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Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by stan2091, Jun 1, 2012.
How much do you feed. Do we keep an endless supply or only so much a day.
Thank for the help...
My flock of 14 are still young ( 10 weeks old ) so I feed them flock starter with 22% protein till they reach laying age which I'll switch them to layer crumbles. They have food and water available 24 hours a day.
You don't state the age(s) of the birds. That information would be most helpful, as would knowing whether they have access to range and how rich the range is.
They are 12 weeks old and do not have open range yet. Been feeding Chick Starter Medicated as recomended by coop. When do we start them on scratch?
At 12 weeks, they should be eating 4-6 dry ounces, each per day. You don't say how many you have. Give them a healthy early morning feeding. Check that feeder again in late afternoon. Is it still 1/2 full? Is it empty? As much as they'll eat, while almost emptying the feeder by roosting time. There's no need to have a full feeder at roosting time unless a person that would rather just feed them every few days, topping off a large feeder.
As for scratch. The other day I was at TSC getting some things. I don't buy scratch, but looked at the bag. There was this, printed clearly. "Scratch is NOT a complete feed and has neither the nutrients nor minerals for a complete, healthy diet. This scratch should not constitute more than 10% of the chicken's diet".
Just reporting what was printed right on the bag.
That helps answer a lot of questions i had. I'm sure i will have more questions later. Thanks for your help...
All of my chickens have all the food and water they want 24/7. I was told by the guy at cenex that too much scratch will make them fat and they wont lay as well. It is considered a treat. The feed you purchase, wether it be medicated chick starter, an all purpose feed or layer has all the nutrients and ingredients for a healthy diet. I dont feed scratch, I toss out a few handfuls of their feed and they peck around in that. Any treats mine get are household food scraps every day or so, consisting mostly of veggies and breads and meat.
I have a similar set up here, although I make sure there are oyster shells and DE mixed into their pellets. I occasionally mix a little cracked corn or oats in there as well. I do give them all sorts of tidbits from the house, which trains them to come when I call and associate me with food which helps us build a relationship where I can be very close/touching them and they are used to it. The hens all came to me as almost 2yos so I used this method to build familiarity as well as a means to calling them so that if I never needed to I had a reliable way. I am still learning about what might be really good to suppliment their diet. I am going to try to grow my own meal worms but there is a place nearby that does so and they are cheap. I have a garden in which I have planted extra sunflower seeds to grow out for them and rye as well as millet. I had buckwheat at the old place and will get that again as it is a great cover crop for the garden as well as edible for us and them. Mine free range most of the day with feedings at the begining and end of the day in one house and a hanging feeder in the closed chicken coop. (I have two groups.) I don't measure ounces I just take a handful and its roughly the right amount per bird, but I have large fowl too and if you have bantams then its slightly different. The "littles" have food 24/7 as they are growing and go through fodder very quickly. One other note: I have a few pieces of wood in the enclosed run that I turn over for bug and worm treats now and then for the birds in there and I leave a patch of grass tall in one corner near the house where the free rangers like to go hunt.