Should food be available to the chickens all the time?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by go-veggie, Jul 18, 2008.

  1. go-veggie

    go-veggie Flew the Coop

    I always fill their feeder before I go to sleep when I close them up, and then they pick around in the grass and I throw some feed in the grass too during the day. Is there a time they are supposed to be without food? Will they grow too fast or get sick if they are offered too much food? They seem healthy at 10 weeks now...
  2. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Crowing

    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    If you are feeding chicks and laying hens they need food available all the time. They will eat what they need and not over do it.
  3. cajunlizz

    cajunlizz Songster

    Apr 27, 2008
    Lafayette, Louisiana
    Quote:I feed very early in the morning . I give laying pellets , growing pellets and scratch and grit . and plenty of water .

    I do give snacks , treats about mid afternoon and ALWAYS plenty of water .

    I replenish the pellets around 4:00 PM , BUT I DO NOT put any food what so ever in the chicken coop .

    Food attracts flies , mice , rats , ETC. and after them eating all they wanted all day , NO NEED to feed at night .
  4. go-veggie

    go-veggie Flew the Coop

    Great! Thanks! [​IMG]
  5. Frizzledhen

    Frizzledhen Spear Gunnin' Coons

    Feb 17, 2007
    I leave food out all the time for my hens and chicks. They eat in the morning before I let them out of the coop and again when they go back in for the night. During the day they would rather forage for bugs and eat grass.
  6. cajunlizz

    cajunlizz Songster

    Apr 27, 2008
    Lafayette, Louisiana
    Quote:Well , sorry but I beg to differ . I was raised on a farm with hundred's of chickens . I am 56 years old and can still remember chickens IF ALLOWED would EAT all day long . Like a bottomless pit . LIKE PIGS LOL
  7. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Crowing

    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    I have consistantly raised chickens for over 20 years. Hands on experience. Not what my parents may or many not have done when I was a child. I am very sure I know what I am doing and advising for the raising and feeding of chickens. I raise large fowl breeds. Laying hens need food available at all times. They will not eat to gluttony. They will eat what they need. They need more than pellets/crumbles, they need less corn and scratch which is like chicken candy, and they need a good source of protein from insects and a green diet. They eat what they need. Otherwise you will see it in poor egg quality and lack of luster in their feathers as well as in contracting disease and immune issues. Chickens with something lacking int heir diet or not enough feed will pick, peck and cannabilize other chickens. more issues with hens arrise from not enough feed than from anything else.

    Meat chickens will eat no matter what to the point of eating themselves to death.
  8. SterlingAcres

    SterlingAcres Songster

    Apr 17, 2008
    Poconos, PA
    Ummm... I'm going with MP on that one.
  9. DuckLady

    DuckLady Administrator

    Jan 11, 2007
    NE Washington State
    I agree with MP also.

    I will add though, if I am having a problem with mice or rats, I take in the feed at night until the problem is emliminated.

    Chickens need their beauty sleep at night and don't need to be midnight snacking anyway! [​IMG]

    The ducks can go without overnight and the geese only supplement the grass they eat with feed as their bodies tell them they need.
  10. flakey chick

    flakey chick Songster

    May 3, 2007
    I would take MPs advice. My dad grew up on a farm. He tells me that during the summer, I should let them free-range 24/7 during the summer and let them sleep in the trees like they used to do. Nevermind all the possums, racoons, foxes, and skunks. Yes, it's not always best to do things the way they used to be done.

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