how much to feed?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by happinesshill, Nov 11, 2010.

  1. happinesshill

    happinesshill Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 31, 2010
    Well, it's getting colder and we wanted to put a feeding trough in the henhouse, instead of the crappy little trough outside the house, on the ground, where rain gets to it. But inside, we worried about mice, so we got an old metal waterer that had broke and cut holes in the sides and put feed inside that. As they eat, the feed comes out the holes and keeps a continuous supply for them. Great! Or is it? How much is too much feed? We think we weren't feeding them enough, because we were giving them about 6c. of corn/pellets in the morning and when we had a child sneak down and feed them 3 more cups behind our backs, she revealed that they "went nuts" over it. So we tried again the next day and sure enough, that later day feeding made them frantic. They ate it all in a few seconds. So we thought maybe we should give them more. However, the feeding system we now have seems to be too much.

    I have 16 hens. What is the right amount to feed them? They aren't getting as many bugs, etc. now that it's colder so maybe they really do need more? Thanks!!!
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    You'd be surprised how much they can find to eat when the ground is not frozen. They eat a lot of plant matter, grass and weeds. They eat weed and grass seeds. They can find a lot of creepy crawlies even in winter with all their scratching. They do tend to eat a bit more in the winter, not so much because they can't find things to eat but more because they need to increase their caloric intake to stay warm. Some things do get harder to find though and some are better foragers than others. My broody raised chickens don't eat a lot of feed but my brooder raised chickens sure do.

    I don't feed scratch. I just offer regular feed, let them pick any treats out of the compost heap they want, and let them free range to find what they can. If I add feed to the feeder, even if it already had some in it, they go nuts. They are not hungry. There's plenty of feed available. Something just goes off in their little birdbrains that sends them into a feeding frenzy. They quit eating pretty soon because they soon realize that they really were not hungry. Don't take their reaction ot new feed thrown on the ground as meaning anything. It is just their birdbrains working.

    I let my feeders run out a couple of times a week so they will clean it all up so it does not get old and moldy, but otherwise I keep feed in fromt of them all the time.
  3. swimmer

    swimmer Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 17, 2010
    I've got a metal hanging feeder and keep it full all the time. Clean it out once and awhile.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by