How much Feed each day?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Homestead Family, Jun 19, 2011.

  1. Homestead Family

    Homestead Family Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 17, 2011
    Pleasant Hill, MO
    Would love some feedback on how much feed to give laying hens each day. I have read a variety of info with a variety of different answers, but would like to hear from people who are actually keeping hens. So, how much do you feed your hens each day? Also, do you supplement with anything (scratch, corn, table scraps, etc.) and/or put anything in the water (vitamins, etc.) Also, does this vary throughout the year (i.e. do you feed less in summer since your hens will most likely eat plenty of grass, bugs, etc.)

    Your feedback would be valuable. Thanks!
     
  2. cindylo

    cindylo Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 2, 2011
    Idaho Falls, ID
    I am new to chicken raising, but now that it is summertime the girls are enjoying some free range goodies. Bur they still need the protein, calcium, and other nutrients the feed provides. I offer scratch in small quantities, as I want them to eat their feed. I guess the feed amounts to 2/3 cup a day per bird with some waste of course. The squirrels get some now and then.... Good luck to you.
     
  3. cindylo

    cindylo Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 2, 2011
    Idaho Falls, ID
    Oh, and don't forget to offer grit, no matter what![​IMG]
     
  4. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    You said you'd like to hear from real hen keepers. Hmmmmm... I'd think that would be most folks here, but after 50 years of doing this, I guess I don't over think this.

    I do not provide grit. If all you feed is commercial feed, no grit is needed. Additionally, if your hens have access to sand, pebbles, gravel and grit in the area they are allowed to roam, they get all they need. Chickens have been domesticated for 3000 years and providing oyster shell and purchased grit is a relatively recent concept. Nothing wrong with providing it, if your hens have no access to anything else.

    As to providing some scratch grains, it's fine, but at the current pricing, I've about stopped buying it. It's cost is approaching pellet feed, so I see little point. It is often just a few whole or cracked grains and not a balanced feed anyhow. If you want consistent egg production, a quality feed diet is essential.

    Chickens absolutely eat more in the winter for warmth calories. I find an average large body hen (5lbs) eats about 6 ounces of pellets (crumbles) per day. Some eat a bit more, some a bit less. Free ranging in a rich environment will reduce feed costs and consumption, but in the northern US, that environment only exists for a few months a year.

    I feed them twice a day, if I am able. Once in the early morning and again in the late afternoon. That management seems to work best and produce the best egg results.
    When I am gone, I provide free access feeding.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2011

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