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How much should I be feeding to my chickens?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Cassey, Oct 19, 2016.

  1. Cassey

    Cassey Out Of The Brooder

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    Hi! I have 24 chickens (20 hens, 4 roosters) and I'm wondering how much I should be feeding them?

    Here's a list of things we feed them daily..

    Morning: 3 big scoops of chicken feed + big scoop of scratch grain + a tiny handful of grit

    After-noon: Handful of black oil sunflower seeds + Handful of mealworms + a tiny handful of grit + Handful of chicken feed

    Evening: Any of our food scraps from that day

    * Right now they ate all the grass, but from time to time we'll throw weeds from our garden*

    Is that too much food? Is there anything else we need to feed them?

    Thanks! [​IMG]
     
  2. beetandsteet

    beetandsteet Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You need to feed hens over 18 weeks of age free-choice layer pellets in a feeder--as much as they can eat, which is usually around 1/4 lb per hen per day. So that means you would be feeding your flock around 6 pounds of laying pellets per day. Grit and oyster shell are also good to have free-choice in a separate small feeder; the hens will eat what they need. Treats like scratch are fine to throw on the ground, but if you want the best health and laying production, don't feed treats/scraps more than 10% of their overall diet.
     
  3. rooster reggie

    rooster reggie Just Hatched

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    Citra fl
    Hello, your chickens diet do contain many good proteins and nutrients, but the only problem that you could have is that you feed them scraps from the house.. so this could cause many risks to your chickens, health wise, depending on what you feed them as scraps.. I occasionally feed my chickens scraps as a treat but only if it's rice, or bread... What you feed your chickens in the morning and afternoon is good...
     
  4. beetandsteet

    beetandsteet Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Any food scraps with the exception of poisonous foods (here's a list of toxic foods for chickens http://readynutrition.com/resources/10-foods-you-should-not-feed-your-chickens_09022014/) are fine in moderation. In fact, rice is potentially toxic to chickens when it's uncooked.
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2016
  5. rooster reggie

    rooster reggie Just Hatched

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    I never feed my chickens uncooked rice, and bread is a great thing to give chickens... All my chickens are very healthy and happy, and therefore I wouldn't feed them any other scraps, that could possibly harm Them
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2016
  6. Cindy in PA

    Cindy in PA Overrun With Chickens

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    Where did you get that uncooked rice is toxic to chickens? It is an ingredient in many pigeons feeds & is perfectly fine for chickens.
     
  7. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    First of all, no layer feed for flocks with roosters. Any other feed is fine, but not layer. Secondly, feed should be available to them all day long, not limited. Thirdly, all treats and extras should be limited to no more than 10% of the daily diet. Crushed oyster shell should be available at all times, as well.
     
  8. Lil Peeps

    Lil Peeps Chillin' With My Peeps

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    No layers feed in flocks with roosters? I've had flocks with roosters for years with layers feed and they have been fine, I know that it's bad for young pullets because of the high calcium content and I'm assuming that's why it would be bad for roosters too, but I've not really seen where it affects them. Our rooster could be eating other things because we offer scratch, mealworms, sunflower seeds etc. But our neighbor has a rooster that's been in with her hens on layers feed for four years, his whole life, and she doesn't let them free-range usually, she keeps them locked up, and her rooster is absolutely healthy and beautiful, so, yes, I see why it could be bad for them but I haven't seen in first hand experience where it has really hurt a rooster to eat layer's feed and its good for the hens. What feed would you suggest besides layer's? I know all our feed store sells is layers pellets and crumbles, chick feed, growers feed, and meat bird feedz for chickens, anything but layers feed in that category has too much protein in it to be good for the flock over time. I offer chick feed in moulting season and feed all on chick feed while integrating but on other occasions, I feed the whole flock layers feed my rooster is completely healthy with beautiful, shiny feathers. Here's a picture or him...
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2016
  9. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    Layer feed is for actively laying birds only. The extra calcium in layer feed is not good for birds that are not producing eggs, that includes roosters and molting or brooding hens. It will build up in the kidneys and eventually cause failure. If fed long term, to birds that aren't laying, it will kill them eventually. Birds seem fine right up until the kidney fails. At that point, death is usually within 24 hours. It can take several years for the damage to get to that point, but you can be certain that it will eventually happen.
    The higher protein levels of the other feeds are completely safe, and cause no long term problem. The protein level has to be much, much higher to do real, lasting damage. That kind of protein level is usually only found in gamebird starter.
     
  10. Lil Peeps

    Lil Peeps Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I feed my birds chick feed or growers feed during molts and while integrating new pullets. I guess I'll be more weary now of feeds and offer something else for the roo. They've all been on chick feed for the last like 5 months because we've been integrating, our rooster right now is pretty young we had to give away our older one, maybe we'll keep a constant offer of the chick feed for the rooster to eat. They're all still on and on odd on chick feed now because we keep having to add more and more chicks. Thanks so much for the advice about this!
     

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