1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Is it possible to feed chicks too much?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Hopefulloflove, Aug 16, 2011.

  1. Hopefulloflove

    Hopefulloflove Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 18, 2011
    Benson, NC
    Do you keep food out for them all the time? That's what I've been doing, so they can eat whenever they want. I also feed some extra's a couple of times a day...treats..they seem to eat all the time, lol...just wanting to make sure I don't overfeed them....
  2. harleyjo

    harleyjo Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 6, 2010
    SW Iowa
    What kind of chicks?
  3. Hopefulloflove

    Hopefulloflove Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 18, 2011
    Benson, NC
    I've got 4 silkies, and I notice they don't eat as much...mostly sex links, a couple of australorps and Barneveldors...
  4. Stacykins

    Stacykins Overrun With Chickens

    Jan 19, 2011
    Escanaba, MI
    I think I read that cornish X can overeat.

    But normal chicks? They can regulate themselves. I do notice that before lights out when my chicks were in the brooder, they would absolutely STUFF themslves so their crops were HUGE. Like, bulging little balloons. I was quite shocked at first, but read that chicks could greedily fill through entire crops and be fine, since it would all be digested by morning. Thankfully that turned out to be true!
  5. Hopefulloflove

    Hopefulloflove Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 18, 2011
    Benson, NC
    Ok, that's helpful to know... mind do this also in the brooder right before bedtime...They seem to be fine though. I guess I am glad they fill up so they sleep pretty much all night [​IMG] So cute!!
  6. Papa Rooster

    Papa Rooster Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 15, 2010
    umm i dont think so? i mean if they do eat to much then they wont eat anymore? unless it causes problems?
  7. ScottyHOMEy

    ScottyHOMEy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 21, 2011
    Waldo County, Maine
    Quote:The breeds you describe, they'll be fine. Self-regulating, they are.

    The exception is the Cornish Cross meat birds. The rule of thumb for them, starting at about a week, is 12-hours-on/12-off with their feed. Less serious, as it relates at least to their general health, is the consideration of the feed budget. I altered the 12/12 rule to suit my birds' growth by keeping an eya on the droppings every morning. Plain chicken poo, I'd ease up their daily ration a bit until I'd notice that the droppings would start to have a lot of feed left in them, resembling more a greenish, grainy wetted mash. At that point I'd cut back the ration, and, with a little practice was able to keep up a "rational" medium as costs/conversion/productivity should go.

    The more serious issue . . . economics enter into it obviously . . . is good and responsible husbandry. The Cornish-Xs can eat themselves to death. Unlimited feed to them can just completely overwhelm their ability to digest all their compulsive eating behavior can put into them. Left to their own devices with unlimited feed, their digestive sytem will consume too much of their energy and internal resources as it does it's job, all at the expense of the other sytems they need to grow. In such situations they can be prone to "flip," basically a chicken coronary.

    Your breeds will do fine. All I'd add is that, as much fun as it is to offer and watch them go after the treats . . . no need to stop it, but keep an eye on the quantity and timing, so that the treats don't displace too much of their regular feed to the point that they're missing out on the nutrients in the formulated feeds.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by