How much feed should you expect free range chickens should eat

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by bambi, Jun 29, 2010.

  1. bambi

    bambi Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 7, 2010
    Mo.
    Hello to all,

    I have 1 acre area fenced off and this is where my 16 week old hens and roo free range. My question is how much feed should I expect them to eat. I have been feeding them grower crumble
    but they don't seem to eat very much of it. I have placed it in 2 different spots so they will stumble across it during thier ranging. I am throwing away alot of it on a daily basis and also I am concern if they are getting enogh nutrients .I want eggs [​IMG] thanks for your advice
     
  2. SpringChickens

    SpringChickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 1, 2009
    College Station, Tx
    I leave my feed out for mine free-choice. They sometimes eat a lot and sometimes only a little, it really depends on their mood. I don't worry about their nutrients because they know where the food is when they're hungry and bugs/plants are probably healthier than whatever the feed company decided to put in their feed.
     
  3. bambi

    bambi Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 7, 2010
    Mo.
    how often do you change out thier feed? I hate throwing so much feed away and I am doing this daily. Do you think it is ok to go 2 days before throwing feed away if it is dry and looks good?
     
  4. SpringChickens

    SpringChickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 1, 2009
    College Station, Tx
    Yeah, I would definitely let it go two days or more. It's not any more likely to go bad outside than it is inside your house (unless it rains of course). You can also give them less if they're not eating it all.
     
  5. they'reHISchickens

    they'reHISchickens Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 31, 2008
    Reading
    So long as the food is dry, it's good. Mine have even relished it eaten moist when it's rained on and I didn't get out immediately to retrieve it. i wouldn't feed wet that has set for any length of time, tho.
     
  6. ella

    ella Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oh wow, yeah. I only throw food away if it gets wet and it's hot out because it will mold. Otherwise it's good for at least several days. If they're not eating that much you could try putting out less.

    Unless there is something wrong with your feed they will eat what they need. And it would have to be significantly wierd for them not to eat it.
     
  7. Beekissed

    Beekissed True BYC Addict

    I feed once a day, in the evening before they roost. This way I know that the ones that didn't get enough while foraging will go to bed with a full stomach. Any feed left over from this is usually consumed the next morning but I try to pare it down to suit their needs and so that not much is left. I don't like leaving feed sitting around to attract rodents and then snakes.

    Your birds food needs will change with the seasons, with the available forage, with their individual needs, so you will have to get used to their patterns and adjust your feeding accordingly.

    I wouldn't throw away feed....much too expensive! If they are not eating it, put out less.
     
  8. bambi

    bambi Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 7, 2010
    Mo.
    Thanks for the advice:D
     
  9. macmama

    macmama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 9, 2010
    Gilbert AZ
    Mine have only my 50'X50' backyard to forage in, yet they barely touch their layer (or chick starter) My 5 grown hens take 3+ months to go through a 50-lb bag of pellets. They prefer grass and bugs-- and the hens are laying great in 110 weather, so they must know what they're doing! It does seem like my chicks are growing a little slower than others I've seen, and I assume that's because they are eating mostly "found" food and not much grower, but they seem happy and healthy, so I'll let them be. [​IMG]

    Oh, and I leave the food out in their coop free-choice, and I definitely would never throw it away! I fill up the 2-gallon feeder, and it lasts for weeks, though it's sheltered from ever getting wet.
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2010

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