If you free range do you still have to feed them pellets or crumbles?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Roberts2100, Jun 10, 2012.

  1. Roberts2100

    Roberts2100 Out Of The Brooder

    May 16, 2012
    Madison, AL
    I have 20 chickens and have decided to let them free range. When free ranging do you still need to put food in there feeder?
  2. HighNDryFarm

    HighNDryFarm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 2, 2011
    Paradise, CA
    Yes. There are nutrients in the food that they may not be getting from free ranging. I'd also make sure they're getting enough calcium.
  3. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    If you live on a farm where other animals are eating grains and such and there is good pasture, they may get most of what they need during free range time. If you have a sterile urban backyard, they definitely need crumbles/pellets. Its not a simple question-the answer depends on what you have in their free range area. Even my grandfather fed his chickens layer crumble on his 50 acre farm, where they had access to the feed for the mules, cows and hogs.
  4. dainerra

    dainerra Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 4, 2011
    better to offer it and the birds eat what they need than to offer nothing and them to not have enough to eat.

    When they have lots of free-range time, my birds eat a LOT less pellets. When they spend more time in the run, they eat more.
    1 person likes this.
  5. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    That is very true! That is why I like to free range mine daily, if I can.
  6. Mattemma

    Mattemma Overrun With Chickens

    Aug 12, 2009
    I toss some pellets in the woods for them during the day. I did do scratch when I had it.Also might do BOSS,but that brings in the squirrels.
    1 person likes this.
  7. jandrusrn

    jandrusrn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 10, 2012
    My girls fight off the squirrels pretty great.... however, who knows? I've heard about BOSS and haven't tried it. Will certainly look into it more this summer. Play play play in the summertime!
  8. fiveladybugs

    fiveladybugs Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 7, 2012
    I've noticed that ours eat less pellets when we let them free-range, however we do both, so they can get the nutrients.
  9. effie

    effie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 5, 2011
    West(by god) Virginia
    mine free range and I keep layer crumbles,grit and oyster shells available at all times. They will eat less of it when they freerange and more when I confine them to the run.
  10. zazouse

    zazouse Overrun With Chickens

    Sep 7, 2009
    Southeast texas
    I have free rangers and free loaders.
    the free rangers are up and out in the fields at the crack of dawn.
    , while the freeloaders are still up on the roost waiting for me to walk outa the barn with that bag of feed on my shoulders.

    Most of my freeloaders are big fluffy chickens and are pretty slow even in high gear so i am glad they stay close cause they are my favs.
    So i feed my birds a couple times a day just for good measure and they are very healthy.

    I have unlimited pasture and forage areas and i could get by without feeding the ranges all togeather and they would be fine, they don't come back up to eat if they are already out but will clean up leftovers when they come home to rest around noon.
    2 people like this.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by