day for a treat. The scratching around keeps my bedding turned & fluffy! [​IMG]
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2011
  10. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    If you use the same coffee can, know its weighed amount, it is a fixed portion control. It is merely the device used, but if its content must be a known and fixed amount, then, as a scoop, it is just fine. Observation of and recording the consumption is key. Know what your are doing. Start with the 1/4 pound of recommended feed per day per hen and adjust accordingly. Feed losses to rodents and other critters can consume a very high percentage and does nothing to benefit your chickens and really hits the wallet hard. It is intolerable.

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