How much to feed my chickens?


In the Brooder
9 Years
Sep 18, 2010
Southern California
So, I'm just wondering how much feed a chicken should be eating in a day? I have a 7 pound feeder, that I have to fill 2 times a week, but I also throw out some feed for them when they come out of the coop. So, I really don't know how much they TRULY need a day. 1/2 cup per chicken???? 1 cup per chicken???

They also get to free range in my yard more days than not.

I'm mainly asking so I can determine how much food to buy at a time, and for when we go on vacations and I need to have someone keep an eye on them for me.



9 Years
Feb 12, 2010
Central Valley, California
How much feed per chicken per day will depend on age, size, breed, and weather. Also how much they eat while free ranging.
Young chickens will eat more than adults because they're growing.
Large breeds will eat more because they're, well, LARGE.

Cold weather will cause an increase in feed consumption.
Your wild bird population will also eat a lot of feed.
I use about 100 pounds of feed every month for 14 chickens, most of them fairly young. They get a lot of other stuff though, vegetables, fruit, greens, BOSS, etc. And I have a huge wild bird population that is very well fed
Mine don't free range at all.


9 Years
Jul 25, 2010
Matthews, NC.
We have 5 BR's and they get through about 1.5lbs a day so a 50lb sack will last a month, but we also supplement them with BOSS, scratch occasionally, chickweed and dandelions from the yard. Also tomatoes, grapes, canned corn occasionally....... All are growing well and moving across on to Layena this week.

The Tinman

9 Years
Jun 10, 2010
Fairfield County CT
Gavin I would not start your girls on laying feed until they start laying. Hey my dad live in Indian Trail NC.He is what you would call a Dam Yank. A yank is a northener that come to visit then go back north,A dam Yank is a northener that come to visit and stays. He loves it there. He said the people are so friendly you want to punch them.
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Love My Chickens
10 Years
Jul 28, 2009
Floyds Knobs, Indiana
My Coop
My Coop
Not sure how much they eat. I just buy a 50lb bag and dump it into a trash can with a tight lid. When it gets down low I buy another bag (empty the dredges into my 5 gallon bucket feeder first) and start all over...
If you have mouse issues, I'd make sure the trash can is metal. Two of my cats are good mousers, so I've never had an issue with the plastic ones.


9 Years
Oct 16, 2010
The feed bag tells me 1/4 pound per bird per day.


Perhaps my leghorns eat that but the others forage free range (not so much to eat being late fall now) and still easily eat 1/3 pound per day. Of course that is an estimate based on needing to buy a bag of feed every 3 weeks instead of every month.


10 Years
Feb 12, 2009
Pike Co., GA & Palm Beach Co., FL
Kristina93, I breed game chickens. Being so, I have to keep roosters seperated, or with one hen. I can tell you that a six pound game rooster does nicely on 3 ounces of 14% protein feed per day on average. If they start to get thin, I increase it by 1/2 oz. If I see fat, the opposite. It`s hard to judge in a flock situation. Most folks just keep feed in front of them and don`t care if they get fat. To see fat on a chicken, turn it upside down and look at the skin just foreward of the vent. If the chicken is fat you can usually see yellow fat under the skin. Hope this helps ya...........Pop


9 Years
Feb 7, 2010
BackYard Chicken Ranch, TEXAS
I have 30 chickens not counting babies (because they eat starter ) and 5 Gineas (sp?) and I go through 100 lbs a month in layer pellets and about 100lbs in scratch (DW's fault everytime she goes out to see them she has to feed them scratch) but as I tell my friends and family and all of those who tell me how much they should eat but don't own any chickens themselves........ My girls are happy the eggs buys the feed so as long as I can buy the feed and scratch for them and they are happy don't woory about how much I feed them they eat free choice and they don't eat it all the time........
So as long as you feed them and they aren't costing you an arm and a leg feed them the way you do now but to truly know how much it is marked on the bags of feed being that you use nutrena layer pellets /mash.


In the Brooder
9 Years
Apr 12, 2010
That's a good question. It's never felt necessary for me to keep track. We just refill their feeder when it gets low. I'd say we go through a 30 pound bag every 6 weeks or so with our 5 girls. As others have said though, feed consumption decreases for free rangers during the summer as they get to snack on plants and bugs all day!
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