How much fermented feed?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Moonprysm, Nov 21, 2014.

  1. Moonprysm

    Moonprysm Out Of The Brooder

    13
    0
    22
    Nov 9, 2014
    We've always done free access to dry feed for the chickens, but we've now switched to using fermented feed. I feed them in the morning when I let them out, but I'm not sure how much I should be feeding them. They're free range all day, but they're also lazy and will stay in the coop all day if I put feed in there. I currently have 3 pullets who aren't laying yet (but should be anytime now) and a rooster. How much fermented feed should they get? I'm trying to make sure they don't starve, but I also don't want them filling up on feed when they need to be ranging.
     
  2. JNB

    JNB Chillin' With My Peeps

    327
    18
    106
    Sep 1, 2011
    Graham, WA.
    Kind of a rule of thumb is feeding them what they will clean up in a 15 minutes time frame.
    Sometimes when you first start FF the birds will eat less because its new Then eat like they are starving for a few days because their body/ gut basically craves the good stuff.

    If it were me for 4 birds id start with about a quart of FF. Watch how long it takes them to clean it up an go from there.
    Personally I feed my free range birds in evening before I lock them in the coop. My hens eat about cup or so a day.
     
  3. islandgirl82

    islandgirl82 Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,426
    299
    198
    Jul 4, 2014
    Maine
    I have a flock of 7 and I feed out about 3-4 cups (approximately 1/2 cup per chicken) each morning as I open the coop for them to be out ranging. For the most part, they clean it up before they leave the coop but whatever may be left is certainly gone before they go to roost.
     
  4. Moonprysm

    Moonprysm Out Of The Brooder

    13
    0
    22
    Nov 9, 2014
    Mine eat like they're starving, so I think I need to give them more. But I really feel like they'll just eat and eat and then go lay in the coop for the rest of the day if I give them as much as they'll eat. Maybe I'll increase it a little bit. They'd rather chase me around the yard hoping I'll give them more than chase after bugs. :/
     
  5. islandgirl82

    islandgirl82 Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,426
    299
    198
    Jul 4, 2014
    Maine
    They'll eat as long as you keep giving it to them but they don't necessarily need more; similar to a dog...they just LOVE it. Mine actually tried flying in through a window today when they saw me in the house and I end up tripping over them as soon as I step outside... every time. They spend all day foraging but with the winter rolling in here, there's obviously not nearly as much to feast upon as there is during the warm months. On inclement days when they won't come out of the coop at all, I do tend to give them a second, smaller helping in the afternoon.
     
  6. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

    10,215
    3,272
    461
    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    The most important feeding is late in the day so their crops are full as they go to roost.

    If you're concerned with them being fed so much they won't free-range, then feed them first thing in the morning enough that they clean it up. Then turn them out to free range, and offer the final feeding an hour or two before roosting. That way, you know they aren't starving.

    I feed my flock of eighteen in this fashion, and they seem to be getting just the right amount, and I don't have to worry that they might be coming up short. Any FF that's left in the troughs at roosting time, I scrape back into the FF bucket and stir it in. No waste.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by