How much do your chickens eat?

b2c2chicks

Songster
Apr 17, 2018
71
96
111
Virginia/Tennessee
...and do you ration their feed each day? Apparently mine eat too much. Twenty standards size birds (6 months old so still growing somewhat) can clear 20lbs of feed in 2 days. I fill 2 10lb feeders up every 2 days. Everywhere I have read says .25lbs per bird per day is the recommended amount...but they act like they’re starving to death if they have to wait more than half a day to have the feeders filled. I want to set up a stationary feeder that will hold more...but what’s going to keep them from going through 100lbs in a week!?

I also have 20 more older chickens in another coop that do this too...they’re not quite as bad...they can go maybe 3 days on 20lbs.
 

Melky

Spring has sprung!
Premium Feather Member
Jul 23, 2018
4,154
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Edgewood, KY
I only put out 1/4 lb. feed per bird per day. Mine also get a handful of greens every day or every couple days from the garden. Every couple days they get a cup of mealworms. Poultry grit and oyster shell on the side. Mine are eager to see me, still are growing. I wouldn’t feed more than they need because they can get fat or fatty liver disease. I have yet to find chickens that turn away from food. Mine free range also in the yard weather permitting in the evening and weekends. They will not starve. Water I leave out hanging in run all day. Once grain feeders empty they come in till next day.
 

Moezass

In the Brooder
Oct 30, 2018
6
14
21
I have 6 leghorns and 1 silky. They eat about 50 lbs of food every 2 weeks and they are as fat as can be. The don't really perch and when I let them out of their run to play in the yard, they sit and forage with their beaks. Not sure if I should put them on a diet or what. They eat fresh fruits, vege's, grains, etc.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
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My Coop
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PirateGirl

Chicken Lover, Duck Therapist
Mar 11, 2017
7,203
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South Park, Colorado, USA
So they are going through roughly double the estimated amount... I also suspect a rodent or wild birds may be contributing to this, which is challenging. When I Had issues I would put out hlf their food in the morning and half in the afternoon. If I just put it all out at once the chickens would eat, then the wild birds/rodents would eat the rest and then when the chickens went back for more it would be gone. With multiple feedings a day the chickens eat a lot at once and gen food doesn't sit for wildlife inbetween feedings. Good luck!
 

b2c2chicks

Songster
Apr 17, 2018
71
96
111
Virginia/Tennessee
Any idea how much might be getting billed out and/or spilled?
Any chance of rodents helping with consumption?

I went thru a lot less feed once I started using this feeder:
(scroll all the way down for latest iteration)
https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/aarts-almost-waste-free-funnel-bucket-feeder.67218/


I’ll check that out. Maybe I should hang the ones they’ve got one? The one that stays in the coop seems to last longer, but the one outside goes quickly...maybe 10lbs within the day. I assumed it was because they always hang out outside but come to think of it rodents make sense. I’ve seen holes in the ground near the rocks below the coop. Rats couldn’t get through the wire, and the holes look more like mouse sized....but I would think it would take a ton of mice to move that much feed!?

And I know the other coop has monstrous rats under it, so I guess that’s why they seem to have upped their consumption in the other coop in the last couple of months. I thought it was hot and they just weren’t eating as much back in the summer...I think that’s when my husband packed the holes full of poison, so it’s probably time to refill!

Guys...I think we’ve solved a mystery
 

oldhenlikesdogs

Suffering Succotash
BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Jul 16, 2015
44,882
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Rats will consume lots of feed. My feed use will double when we start getting rats. Definitely take care of them ASAP.
 

b2c2chicks

Songster
Apr 17, 2018
71
96
111
Virginia/Tennessee
It has to be rats in the other coop. I forgot about eggs disappearing and finding half eaten eggs (I blamed it on a rogue chicken)...and the hens won’t even lay in the nest boxes now! They go lay eggs in the opposite corner. Are chickens scared of rats?
 

MANNA-PRO

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