How Much Should I Feed My Hens?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Atrayu, Aug 12, 2011.

  1. Atrayu

    Atrayu Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 12, 2011
    Hermosa, South Dakota
    I am a first time chicken guy. I have 15 young organic hens (an assortment of Buff Orpingtons, Australorps, Ameracuanas, Gold Stars and Rhode Island Reds) who will be ready to lay in a week or so. They are free range. They sleep in the coop at night but have run of our ranch during the day eating grasshoppers and other insects as well as seeds and plants. I am not sure how much to feed them. I have been setting out two pie pan sized portions of food in the morning (as well as a few scoops of chicken stratch) and two pie pan portions in the evening. I don't want to leave food laying out for them all day, because our dog (who by the way gets along well with our new gals) loves to eat just about any food that is around. Any suggestions on the amount I should feed them? I don't want to overfeed but want to make sure my girls are happy and healthy. Thanks in advance for any advice.
     
  2. ChicKat

    ChicKat Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    Atrayu,

    I have free-choice feed for my chickens all the time---and I feed extras when I move them around. (Like lettuce etc.)--- If the food is completely vegetarian the dogs don't have much interest, but they would go into the run and eat the chiccken feed if I didn't tell them not to. Sometimes it is irksome to put something out for the chickens and discover that it went to the dogs.

    Wouldn't it be nice if you could rig something like a creep-feeder for calves, that you chickens could access but your dog couldn't, then the chix could feed at will.

    I was reading in 'Storey's Guide to Raising Chickens' and put in another post that Gail Damerow states that 4 pounds of feed for 1-dozen eggs is a good feed conversion ratio for layers. So you can adjust by subtracting the 'grasshopper factor', the particluar breed(s) that you have and the amount of eggs that they lay, to be sure that you are providing enough nutrition for your hens.
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2011
  3. Atrayu

    Atrayu Chillin' With My Peeps

    108
    1
    91
    Aug 12, 2011
    Hermosa, South Dakota
    Thanks much Chickat!
     
  4. ChicKat

    ChicKat Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    You're welcome. BTW welcome to the forum. Impressive that you are going organic.
     

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