Should it make any difference when I feed my chickens?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by harleyjo, Jan 21, 2012.

  1. harleyjo

    harleyjo Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 6, 2010
    SW Iowa
    I usually feed my chickens in the morning. Well it is cold up here now and dark when I have to leave for work some days. So a few days ago I decided to start feeding them in the late afternoon. The first day I fed them morning and afternoon and then switched to the afternoon. Should this make any difference in their laying?
  2. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    I actually feed both morning and afternoon. If you feed a large feeding in the late afternoon, it is possible that they won't finish it all before going to roost. This sort of invites the critters of the rodent variety. The next day, they'd also have to wait until late afternoon, should their feed be gone.

    Understand, chickens have survived for centuries and they wouldn't suffer either way. But, since you're wondering and you asked, I offer the above. It is easier to figure their feed intake for the day and offer that in the morning, allowing them all day to finally clean it up.

    Since I have to gather eggs anyhow, I"m out there a few times a day. You probably want to collect only in the late afternoon? Thus, the desire to also feed them at that time?
  3. harleyjo

    harleyjo Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 6, 2010
    SW Iowa

    Yes, that was my thinking, that I could gather eggs at the same time I feed them. Days I am home it is not a problem to go out more often but on these cold, snowy days, or days when I have to leave for work early it helps to do it later.
  4. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    You can only do what you can do. You'll have to be sure to provide 1/4 to 1/3 of a pound of feed, per bird, per day. Or, a pound for every three/four birds. They'll be just fine.
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2012
  5. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 31, 2008
    Grifton NC
    To get the best egg production, it's better to have food out for them all the time.
    It saves a lot of work and time too
  6. mtnviewfarms

    mtnviewfarms Chillin' With My Peeps

    We also keep food out all the time and egg production has been excellent - even w/o any added light with the shorter days.
    We have BR's - 14 pullets and 2 Roos and get from 8 to 11 eggs daily. We tried last summer to only feed once daily for about a week and egg production went way down during that 'trial' period.
  7. KDK1

    KDK1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 29, 2011
    Tennessee Plateau
    Mine have an all-you-can-eat buffet, 24/7. I add 50lb about every three weeks for nine hens. The RIRs and PRs are still laying good but the araucanas are on strike!
  8. bluestar.ranch

    bluestar.ranch Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 20, 2011
    Belville Tx
    mine eat a lot LOTS
  9. citychickx6

    citychickx6 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 14, 2011
    I am keeping food out 24/7 also and have no issue with the quantity of food eaten or the egg production.
    I get on average 7 to 8 eggs a day from 10 hens. No added light either.
    I do go out every morning to let them out and check on their condition. I want to make sure no one has
    frostbite or had a fight at night. In the afternoon I gather eggs and give some treats.

    Just how I prefer to do things.
  10. I still do the 24/7 as well. Must admit though that I did have a mouse problem once. I now keep mouse bait up in the rafters, and use the block that is in an enclosure just in case it ever falls and the chickens get interested. Im out there 3 times a day and have not had a problem yet with the bait staying put....even after a mouse had gotten into it.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by