How much food???

Minky

Crowing
6 Years
Nov 4, 2017
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Ontario
I got my flock in October, and never really looked up how much to feed a chicken....
I figured it was just sort of ...feed them if they're hungry....

Anyways, I have been reading how much to feed chicks and stumbled across "How much to feed a Hen (full grown)"..and was so shocked at what I found, that I went out first thing today and weighed the amount I usually give them each day.
I have 7 hens and feed them about 1.5 lbs of food a day. Plus I usually feed a handful or two of oats OR some kitchen scrap (bits of rice, veg, meat)-- but not every day.

Apparently, according to the articles I found - I'm starving them??? I have a mixed flocked with 2 heavy breeds and 2 lighter breeds.
 
I got my flock in October, and never really looked up how much to feed a chicken....
I figured it was just sort of ...feed them if they're hungry....

Anyways, I have been reading how much to feed chicks and stumbled across "How much to feed a Hen (full grown)"..and was so shocked at what I found, that I went out first thing today and weighed the amount I usually give them each day.
I have 7 hens and feed them about 1.5 lbs of food a day. Plus I usually feed a handful or two of oats OR some kitchen scrap (bits of rice, veg, meat)-- but not every day.

Apparently, according to the articles I found - I'm starving them??? I have a mixed flocked with 2 heavy breeds and 2 lighter breeds.

I free feed mine. I fill a bowl each morning and they eat from that all day. I throw out some scratch on cold days and I provide veggies etc... in the evening. By doing that I know that they've eaten their primary nutrition all day instead of filling up on yummies in the morning and just picking at the food a bit throughout the day.
 
I always just keep a tall metal feeder (it probably fits 5 gallons of water) with my adults and they regulate themselves. You can find those feeders at any ranch supply store. My birds also are free range, so they don't eat quite as much as penned birds would. I have small plastic feeders for my chicks and they do the same thing; they moderate themselves. Chickens will eat if they're hungry, but won't overdo it usually. I've never had a problem with obesity or starving out, since chickens are smarter than other poultry. Once one bird figures it out, the others will mimic it and learn too.
 
I feed about a 1/3-1/2 pound of feed a day per bird. And my heavies "Brahmas & Orpingtons" usually get a little more. My chicks are on full feed until they are about 5 months old.
 
Chickens are ALWAYS hungry! :eek:

Ok, that's a bit of an exaggeration... :oops:

I feed free choice, always have... never had a fat hen yet. They self regulate and will stop eating once their CALORIC (not nutrient) needs are met for the day.

I feed Purina flcok raiser, 20% protein and OS on the side... it works for my larger girls, and the rest of my mixed age/gender flock.

Veggies are enrichment... but NOT nutrient dense. I avoid scratch since it's like chips. High calorie, low nutrient. Even though most feeds are mostly corn, they have the essential vitamins, minerals and amino acids ADDED in.

I highly recommend adding some good quality PROTEIN, or maybe even switching to a grower feed (18-20% protein), IF you are currently feeding layer. You should see improvement in laying, over all health, and feather condition, maybe even behavioral.. if your suspicion is correct.

You can't beat yourself up for what you didn't know! You can only switch it up when you learn something new. Good for you for continuing to research. :thumbsup
 
Interesting thread.....I free feed mine as well, they have constant access to layer crumble plus I have been trying them out on fermented food(layer crumble fermented). They seem to actually like the dry crumble a little more. And additionally I give them mealworm treats and very occasionally scratch. And mine also free range a decent amount of time(mainly because I work a bizarre schedule). I have no idea at all how much food they actually consume. I'd say I buy a 50 lb bag of feed about once a month or perhaps a little often (that's for 5 hens):idunno
 
They say about ¼ lb per day per bird and mine eat pretty much spot on that amount of layers pellets. I have a mixed flock, heavy and light breeds. I do also feed the flock limited kitchen scraps, scratch and meal worms (the flock usually gets one handful at breakfast and one handful before bedtime)
 
I feed Flock Raiser and a side of oyster shell, free choice, always available. Then the flock free ranges and finds whatever out there most days, if it's not snowing.
Then, a very small amount of scratch and kitchen scraps, not every day.
My birds can find their own worms and bugs! I'm not growing or buying meal worms; money is better spent on a quality base diet.
Mary
 
Totally did the same thing, just kinda fed the chickens morning and night then awhile later decided to look up how much they should eat I was surprised to!!
 
Free feed as well. 7 almost year old full size. A fifty pound bag lasts little over a month. Using layer pellets from a local feed store. Ventura grain in Taunton,ma. The feeder is a pvc tube and there is no waste.
 

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