How much FF do you feed per bird, per feeding (laying Hen)

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by tigger19687, Jul 25, 2017.

  1. I don't measure, too many birds, I just dump a bucket in

    50.0%
  2. 5-8 oz per bird- 1 time a day

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  3. 5-8 oz per bird 2 times a day

    16.7%
  4. 8-10 oz per bird- 1 time a day

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  5. 8-10 oz per bird- 2 time a day

    0 vote(s)
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  6. 10-12 oz per bird- 1 time a day

    0 vote(s)
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  7. 10-12 oz per bird- 2 time a day

    0 vote(s)
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  8. around 1 pound per bird a day all at once

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  9. around 1 pound per bird split between 2-3 feedings

    0 vote(s)
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  10. Some FF and then dry left out so not exact amount measured

    33.3%
  1. tigger19687

    tigger19687 Songster

    Thought this might help us noobies in the FF feeding.

    I am trying to figure out how much per day for a Laying Hen.
    Since mine are not laying yet I am not sure how much they eat exactly. Just started today to actually measure and keep track of my 4- 14 wk old pullets who also Free range during the day. Pullets eat more then Hens I have been told but not sure how much more.

    I am not figuring in free range food in this poll as I think most on here do not have access to free range on an acre + of land. I only have small yard in back where they are out all day and on nice days I take them out front a few times, maybe 1-2 hours total.

    Thank you for playing
     
  2. andreanar

    andreanar Crowing

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    I don't measure. My pullets have access to their regular feed, and I go out in the morning to let them out of the coop and put down about 3 cups of FF for 10 girls. I pick it up after about 5 hours and its gone and they are off to forage.
     
  3. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Crossing the Road

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    Eventually, you will have it figured out how much they will eat in a day. But, their needs may change a bit from day to day if they find extra goodies in their foraging. I fill their troughs in the morning, and later in the afternoon, I may give them more if they seem to need it.
     
    blackdog043 and ChickNanny13 like this.
  4. Ebarnes-21

    Ebarnes-21 Songster

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    Hm ok so I only just started using FF, and because of lack of bulk in my bucket I still haven't given them a feed of 100% FF. Looking forward to that this evening though.

    However, what I normally do with dry feed is I feed them twice a day, to appetite, I don't know exactly how much it is and it varies a little.

    I simply splash out "About so much", maybe 4 cups to 6 birds initially? check the pen/eggs etc, come back and continue to give out handfuls until they're looking like they will finish everything already there but no more. They'll be eating slower, wandering off to drink, and so on. There will still be quite a bit of grain at that stage, but they will finish it over the next 10 minutes or so after I leave. I have a good gauge for their feeding body language, and can tell how much they will finish when they are only halfway through. If I feed out even a handful or two (between 6 birds) more when they look like that, they will leave it and it will be eaten by sparrows. Because they are allowed to free range during the day, the evening feed normally takes 1/2-2/3 the amount of the morning one.

    I will continue to do this with the fermented feed, it will be interesting to see how the quantity goes long term.
     
  5. JaeG

    JaeG Crossing the Road

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    I have 35 quail, 10 bantams, 4 light breed and 2 large breed birds who are confined to their big runs. I go through about 3 litres of fermented feed, which according to the conversion table is 0.79 U.S. gallons. It's winter here so I'm picking that will go up once everyone is laying (I have 5 laying at present). I can measure out how much dry feed I add to the mix if that will help.
     
    Ebarnes-21 likes this.
  6. Ebarnes-21

    Ebarnes-21 Songster

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    Ha, another Kiwi!:frow Enjoying the frost this morning??:D (or not ...:caf?)

    Running a quick mental conversion to how many birds that would be in terms of my size chicken, it sounds like pretty good efficiency. That is about the same amount of FF as I would feed dry. Considering expansion, depending on what sort of feed it is to start with, you're using around a third less maybe?

    My whole grain only expands about 40%, most people using pellets find it expands 100%, from experience (a great sounding term for leaving it out in the rain!:cool:) semi-cracked grains like Chook Chow (US translation: a type of cracked sweet feed) are somewhere in between.

    Yeah it would be interesting to know how much dry feed goes into that.
     
  7. ChickNanny13

    ChickNanny13 Crossing the Road

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    I do the same as lazy gardener, scoop out (3 - 4 heaping wooden spoonfulls) into their tray in the morning, refill (3 scoops) at lunch if their tray is empty & they get some romaine lettuce leaves (got only 4/17wk old pullets) since they can't free range. I recheck their tray around 3pm to see if they need more, usually not. When I close them up at night, I sprinkle 1/8 cup dry FR, MW or BOSS on the ground for them to scratch at. Now that the weather is "warmer", notice they're not eating as much so I cut back on the FF.
     
