How much feed should I give my flock?

youngbaedong

In the Brooder
6 Years
Apr 14, 2013
33
0
22
Texas
I own nine hens, three roos, and three pekin ducks. I've noticed in the last two days they haven't been eating all of their feed.

I give them six scoops of layer feed and one scoop of oyster shells. Am I over feeding them?

Also I don't know if they like oyster shells because I find some on the floor of their coop
 

sarahr0612

In the Brooder
6 Years
Aug 7, 2013
97
1
39
Texas
Like you I also have several ducks and lots of chickens. I " free feed" mine. I always keep oyster shell available because they will eat it when they need it. I feed them Layer crumbles once a day, I just fill up a small feed bowl , I probably refill it every other day and I throw out scratch once or twice a day and often sit in their pen and let them hvae some cracked corn from a container. I also free range my chickens. They eat as they please so I really don't feel like i'm ever over feeding them.
 

youngbaedong

In the Brooder
6 Years
Apr 14, 2013
33
0
22
Texas
Oh okay! So I'm not over feeding them or anything? They worry me because they don't finish their feed. I was scared that I might of been over feeding them.

I'm new to owning chickens and ducks as pets
 
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RonC

Songster
7 Years
Feb 28, 2012
1,510
131
196
D/FW
I fill mine feeder once a week and they eat as they wish. I used to let them free range which cuts down on the feed but have a new dog I don't trust with them just yet. Left the gate open by accident the other night and the dog had them herded together the next morning. She helped get them back into the run so maybe this will be ok. She an Austrailian cattle dog so I guess the chickens might have to do for her.
 

youngbaedong

In the Brooder
6 Years
Apr 14, 2013
33
0
22
Texas
Mine don't free range anymore since I recently got two new puppies as well. A female Labmaraner and a male Great Pyrenees. I trained the female but as soon as my male arrived they started to chase the ducks. They still need some work in progress in their training.

I'm just glad I'm not over feeding them because I read a couple months back that they could pass when taking too much calcium.
 

donrae

Hopelessly Addicted
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Jun 18, 2010
31,453
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Southern Oregon
Okay, how big is a "scoop"?

You can't really overfeed a bird, they eat what they need. Lots of us free feed, and for me that means filling a feeder that lasts a few days.

it does seem you're feeding a lot of oyster shell. They really don't need that much, not quite an eggshell's worth each day. I'd just be concerned about the expense.
 

youngbaedong

In the Brooder
6 Years
Apr 14, 2013
33
0
22
Texas
Okay, how big is a "scoop"?

You can't really overfeed a bird, they eat what they need. Lots of us free feed, and for me that means filling a feeder that lasts a few days.

it does seem you're feeding a lot of oyster shell. They really don't need that much, not quite an eggshell's worth each day. I'd just be concerned about the expense.


This is what I use as a scoop:
400
 

donrae

Hopelessly Addicted
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Jun 18, 2010
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Okay, that's way more oyster shell than they need. I have probably 20 layers and just toss a handful in the run every few days, but I also feed eggshells back to them. More feed than they need in a day, also.

A laying hen needs 1/4-1/3 cup of feed a day. I don't know for sure, but I'd imagine roosters and the ducks are around the same. 15 birds, say 1/3 cup each, should be around 5 cups of feed a day. Measure your scoop and see how much it is.

I'm not saying 5 cups is absolute, it's a starting point. If you want to feed daily, go by how much they leave and scale down a little the next day accordingly. Once a week or so I leave the feeder empty so they clean up all the feed they spill under it.
 
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sarahr0612

In the Brooder
6 Years
Aug 7, 2013
97
1
39
Texas
Chickens are great because they just eat when they need to, I wouldn't worry if they leave some and not eat all of it. Oyster shell is one of those thing they are only going to eat if they need it.
 

youngbaedong

In the Brooder
6 Years
Apr 14, 2013
33
0
22
Texas
Okay, that's way more oyster shell than they need. I have probably 20 layers and just toss a handful in the run every few days, but I also feed eggshells back to them.  More feed than they need in a day, also.

A laying hen needs 1/4-1/3 cup of feed a day. I don't know for sure, but I'd imagine roosters and the ducks are around the same. 15 birds, say 1/3 cup each, should be around 5 cups of feed a day. Measure your scoop and see how much it is.

I'm not saying 5 cups is absolute, it's a starting point. If you want to feed daily, go by how much they leave and scale down a little the next day accordingly. Once a week or so I leave the feeder empty so they clean up all the feed they spill under it.


Okay! Thank you so much! I'll give them 5 cups of feed starting tomorrow to see how it goes :)
 

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