Why are their stomachs like bottomless pits?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by DeepDishChix, Feb 6, 2016.

  1. DeepDishChix

    DeepDishChix Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My two smaller chickens I have in a separate cage are eating soooooo much!!! I've already given about 5 cups of layer feed and theyre still hungry. I also gave them scratch and black oil sunflower seeds for protein. They have water. So why are they so HUNGRY? [​IMG][​IMG]
     
  2. blucoondawg

    blucoondawg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Was the feeder empty when you started giving them feed? If so they will likely gorge themselves. Make sure the feeder always has feed in it and they will self regulate just fine unless they're meat birds then they'll eat like pigs no matter what
     
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  3. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Sits With Chickens Premium Member

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    Are you sure they are eating it, they could be knocking it out and into the bedding, my chicks do that a lot in the brooder, I would check under their bedding.
     
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  4. MelodyC

    MelodyC Out Of The Brooder

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    So do need to ration their feed when they gorge? We have 12 birds, mostly Rhode Island Reds, and they are going through food like crazy. But then, I really don't know about how much 12 birds should go through in a day. Or will their gorging slow down with regular food in the feeder? We just got them a week ago, and I don't think the guy had been feeding them the last week or so.
     
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  5. Percheron chick

    Percheron chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Don't ration it. 12 adult hens should be eating 3-4# of feed a day. That's in the 8-10 cup range. They will eat more if their diet is lacking (typically protein). Age of hens, laying, type of feed?
     
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  6. MelodyC

    MelodyC Out Of The Brooder

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    We were told they were 2-3 yrs old, mostly Rhode Island Reds. We got the Purina Layena crumbles and pellets. As thinking that a friend was talking about actually layering pellets and crumbles, we bought both. Now I realize she meant layer as in the type of food. LOL As for laying, we have only found two eggs in a week. He told us they weren't laying much, but when we went to look at the coop, there were like 8 eggs in one bin. Not sure if he just didn't bother to collect for a long time, or they were placed there for us to think they were laying.
     
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  7. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    In a confined situation when I had production reds and other layer breeds like yours they ranged .2 to .25 pounds of feed per day each. 3 lbs a day for 12 birds like that would be about max. If your going through significantly more than that I'd look into rodent control.
     
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  8. Percheron chick

    Percheron chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Typically, when a hen encounters a stressful situation, she will suspend laying for a week or so. 3 year old hens are past their prime. Getting 3 eggs a week from each is a realistic expectation. Also a hungry hen will not lay. All strikes for your girls. Give them all they can eat and they should reward you with more eggs then you can eat.
     
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  9. MelodyC

    MelodyC Out Of The Brooder

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    No rodents. Watching them eat like crazy.
     
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  10. blucoondawg

    blucoondawg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Rhode island reds and all the other dual purpose breeds can be fed free choice. If feed is always available they will just peck at it when they're hungry, should be no need to ration food. If they are eating like you describe they were likely starved. If my feeder runs empty for half the day when I fill it that's how they act otherwise they don't eat like that. I did switch from layer to a higher protein meat maker feed and find they eat less, so much that it actually s saves me a little money on feed even though it costs more per bag
     
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