Looking for opinions on how I'm feeding my chickens

Jun 6, 2021
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How much food do chickens need per day? It seems like the popular answer is free choice but we've been having a rat problem so I have to remove their food as soon as they finish eating. I feed the 5 of them about 1-1.5 cup 3x a day.

I found a website that says chickens need about 1/2 cup of feed per day. I used to only have 2 and maybe they did eat about that much per day but now that we have 3 extra chickens, it seems like my two earlier birds are fighting for the feed and maybe even overeating. It's tough for me to gauge how much to leave out especially since they pick on the smallest one and kick her away and I'll see her pecking at the empty bowls later. I pour out more food for her and the other ones that I thought were full will come back and keep eating! I feel like I'm overfeeding them but I also want to make sure nobody's hungry.
I've sent some photos. Treats & mash on boards. The dry layer pellets in trough & bins in background. A bowl of mash out of sight for the ones who get pushed out. At night I unhook the bungee cords on the bins, fill with remaing food in trough & store in my entry. These are great when it's raining. I hang them inside on a piece of wire fence & bingo!! At night, unhook & take inside. No waste. Remember the rule of 1-2 TBSP treats per hen per day. It took a few months to learn my girls as this is my 1st 1 & 1/2 yrs ever @ being a Chicken Mom. Of my 11 girls, 5 are smaller. They've learned I have pocket treats when I gather the eggs! Hope this helps!!
 

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