Questions on feeding

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by newchickenista, Oct 17, 2015.

  1. newchickenista

    newchickenista Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 25, 2012
    Southeastern, Oklahoma
    Hello all, it's been a little while since I've made a post. I have had a dozen chicks for a few years now and I've gotten pretty used to my routine of how I feed them and how to manage them. I have recently added to my flock by 29 new chicks, which means that come spring I will have around 40 full grown chickens. I am having some trouble wrapping my mind around the amount of feed I will need, so here are my questions:

    About how much feed per chicken per day is understood as normal, or the "standard"? My chickens are in "tractors" so they get plenty of hunting and scratching around the yard, but are still mainly reliant on the feed to sustain them. I need to be able to calculate how much feed I will go through a month. I also am curious to know how much feed per chicken per day is normal just to see if my chickens currently are eating too much or not enough. I keep feed available at all times, but I would still like to know they are getting enough based on the rate I am buying.

    My next question is, how do you go about storing a months worth of feed for 40 chickens? Everything I've read so far on here is basically people like I have been for the last few years, a dozen or so chickens so maybe 2 bags a month is all you have to worry about keeping dry and critter free. I live on 2.5 acres, and I don't have any kind of barn. Ideally I would like to be able to store it outside. Right now I use a metal garbage can, which will fit 2 bags of feed (still in the bag) I have never emptied it out of the bags into the can to see how much it would hold. Orschelns sales these large black rubber containers that are sold just for the purpose of storing feed outside, but the lids didn't seem very secure at all. Seemed like a strong Oklahoma wind could do a number with the lid.

    I am just looking for any advice, especially from anyone who had fed this many chickens, and stored the feed fore them!
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Spring Dreaming Premium Member

    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    Well I own around 60 chickens and 15 turkeys and eight ducks, I store my feeds in garbage cans, my rations in metal and my corns in plastic, we also pile some bags off the ground if needed.

    Since I feed a bit more corn than most and mine can free range, I go through 4-6 bags of rations a month and about 300-400 pounds of corn and sunflower seeds. Most months we buy twice a month.
  3. barneveldrerman

    barneveldrerman Chillin' With My Peeps

    Each chicken is different if they get to roam around and have snacks such as table scraps a lot then about .12-.15 pounds a day. When they lay eggs,or have less roaming and less snacks it's anywhere from .25-.32 pound a day. Every chicken depending on their situation will eat differently.
  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    I had read 1/4 lb per bird per day years ago, but I think that was for battery-style feeing of sex links or Leghorns, with pretty much no waste and the birds get no exercise. Mine seem to eat about double that---hatchery dual purpose birds with a large run but no free range.

    We've recently found our Grange will sell in bulk and have been buying feed by the tote. It's about 1500 lbs and a great break on price. We just store it in our pole barn. We did have a critter nibble through a corner (the tote is made of I think canvas) but the barn cats soon took care of that.

    Before we bought in bulk, we would just store the feed in sacks in the hay barn. Since you don't have a structure, I'd go with the galvanized steel garbage cans. Bungee cords for the lids if they don't lock into place well. How you protect from wind will be up to you.
  5. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

    Sep 13, 2011
    southern Michigan
    I overwinter 30 to 35 birds, and generally grow about 50 (or more) in summer. I use metal garbage cans, the large size, that hold 150 lbs. of Flock Raiser if I dump it into the can, or 100 lbs. if left in the two bags. I don't try to store more than that at once, to keep it fresh. I also look at the date on the bag when I buy it. Growing birds eat more, and Leghorns eat a smaller amount than big birds. Feed conversion on heritage breeds free ranging may be about 3 lbs. feed per lb. of weight gain; at least that's what I plan for. Lots of feed!!! Mary
  6. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

    Oct 16, 2010
    NEK, VT
    I don't keep records of these things but can say with fact that my 14 birds when growing still (but over 16 weeks) would go through 50 lbs in 2.5 weeks (16-18 days). Now that they are 25 weeks and on top of growth curve take 3 weeks (21 days exact) to go through a bag. Now this is with half a pound of scratch or table scraps everyday and having 1600 sqft of range that is moved every two weeks. Standard bred Plymouth Rocks not laying yet and going through 0.170 pounds per day of pellet feed.
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2015
  7. Spartan22

    Spartan22 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 2, 2014
    North Canton, Ohio
    I have 22 layers, and feed them 3-4 lbs/day of layer feeds/flock raiser + their daily greens/fruits which could be equivalent to your tractor situation w/ grass and bugs. 50 lbs bag last them 16 days. I buy 2 bags at a time and keep them in a metal container w/ tight lids to deter rodents and wild animals and keep moisture out.
    Their food intake will also be affected by the temperature changes. With your 40 chickens, they will consume almost double my flock consumptions.
  8. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

    Dec 25, 2012
    A normal sized layer will consume 4 to 5 ounces of food per day. 22 layers of normal size (about 4 pounds each) should eat about 5.5 pounds of chicken feed per day. Your mileage may vary.
  9. BeachMomma

    BeachMomma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 25, 2015
    For storage, go with metal garbage cans. Rodents and animals can and will eat it's way through the plastic containers
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2015
  10. rikd

    rikd Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 5, 2015
    will county illinois
    i have total of 7 bantam hens/pullets, fairly new to keeping chickens. currently feeding them constant supply of laying feed, with "treats" weekly of either cracked corn or a garlic, grape, carrot, small bit of scrabbled eggs, and main ingredient of either pumpkin seeds or squash seeds. there water is per treated in a gallon jug with pro Biotoics, apple cider vinegar, and one crushed garlic "peddle". now from all ive read all these foods are good for them and it seems that garlic, pumpkin seeds, and squash seeds will evict/prevent most if not all types of worms, and garlic also helps with lice and mites. i have other measures for mite and lice in place like a wood ash dust bath with delouser mixed in. so far no issues and they love the feed and seem to like when the garlic comes out of the water jug when it empties. any thoughts or tips...?? ty :)

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