8 Years
May 19, 2011
Not sure how much do chickens (8 wks) eat? Feed seems to lay there in the run for days on end, yet if I toss an occasional corn cob or tomato in, they go nuts. Thinking of not giving them any treats until they're full grown. How much feed do you put out for your flock?
I have food available at all times. Then they can eat what they need.

Throwing food on the ground is wasteful (cause they ignore it), and can cause problems with mold when the feed gets wet.
Boy, I have yet to toss anything into the run that they DO ignore!

Mine are also pretty ambivalent about the feed, and vastly prefer to scratch about for bugs and eat scraps. They look great, they're very active, and are each laying one perfect, rather hard-shelled egg.

They don't hesitate to let me know when they feel they're not getting enough!
I bought 2 chicks on Mother's Day, have no idea what they are (except adorable). I put out feed every morning in a ceramic pie plate and they can eat it and free range around the yard all they want (they mostly hide under the coop to stay out of the heat, come out late afternoon) as I have an abundant supply of grasshoppers:(

I'm feeding the chick feed still, when do I change the feed to "grown up" stuff?
This will vary. My answer is however much they'll eat in a day. I like them to clean up the previous day's food before I feed them more. How many do you have? Clean out your feeder and put about half what you think they'll eat in a day. Keep an eye on it and see how long it takes them to finish, and go from there.
That's good advice. I have five hens. They just ignore the feed trough at times, even walking over it. I used to have food in the coop when they were little as I would lock them up at night, but I stopped doing both of those things. I will clean up the run and remove any uneaten food, then start over with a little. And no "snacks" until they finish their dinner! I'll also go to one of those auto-feeders, soon as I get the parts together.
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If they are walking around and ignoring the food, sounds like to me that they are not hungry. If they get hungry they will definitely eat it.
After feeding tons of feed to the squirrels, I don't feed mine that much now. They have the idea that treats and bugs are all they need. And they wonder why Mom isn't giving them treats like she's supposed to now. I built a treadle feeder but they haven't gotten hungry enough to learn much about it. Hopefully in a day or so I can report better on how much they actually consume. They are getting hungry though, because when I set a bit of food by the back door where the squirrels won't get in it (as long as I'm there watching it), the girls are showing interest.

If they are fine, and healthy, and laying good eggs, I'd not worry much unless they are doing what mine are and completely ignoring their food to eat scratch, oatmeal, or whatever treats they get.
Sometimes interest in something new when not interested in the bland staple provided to excess may indicate something missing or desired in diet. My pellet fed birds will turn down pellets to get red clover leaves or sunflower seeds. If latter is abundant, they go after the pellets. They seem to be trying to balance their diet / nutrient intake.

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