suppliment for free range????

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Ardizzone7, Jul 5, 2011.

  1. Ardizzone7

    Ardizzone7 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 5, 2011
    Redkey, IN
    Hi Everyone!

    We have 18 chickens and 2 ducks that free range all day on 10 acres of land. Do they need to be given feed as well or is the free ranging enough? They have been free ranging with 1 feeding a day of crumbles for about a month now. We are almost out of crumbles and want to know if we need to buy more or if they get enough from the free ranging.

  2. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas

    I have two free range flocks on 80 acres. I keep feeders filled in both of my coops at all times.
  3. islandchix

    islandchix Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 3, 2011
    Our hens free range all day and we supplement with feed. They usually eat the feed first thing in the morning and then some before heading into the coop.
  4. Marshchick

    Marshchick Out Of The Brooder

    May 16, 2011
    Marshfield, MA
    Ours free range most of the day from about 11 a.m. - when they go back into the coop. I do see them from time to time go back to the coop for feed and water, even though I keep water outside as well. Then when they go back in at night, they all eat a bit of feed before they perch. So I'd say keep it available and they'll eat what they want.
  5. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Yep - go buy another bag of feed. As long as the seasons are warm, that bag will last a loonnnggg time. [​IMG]
  6. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    Mine eat a whole lot less feed when they free range, but they will eat some. They eat a lot more feed in the winter than the summer. There are also times that I don't let them out to free range, for whatever reasons. I need feed for those days.

    In my opinion, if they are good foragers, they don't need the feed. When I grew up many decades ago, we never fed our free range flock in the warmer months. But these were broody raised chickens that knew how to forage. They laid OK, but their eggs were problably not as big and maybe not as many as there could have been. They grew OK and would make a meal, but did not grow as fast or as big as a well fed flock. They looked more like distance runners instead of well fed couch potatoes. I personally don't think they were any less healthy than they would have been if they had been fed. But that is my opersonal opinion. Many people on this forum will probably be horrified at that thought.
  7. Ardizzone7

    Ardizzone7 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 5, 2011
    Redkey, IN
    Thanks everyone! More feed it is!
  8. ChickInDelight

    ChickInDelight Never an Empty Nest

    Apr 27, 2011
    Browntown, VA
    I have a yard less than a 1/4 acre. I keep the chicken feed in the open hutch, but my girls don't go in until dark. I just threw feed out on the lawn. Prudy ate for a few minutes. Roxie pecked a bit, but Buffy and Penny ignored the feed even though all 4 pullets ran to me when they saw me. They all went after the early evening bugs.

    My recommendation is to keep it available in the coop. It will likely last a long time in this weather. Mine prefer their own findings to both feed and the greens and tomatoes I throw out. Sometimes, I discover something they love from the sink strainer such as black olives - my own favorite.

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