My 17 hens are eating 50lbs in less than a day , is this normal ?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by JR79, Jan 25, 2013.

  1. JR79

    JR79 New Egg

    Sep 9, 2012
    So I have 17 laying hens and they have a run about the size of a horse round pen and a coop that is 20' by 6' . I feed them when the feeder goes emty and this happens about twice a day . I have a 25lb feeder. Where I live a 50lb bag of pellets cost $18.00. With the birds eating this much its making it hard on me, I am wondering if maybe there is another feed that still gives the birds all their nutrients but takes longer to digest or if I am just over feeding?
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2013
    1 person likes this.
  2. Poulets De Cajun

    Poulets De Cajun Overrun With Chickens

    You sure the dogs aren't helping the birds out?

    50lbs of feed a day for 17 birds sounds like quite a lot...
  3. duckinnut

    duckinnut Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 18, 2010
    Marshfield, Ma.
    On average chickens will require about 4 ounces of food each pending on breed. So with 17 chickens you should be going through only somewhere in the area of 4/6 pounds a day. Something is surely amiss. Either the dogs are helping themselves or the local wildlife are helping themselves or both if there is none on the ground. I have 19 and go through about 5 pounds a day with free range and treats.
  4. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Agreed. You're feeding more than the chickens. 17 chickens would only eat 4 to 5 pounds of feed a day.
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2013
  5. ramirezframing

    ramirezframing Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 2, 2011
    Knee Deep
    yeah, I have way more than 17 birds and I only go through 100lbs a week. Another bird like song birds might be eating the feed, I see this at my dads place where he leaves feed out all day. The song birds even eat the outside cat food.
  6. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    This weekend, I'd spend some time unobtrusively observing your flock. Maybe put out 2-3 cups of food in the a.m. (remove the big feeder), and check on things frequently. Then put out 2-3 more cups in the afternoon and check on things frequently. Something else is gobbling up your chicken feed...
  7. 70monte

    70monte Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 5, 2009
    Aurora, MO
    I have 10 chickens and a 50lb bag will last me about a month and I keep their two metal feeders that hold 10lbs each full all of the time so something else is going on at your house.

    1 person likes this.
  8. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 8, 2008
    Whoa. I have 50+ hens, and I go through 50 pounds in 5 days. And that includes the horrid starlings that help themselves to the feed. Is there a lot of waste? Can any other animals get in? You're feeding something besides hens, that's for sure.
  9. JR79

    JR79 New Egg

    Sep 9, 2012
    Thanks for all the help and feed back . I will go check to see what eles might be eating the feed. The thing that makes this so hard is that their run is completly confined by chicken wire so it cannot be the dogs but it might be the mocking birds, though my feeder is hung inside the coop so they would have to go though the small chicken door which is very close to the ground .
  10. Sparrows can fit through chicken wire. I have wire cloth which keeps them out for the most part, one sparrow actually got trapped inside once. I am not sure how he got in, but there was a slight depression in the ground near part of the run where he might have scooted in. Filled that depression in and have not had any get in since.

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