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NEED ADVICE ON FEEDING MY CHICKENS

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by I HRT YARDBIRDS, Oct 14, 2015.

  1. I HRT YARDBIRDS

    I HRT YARDBIRDS Out Of The Brooder

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    I've been told on more than once occasion that people are putting layer crumbles in a feeder and their chickens have access to it all day.

    I let my chickens out in the morning and feed them a mix of layer pellets, grit and oyster shell every evening about a couple of hours before they put themselves to bed. I have 9 hens only 2 are old enough to lay, the rest are getting close (I hope). So I'm getting 2 eggs a day pretty consistently. Should I be leaving them feed out all day long? Or continue like I am? I am thinking if I leave them feed out all day it kind of defeats the purpose of letting them free range as much as I can (they have a fenced in yard, we have dogs).

    A gentleman told me yesterday that he feeds his the layer crumbles and has been on some days getting 6 eggs?

    ANY & ALL advice would be greatly appreciated!

    Thanks
     
  2. nchls school

    nchls school Chillin' With My Peeps

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  3. Coffee 1st

    Coffee 1st Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have 8 hens and I have 2 feeders that are filled at all times. 1 is inside the coop and 1 is in the run. I also feed all my table scraps to them. when they come out of their run in the morning they will ck and see what scraps there are 1st then they will free range for awhile and then they go to their feeders and back to free ranging.. I also have mine in a fenced back yard...they are to young to lay yet but are healthy and happy.. in the evening I throw some treats ( corn or boss usually) in the run and they scratch for it...
     
  4. bigt447

    bigt447 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have 10 eight month old pullets and average 9 very good eggs a day. I keep 2 feeders full at all times. Recommend that oyster shell & grit not be mixed with food but rather each being available in separate containers.... They will eat all of these only as needed.
     
  5. bigt447

    bigt447 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    PS: I prefer layer pellets over crumbles...they eat it well with less being wasted as much less is pulled from the feeder to fall uneaten on the ground.
     
  6. MeepBeep

    MeepBeep Chillin' With My Peeps

    IMO you should offer them free choice feed all day... With the exception of some hybrid meat birds they will not over eat, so it will not be going to waste...

    As for trying to coerse them into foraging vs eating pellets by rationing their feed, I personally do not think it matters or is of much overall benefit... In my experience chickens will almost always choose foraging over pellets if given the choice and if there is sufficient foraging to be had, chances are if you are offering free choice feed and they are gorging on pellets when let out to forage it's because there isn't enough foraging to go around...

    You state that they have a fenced in area, IMO unless you are talking acres of fenced in farm land, or a rotating area that is giving time to recover, a small fenced in area it's not going to provide a sufficient foraging diet for multiple birds, they will deplete the area of sufficient nutrients fairly quickly...
     
  7. I HRT YARDBIRDS

    I HRT YARDBIRDS Out Of The Brooder

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    Hmm I guess I need to rethink things.. Thanks everyone.. Here's a pic of their yard, it's double that now. I want to make sure they're healthy & happy. They forage all day, I just offer pellets etc because I thought I was supposed to...?
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2015
  8. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Runs With Chickens Premium Member

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    I would not limit food, chickens don't over eat on ration and become obese, they eat what they need, they will always prefer other things so they will always want to free range. Here's what mine free range on. They prefer to hustle their own food, but ration is always available.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  9. MeepBeep

    MeepBeep Chillin' With My Peeps


    You should most certainly offer them pellets/crumbles all day long as much as they want if you want them to thrive... An are even twice that size simply will not provide sufficient subsistence...
     
  10. I HRT YARDBIRDS

    I HRT YARDBIRDS Out Of The Brooder

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    Ok thanks everyone, I'll be getting a feeder this weekend..
     

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