  8. JaeG

    JaeG Crossing the Road

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    Yes, it certainly was COLD! And my Bourkes parakeet decided to nest and hatch two chicks yesterday. They have survived the night - fingers crossed for tonight which is supposed to be almost as chilly. And yes, it's always nice to see a fellow Kiwi on here!

    I use Fiskins Layers Mash which is kibbled grains. It has a little molasses in it but no where near as much as Chook Chow. You wouldn't know it was in there unless you read the bag. My girls ignore pellets. They've always loved their wet mash though so it was easy to start up with FF again (I'd got lazy and out of the habit, but it is worth it). My Mum gave me some different food to try them on that her girls had loved. Mine looked at it and I could see them wondering where their FF was!

    I measured out today the weight of what I added to my mix. It came to 1.125kg which is 2.5 pounds. I do add some Blood and Bone because of the quail (and I can't be bothered doing two separate lots).

    I often give them a bit of the dry layers mash to pick through in the late afternoon once they've got through their FF. And I sprout wheat for them when I have the time or give them veges and weeds from the garden.
     
  9. Ebarnes-21

    Ebarnes-21 Songster

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    Ouch poor little sods ... not a great day to be born! Any way you can get a heat lamp or even a hottie near them??

    About 5 years ago there was that "Once in 80 Years" cold snap? My goat decided to give birth a week early that morning ... both kids survived, but that was nasty ... they appeared to be dead when I found them, they were stiffening already ... it became clear they weren't quite gone when I rubbed them and they started fitting ... never before have seizures been a good sign! ... nothing quite like tucking two wet half frozen kids inside ones shirt to take them home on a morning like that.

    Well my goose decided to sit on her eggs tonight ... I think she figures its either sit on them now or freeze them ... sensible choice I'd say.

    Mine have always loved wet mash. They hate pellets really. I don't blame them ... they can't chew, how much can they really Taste of that pelleted stuff? How would you like a breakfast of capsules and tablets!!

    In saying that I've been feeding whole grains for a few months now supplemented with homegrown veges and meat scraps. All because I went and read the bags of chicken feed (never a good move if you like keeping your head under the sand) and even the 'nicer' ones have the same ingredients list. Literally word for word ... and it doesn't say "Wheat" or "Corn" anymore ... no gosh no its "Grains and grain by products" ... no disclosure on that label at all ... Did a little digging and it turns out most of the companies are importing bulk ready mixed "layer chicken" ration all at once and pelletising or kibbling it themselves.

    Thus the ingredients are basically copied and pasted from brand to brand ... and those 'grains' are all grown overseas ... which considering it is mostly corn and soy my thoughts go to RoundUp Ready ... actually it's not the GE that bothers me so much as the roundup itself. I get Gusto wheat and corn from Wrightsons now, which is at least NZ grown, so although not organic by a long stretch, it can't be GE so the amount of glyphosate must be less. It's probably still sprayed with roundup prior to harvest ... yum ... but you can't win it all at once.

    Of course the protein is inadequate, but I run my own sheep etc so I have plenty of scraps and offal to mince and cook up for them, I grow them giant radish, mangle beets and turnips too and that is my "Scratch" or in this case Peck, after feeding them all the real stuff. Half my freezer and cellar is full of chook food Lol.

    Now I'm beginning to ferment my whole grains too, the feed should be really good for them! They do appreciate having a bit more flavour. Its only half fermented yet, as it is whole grain it is taking a while to ferment, but in the meantime I'm feeding semi-fermented soaked grains and they love it. They are eating less already ... they didn't really want much of their dinner tonight. I think they overate in the morning!!

    Bonus if they eat less ... cheaper, and logically, if they eat less physical feed but get at least the same nutrition out of it, any chemical residue going into my birds is less, proportionally speaking. Win/win.
     
    JaeG likes this.
  10. Ebarnes-21

    Ebarnes-21 Songster

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    Wow Ok so my chickens now eat about 30% of what they did as whole grain, dry.

    I work that out by, whole grains are expanding to about 150% of original volume, and of the expanded bulk, they are eating half what they used to in dry feed.

    Moreover they aren't hungry even when I first feed them ...

    So: where I was feeding about 8 ounces dry per bird twice daily, now it's 3.5 WET ...
     

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