How much should I feed?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by AnnieSantiago, Jun 9, 2017.

  1. AnnieSantiago

    AnnieSantiago Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 13, 2014
    Portland, Oregon
    I'm feeding my new pullets organic layer pellets.
    They were used to completely free ranging, but now I have them in a coop and run.
    They'll get a bit of garden leftovers, but not a lot.

    How much feed should I give (per hen) each day?
    When is the best time to feed?

    By the way, I will NOT be able to just leave feed out.
    We had a horrible rat problem a couple of years ago when I tried that method.
    I need to feed them, then pick up what's left at night.

  2. SunHwaKwon

    SunHwaKwon Overrun With Chickens

    Jul 19, 2015
    Eastern Shore, MD
    That is the way to do it. If you can get a metal trashcan, just fill the feeders and put them in the trashcan at night. That is what I started doing after battling a couple of rats two winters ago.
    AnnieSantiago likes this.
  3. rosemarythyme

    rosemarythyme Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 3, 2016
    Pac NW
    ^ Metal trashcans with a secure lid for night storage will help combat your pest problem and the standard, round, top fill feeders fit in them easily. I put the feeder out in the morning and keep them out all day, filled with enough food to last several days, so I don't have to constantly refill it. Depending on the size of feeder and your birds the amount will vary, so it will take a while to adjust the amount to suit. My fermented feed bowls also go out in the morning, and come inside every night.
  4. AnnieSantiago

    AnnieSantiago Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 13, 2014
    Portland, Oregon
    Nope. Can't leave it out all night.
    But I do have the metal trashcan.
  5. jeria

    jeria Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 5, 2017
    Independence MO
    What a good idea, I didn't want to have to haul them inside the house at night. I have lots of critters and last year had an awful mouse problem inside, got a cat inside problem solved.
  6. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Flock Master

    Nov 7, 2012
    Annie, you might also consider fermenting your feed. The birds get improved nutrient absorption, and your feed bill will be less. And even if a rat or other pest visits the feeder during the day, they can't carry the feed away. You will still want to be sure it is not accessible at night. Since they will be in a run, I'd offer them as much as they will eat in a day. Eventually, you will get tuned into how much they will eat. When eating FF, the birds will consume less, while getting superior nutrition. A win/win situation for you and for your birds.
  7. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

    Mar 9, 2014
    My Coop
    I'd simply use a small feeder, fill it and pick up nightly refilling as needed. A small diy "no waste" feeder would limit food spillage that can still attract rats after the feeder is taken in for the night. Alternatively, the pvc tube feeders could easily be capped at night vs having to be removed.

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