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Open feeding or once a day???

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by virgogypsy75, May 15, 2013.

  1. virgogypsy75

    virgogypsy75 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 15, 2013
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    Hi there! My six chickies are about 12 weeks. I've been open feeding them, meaning I dump a bunch of feed daily in their feeder and they eat at will. My boyfriend is saying we should give a little less so the feeder goes empty at night so when free ranging they will hear/see us feed them and it will help being them back in their coop? What does everyone else do?
     
  2. Thirteen

    Thirteen Out Of The Brooder

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    May 14, 2013
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    Feed at will - chickens do not overeat.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. chrispbrown27

    chrispbrown27 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 2, 2013
    I have been leaving the feeder out throughout the day, but have decided starting today I am going to let them eat til they stop in the morning then I am going to pull the feeder. Then in the evenings I will put it back in there just before sunset. Hopefully this will accomplish two things: 1) it will get them used to getting fed right before they go to bed to insure they come back to the run every evening so I can shut them when they free range. 2) it will cut down on the amount of feed they eat, my ducks are especially bad about wasting feed.
    Chris
     
  4. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    Once a day doesn't work well for me. Twice a day allows me to dial in their needs better. Virtually zero waste, which is the goal of course. It's fussier, I'll grant you that.

    If I'm gonna be gone for a day or two, I'll load them up.
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. StephieSky

    StephieSky Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 4, 2013
    This is good to know! I've been feeding crumble in the kennel, as much as they want 24/7. My hens are pets so I worry about how to help them live as long as possible. I wasn't sure if this was right or if they would get obese eventually because they sure eat a lot for such small creatures.
     
  6. virgogypsy75

    virgogypsy75 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 15, 2013
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    Thanks Chris! This is the way I think we're going eventually. I gotta start training them and myself for that matter which is tough because I just want to make sure they eat enough.
     
  7. appps

    appps Overrun With Chickens

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    Australia
    My young pullets eat a heap more than my older ones. I think its because they are still growing. I'd be a bit wary if taking their food away during their peak growing age myself.
     
  8. virgogypsy75

    virgogypsy75 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 15, 2013
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    Great point thank you!
     
  9. CYNDI SHURTLEFF

    CYNDI SHURTLEFF Out Of The Brooder

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    May 12, 2013
    Eastern Washington
    I open feed, they always have feed available, and they free range as well. I don't have any "obese' chicks or chickens! As hard as ther work to forage, they burn up the calories!
     
  10. TofuKat

    TofuKat Out Of The Brooder

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    If getting them back to the coop at night is your goal, you could entice them with a handful of scratch. My girls are free fed, but go out for about an hour when I get home from work. We just taught them the sound of the scratch bucket and it works like a charm to lure them home. We also time it with the sun starting to set, so I can't give the scratch all the credit, but it certainly does help.
     

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