Probably should have figured this out already

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by vickichicki, Oct 15, 2012.

  1. vickichicki

    vickichicki Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Indianapolis, Indiana
    At 5 weeks and few days old, I have 10 chicks. RIRs (or more likely production reds)

    Silly begginers questions I probably should have researched before hand.

    Obviously at the beggining there was food available all the time for the chicks, often throwing away food at the end of the day to put fresh food in.

    How often and how much should I be feeding them?

    I am currently on my way to purchase their second 50# bag Purina start and grow. I am feeding them once in the morning and once later in the evening at a rate of 6 cups per feed (12 cups per day). Which leaves an empty food bowl before each feed.

    They do not have access to out doors (grass and ground) at the moment for suplimental feeding. This will be changing in a few weeks.

    My question, am I overfeeding or under feeding? They have small supliments with cornbread muffins, tomatoes (and whatever fresh veggies we have left) and some scratch when I put them in the outside coop. However I do not consider this their additonal rations of 'real' food.

    Do I adopt the fish feeding theroy with 'if it is not gone in x amount of time' it is too much? Do I continue to refill when empty so they can graze all day long? or is the two times a day theory ok?

    Just to point out, they have a continual supply of fresh water than never runs out and is replaced daily.

    Thanks :)
     
  2. debid

    debid Overrun With Chickens

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    I just used a gravity-fed poultry feeder and let them self-regulate. I'm wondering why you throw away the uneaten food? Are you wetting their feed?
     
  3. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    With young chicks who can reallly get into the feeder and scratch it out you are doing about right in feed usage. But check the litter around the feed dish looking for feed in the litter, there may be a bit there. If there is put a tray under the dish to catch the feed. Feed doesn't go bad in a day. With growing birds I always recommend having feed available full time, the amount of feed needed keeps changing. If you are feeding them things other than the milled food they should have grit, which acts in the gizzard to grind food, like teeth do for us. When they mature some people do ration feed. At their age they can spend some time on the ground, a mother hen would have by now. Supervised of course
     
  4. vickichicki

    vickichicki Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I was actually throwing out the food after they discovered they could perch on the top of the food bottle and let things.. shall we say.. free fall into the food.

    I have noticed they do scratch the food out.. or peck furiously so it flies around. Due to limited space in their current location, I am restricted by the feeder style until thier coop is completed. We are still using newspaper and sawdust for flooring. Putting a catch tray underneath would just end up getting filled with poop.

    We have been giving them grit (purchased from tsc).

    We do not have a fenced in yard yet, so the coop in progress has a lower level where they can dig around. Also working on a small portable coop we can put them out in.

    I have been digging around the site for some gravity feeder ideas. As my husband and I work in the construction field, misc materials needed for most of the jobs are readily avavilable. Liking the downspout idea alot. Hopefully I can then establish total amount of food actually consumed vs. played with.

    Sounds like the total feed amounts are about right. I am glad to know I can leave food out all the time without them turning into fatties.
     
  5. debid

    debid Overrun With Chickens

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    I have a solution to the perching issue. Take a piece of light cardboard (cereal boxes work great) and make a cone. Tape the cone to the top of the feeder. No more perching on the feeder!
     
  6. KPenley

    KPenley Chillin' With My Peeps

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    x2 and if the feeder is on the ground try raising it a a few inches to avoid accidental droppings.
     
  7. vickichicki

    vickichicki Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Well doh me (insert face palm smiley)

    It's the small things you overlook and overthink.

    Hence our coop not being done.
     

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