How much do you feed & how often?


9 Years
Mar 25, 2010
Eatonville, Washington
Hey all, I am wanting to try a new feeding schedule. I have about 80x60 area fenced for around 60 birds right now and I feed buckets full of feed 2xs a day. Anytime I give them food they eat it. never left overs. I feed the geese,turkeys,ducks and chickens all in the same area. There is grass and bugs for them to eat but I am wondering if I am over feeding. Not one bird is skinny. What do you feed and how often ?? Here is the area kinda behind my building and it includes the wood 12x12 shed in there space ontop of the 80x60 area.
most people on here provide feed 24/7. They eat what they need, they don't overeat and get fat.
Free choice.

Of course, that means I'm also feeding a whole slew of field mice who have moved into the neighborhood and invited their cousins, I guess. One mouse shelters in the playhouse coop I have for four pullets, but where there is no food stored. I cannot believe how small a space mice can use for egress and exit! This little fella dashes into a hole in the wall smaller than a dime, and I see it silhouetted between the inner and outer plastic walls. I'm going to have to put more of that expand-o-foam stuff in there, but preferably when the mouse is not in residence.

Sparrows and chickadees sometimes come through small gaps in the higher poultry fencing, but a couple of the hens do NOT like that and will chase them out any time they see 'em.

My cats really enjoy the extra hunting opportunities! They prowl the chicken run looking for Meals On Wheels (mice) and AirFlight Cuisine.
This is the deal. I will get rats and mice if I leave the food out and was trying to waste and feed the rodents but it sounds like maybe I can just cut down a bit. Thanks all!
Chickens evolved to be constantly searching for food. It makes up most of their day if you watch a free ranging flock. They are designed for meals and the only losses we've had in the winter was when they were fed a controlled amount. You'll also usually get better egg production leaving food out all day rather than just trying to feed exactly what they will eat. Feeders could be picked up in the evening but I think it's easier to just set rodent traps. Right now my war on rats consists of poison and a repeating rat trap. I prefer not to use poison but due to poor building design and some rats not finding the trap inviting I had to resort to it. Which is another good point about how to keep rodents down. Make your building as air tight as possible. If it's dirt floor cover it in chicken wire at least around the edges either inside or out. It will help prevent predators too. If it's wood make sure it's sturdy wood and again you may want to wrap chicken wire if the wood goes down in to the ground because the rats may chew holes there. Also make sure any insulated or double plywood walls do not have entry points between the 2 layers. We had a horrible mouse problem in the feed room at our old barn because my grandpa decided to cheaply insulate the thing without sealing off the edges. We never had much problem with mice before that despite having 2 bins that each held a truck load of feed with many access points but as soon as they had somewhere to hide in the building they took over. If you want to get really extreme I know a few people on here have designed feeders with closing lids to keep pest birds out. Usually the chickens have to step on a bar or something to open it. I've also seen a couple feeders where the chickens have to stick their heads through a hole in the wall to an exterior feeder usually made of pvc and sealed off so the only access point for mice requires climbing the wall and going in a tiny hole. It would be easy to put a little door over that which you could close at night. During the day chickens will eat any mice and sometimes rats they see so you mainly just need to protect feed at night.

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