How much is enough?


9 Years
Sep 27, 2010
Is it wrong to always have scratch/feed down for the chickens? I have a feed 'trough' for them inside the coop for at night,
and one in the run for during the day...they are just starting to free range now that they are 7 weeks. I don't want to over feed
them, but feel I may be doing that. They also get a tray of treats at night to get them back into the coop, grapes, rice, lettuce,
squash, whatever I have left over...enough that they gobble it up in about 3 not a lot in my eyes.

I free feed my cats, so wondered if it is not the correct way to feed chickens. Thanks, I appreciate any and all advice!

A.T. Hagan

Don't Panic
12 Years
Aug 13, 2007
North/Central Florida
I'd keep a complete ration feed available to them free choice all day. If you're feeding a typical 16% protein layer ration then I'd only give them half a handful of scratch feed per bird per day, preferably just before dark. Treats should likewise be kept limited.

If you're feeding a higher protein ration such as Flock Raiser (20%) then you can offer free choice grains and they'll balance their own rations.

Restricted feeding for laying stock will only bring you grief. Let them eat it when they want it.


Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers
10 Years
Sep 22, 2009
My slice of heaven in Somerset, CA
IMO, the only reason to measure out feed is if you're running a commercial business with a strict budget and accounting system for how much it takes to maintain each individual chicken.

Free feed 'em. They'll be happier, you'll be happier.

Enchanted Sunrise Farms

12 Years
Apr 26, 2007
Fair Oaks, California
i throw down scratch just in the morning, as you don't want to overdo it on that. i keep their chicken food accessible at all times. Then treats (lettuce, peas, corn, hard boiled eggs, mealworms) every other day or so. Sounds like you are doing things just right.

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