How much food per hen per day?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by montverdechick, Sep 24, 2010.

  1. montverdechick

    montverdechick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Does anyone know how much a hen should eat in layer pellets per day? I think my DSS has been feeding too much and we want to try to make sure we aren't over feeding...or feeding the rodents. My girls are 3.5 years old...standard breeds.

    Thanks so much!!
     
  2. Well, it really depends on the bird. Do you free range?
    I personally let mine have free choice but that doesn't work for everyone...
     
  3. boogiedog

    boogiedog Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I free-feed, and leave food and water accessible 24/7. They seem to be very good about self-regulation. HOWEVER, I am sparing on the scratch - as that has little nutritional value (chicken candy!). I also toss out some BOSS every day for added protein. IMO if they are eating everything you are putting out, you may not be feeding them enough. If other critters are getting the food, you may want to put it up at night and just make sure they have food access in the coop.
     
  4. montverdechick

    montverdechick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for your responses.

    We are able to free range only when we are home (don't have my dogs anymore...but live close to hawks and bald eagles). We feed layer pellets and a bit of scratch. I live in FL and it rains a lot here. We loose a lot of feed to being watered down.
     
  5. OregonChickenGal

    OregonChickenGal Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Same here, free choice.
     
  6. Quote:You could put it under something...
     
  7. boogiedog

    boogiedog Chillin' With My Peeps

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    For the rain in the food issue - been there- I took an alumimun pie tin and put it over the top of the feeder (poked the little wire through). You may want to weight or tie it on, as the wind can blow it off. It worked well and helped me save at least the food still in the storage area of the feeder (and would dig out the already dispensed stuff).
     
  8. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    I figured out how much to feed by watching how much they ate in about 30 min. I don't want food out all the time here, also too much waste the way I'm set up now. I took a coffee can and gave them a full can, everyone ate their fill and wandered off with a fair amount of feed left. So, then I did about two thirds of a can. My current amount is between those. I want to give enough those lower on the pecking order still have some to eat after the bosses have eated their fill, but not so much they're still feed covering the bottom of the feeder. Does this make sense? I think I go through a fifty pound bag of feed a week, little less, and I have 16 layers, 3 roos and 3 "growers" that free range.
     
  9. montverdechick

    montverdechick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks all for your feed back! Very helpful!
     
  10. BigPeep

    BigPeep Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The feed bags say that you should allow 1/4 pound per bird per day. As I use certified organic feed, I am very concerned about the cost. I find that I am feeding about a third of a pound a day due to wastage. They don't want to eat the small crumbles, which is half of the bag. I have tried to address this problem by delaying the AM feeding until about 9 AM so they only have the crumbles that they left from the day before and are hungry. This seems to work as they finish off the previous day's leavings by the time I put new stuff down.

    If you want to crunch the numbers, I am buying my organic feed by the pallet at wholesale so it is costing me $15 per 50 lbs. (To get wholesale you have to have tax ID number). A pound of feed therefore costs about 30 cents. If I am going through around 2 pounds per bird per week, and am getting 4 eggs per week per bird, it is costing me 60 cents per four eggs or $2.40 per doz. I am charging $4 per doz to my CSA for the organic free range so I am making over 50% profit per doz which is about right. If you are out there selling your eggs for $1.50 you may be losing money.
     

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