How much should I feed my chickens? and what about wild birds?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Wilmer Gehman, Aug 12, 2018.

  1. Wilmer Gehman

    Wilmer Gehman Songster

    Jun 7, 2017
    Hello. I have two questions: First, How much should I feed my chickens every day? (Also considering about my question 2, the wild birds.) I would like to be able to save as much as I can on chicken feed. Currently I am feeding the chickens about 5 and one half quarts of regular chicken feed (pellets), once a day. They also usually have a flock block. I have 29 hens and 1 rooster. Out of the 29, 10 are under a year old. The others are 1 1/2 to 3 years old.

    Second: How do you keep wild birds from eating the chicken feed? What my chickens leave in the feeder, the wild birds eat. Only a few of the hens chase them away, but for the most part the wild birds are not afraid of the chickens.

    When you reply please specify which question you are answering. Thanks so much, I am welcome to anyone's advice or ideas. thanks again!:)
  2. imnukensc

    imnukensc Crowing

    May 22, 2017
    SC Midlands
    1) Not sure how much you should feed your chickens. Mine have feed available 24/7, but I also free range from about 9 AM until they put themselves to roost in the evening.

    2) Treadle feeders should stop the birds from eating your chicken feed. The wild birds won't be heavy enough to activate it to get to the feed. Another option may be to construct some no waste feeders, but I don't know how well they would work once the wild birds figure them out. (My problem is squirrels getting into the feed, but squirrel season opens in another couple months so I'll start taking care of that problem then.)
    Wilmer Gehman likes this.
  3. Wilmer Gehman

    Wilmer Gehman Songster

    Jun 7, 2017
    Thanks for the advice! During the winter they have access to food all day long, but during the summer, if I do that the birds just get it. My chickens also can free free range any time they want, since their run connects to a little 'pasture'.
  4. SueT

    SueT Crossing the Road

    May 27, 2015
    SW MO
    I give mine what they will finish in one day. I had bird issues last year and created a makeshift scarecrow out of clothes on a hanger, and moved it around each day. It blew in the wind and kept the birds out. I haven't had an issue lately.
  5. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Crossing the Road

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    There are two ways I know of to prevent pilfering from wild birds. Use a treadle feeder so only when a chicken is feeding is the lid open.
    Keep the feeders inside the coops. Eventually, you'll have to figure out how to keep wild birds out of the building.
    There is no way to put a number on how much to feed chickens.
    A Serama needs a tiny fraction of the feed a Jersey Giant needs.
    Chickens on good forage pasture in season will eat a small fraction of what they will eat in the dead of winter.
    There is no need to provide feed 24 hours a day because they won't eat from dusk to dawn.
    The real answer to question 1 is, as much as they will eat of real chicken feed during the day.
    ChooksNQuilts and Wilmer Gehman like this.
  6. Wilmer Gehman

    Wilmer Gehman Songster

    Jun 7, 2017
    ok thanks that makes sense, so I just need to figure out about how much food my flock eats per day...but then with the wild birds I can't really tell...anyway thanks again!
  7. imnukensc

    imnukensc Crowing

    May 22, 2017
    SC Midlands
    Absolutely true, but my feeder holds a few weeks worth of food. I'm too lazy to ration out my chicken feed on a daily basis nor do I want to get up at the crack of dawn to feed the chickens so I make it available 24/7. They can be out there eatin' while I'm still sleepin'.
    ChickenCanoe and blackdog043 like this.
  8. Shamo Hybrid

    Shamo Hybrid Songster

    Jun 6, 2018
    Bahahaha! The drawn face with glasses!
  9. blackdog043

    blackdog043 Crowing

    Feb 19, 2017
    Charlotte, NC
    My feed is available 24/7, even though chickens don't eat at night. It works for me.

    I have two no waste feeders, that hold 50 lbs between the two. One in the coop and one in the run. I don't recall seeing anybody have problems with wild birds and no waste feeders, it might be worth a try.

    15 Gallon Waterer.jpg

  10. Timothy Menezes

    Timothy Menezes Songster

    Nov 27, 2017
    Monterey, California
    I like those no waste feeders and waterer. I suppose the plans to build them are in this sight somewhere? And I am with on leaving the food out all the time.

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