Trying to reduce chicken feed costs

Crazy for Chickens!

Free Ranging
Jun 9, 2017
8,235
10,693
582
NW Missouri
Hi everyone!
I was wanting to see how everybody feeds their chickens. It seems that our chickens kind of just eat for fun. We have eighteen chickens right now (we just got rid of old hens). There are a few big hens, but the rest are bantams. They all free range, all day, everyday. They are allowed to free range on their food. I usually just put it in there, put more in when it's gone. They have a metal feed trough that sits on the ground. Whenever I go in the coop at night, I often see mice. Do you think that mice could eat a good amount of food? There is a possibility we might have rats, but have never seen any. I was interested in the idea of feedings, morning and night. I've read a hen needs about a 1/4 of a pound a day. How much do bantams need? They get layer crumble and cracked corn mixed together. They have oyster shell as well. Open for input about what you do, and what seems to work best. Thanks!
 

chickengeorgeto

Crowing
7 Years
Dec 25, 2012
8,048
4,090
431
Big Bend of the Tennessee River's Right Bank.
.... It seems that our chickens... eat for fun... Whenever I go in the coop at night, I often see mice. Do you think that mice could eat a good amount of food? There is a possibility we might have rats....
Last question first: The presents of mice usually means that you don't have rats.
Remember that mice are like icebergs, 90% of them are out of sight.
Rodents like rats & mice also have the nasty habit of urinating on things like chicken feed in order to prevent the chickens from eating to much of the mouse's food.
 

Crazy for Chickens!

Free Ranging
Jun 9, 2017
8,235
10,693
582
NW Missouri
I was thinking if I did feeding, morning and night, there wouldn't be feed in the feeder overnight, which would help with mice. I need to figure out how much to give them so that they are filled up, but there isn't feed left. Does anybody know how much the average bantam need per day? I'm probably going to just try and give them feedings, and kind of expirement with how much they are going to eat.
 
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