Will chickens over eat?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Dragonfly Ranch, Jul 23, 2010.

  1. Dragonfly Ranch

    Dragonfly Ranch Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 13, 2009
    Happy Valley, CA
    We have a flock of 23 hens and they are eating their food so fast we have to feed twice a day and we use a really big feeder.

    My questions is will they just eat and eat if we add a second feeder or will the quit when they are full. The last thing I want is fat lazy chickens or worst health probems.

    Sandee
     
  2. moetrout

    moetrout Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 5, 2010
    Milan, MI
    Mine seem like walking stomachs! I am not going through a lot of feed though. Mine birds get a lot of table scraps and free range all day most everyday. So, I can't really answer your question on whether or not they will over eat, but I can say that if you feed them more kitchen scraps and could free range them as much as possible you will go through a lot less food. One last thought.....are they wasting it? Do you see a lot of feed on the ground? If so experiment with a different kind of feeder that will not allow them to waste feed. Hope that helps!
     
  3. Dragonfly Ranch

    Dragonfly Ranch Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 13, 2009
    Happy Valley, CA
    Quote:We give them shredded carrots and cabbage everyday (get it at he Dollar store) and they get all the kitchen scraps/damaged fruit from the orchard that are OK for them to eat. Unfortunately, our property is not good for free ranging and we have a lot of predators. Also, I work full time and come August my husband works out of town for 3 months so they have to stay in then for sure.

    Yes, they are wasting a lot. We are going to build a tray to go under the feeder to catch the feed before it hits the ground and hopefully that will help some. But I just worry that while my husband is away (he is home full time when not working) that they will run out of food during the day.

    Thanks for your comments.

    Sandee
     
  4. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    No, chickens won't over eat. Everything I've read indicates you should allow them free choice of food.

    Another benefit to setting up a second feeder is that it helps the hens who are lower on the pecking order get enough to eat. Sometimes the higher ranking hens will scare the lower ranking ones away from the primary feeder.
     
  5. woodmort

    woodmort Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oxford NY
    It's been my experience not only with chickens but other animals that given free choice they will eat until they are full and quit. It is when their feed is rationed that they overeat for fear they will need it before the next feeding that they get fat. Fat animals become that way because of the foods they are fed--high carbohydrates being one thing--rather than overeating--corn will put weight on chickens.

    BTW, seems the same thing is true for humans.[​IMG]
     
  6. ranchhand

    ranchhand Rest in Peace 1956-2011

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    You haven't said what kind of feed they are on, beyond carrots and cabbage? I assume you are giving layer feed as well, lol. I keep it available 24/7 and haven't had a fat hen yet.

    Now a meat bird will eat and eat until they die. What kind of hens do you have?

    Definately set up another feeder, the junior hens will be very happy! [​IMG]
     
  7. BeccaB00

    BeccaB00 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 16, 2010
    Kansas
    No . they should not overeat.
     
  8. Barred Babies

    Barred Babies Red Roof Farms

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    Pride, La.
    I found switching from crumbles to pellets made a dramatic difference in the amount of feed they consumed. I was buying 100lbs of feed a week for 47 chickens and once I switched to pellets I'm now on the 10th day of a 50 lb bag of feed.

    Missi
     
  9. woodmort

    woodmort Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:That's why I prefer pellets to crumbles or mash--I think the spread the latter two around more than eat it.
     
  10. Barred Babies

    Barred Babies Red Roof Farms

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    Quote:Oh yeah it's definatly a major difference. With the crumbles they always had feed all over the ground now I don't hardly see any!

    Missi
     
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2010

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