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How much do your chickens eat?

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  • How much do your chickens eat?

    I have 24 hens (large breed layers) that are 2 years old. They finally started laying again a couple weeks ago after being on strike for January and most of February.

    Layer feed is up to $14/bag at the feed store and they are going through it like crazy.

    I do throw them leftover veggies, bread, noodles, etc for treats and they will be roaming for bugs if we ever get out from under all this snow, but holy cow they eat a lot! Anything else I can add? Cracked corn? Oats?
    Things Take Time

  • #2
    My husband feeds his chickens cracked corn along with the layer. His chickens eat a LOT when it is cold out...


    • #3
      I have 6 hens & 1 rooster.
      They go through a 50# bag of layer pellets in about a month - give or take.

      More when it's cold & they can't find anything to supplement the pellets when freeranging or confined to the coop.

      Less when they can fill up on bugs, weeds, my veggie garden when it's nice out.

      I also feed them a daily breakfast of oatmeal with plain yogurt & scrambled eggs & an afternoon treat of whatever veggie scraps I have left over.

      I do buy some greenery for them when nothing is growing outside & the occasional tin of sardines for protein.

      They also get scratch that is 50/50 whole oats & Boss. Just a couple handfuls tossed as a treat.
      *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
      Steppin' Out 1988-2004
      Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
      Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015


      • #4
        All of my critters except the horse and donkey get the same grain mix from my local feed mill. The ag tech came up with the mixture based on all the critters. It is a pea/barley/wheat mix, it costs me about $125.00 for a mini-bulk bag which is about 1200 lbs.

        I also get all the "old" produce from our local grocery store, my sister runs a soup kitchen in her town and she collects the scraps and old bread and brings that out every couple of weeks.

        You can check with the local grocery stores, bakeries, donut shops etc. Most are more them happy to give you the food that they will just throw out anyway.

        If you have a feed mill, go talk to them. I used to pay $15.00/50 lb bag of chicken feed, that's just way too expensive! If you don't have a pickup truck, they will mix and bag the feed up for you too, but the cheapest way is the mini-bulk bags.


        • Original Poster

          That's a great idea to talk to the local grocery store....I actually know the owner fairly well.
          Things Take Time


          • #6
            My 11 hens (Austrolorps, Buffs and Delawares) go through 50lbs. of Nutrena Naturewise (I think...) in 3-4 weeks, depending on how much the Corgi snags when I collect eggs . I also supplement with ChickenCrack, er.. cracked corn and anything that doesn't head to the compost bin from the kitchen. Of course, it doesn't get quite as cold here, but the old biddies do like a nice, big meal.

            I also get boxes of trimmings and tosses from our local produce store. They give it away. For FREE!! Crazy.
            Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!


            • #7
              My corgi snacks on the chicken feed too (and everything else)! I feed the layer crumbles mixed with cracked corn that I get from my feed store. I also feed the cheap salad mix from the grocery store that has carrots, lettuce and some of that purple cabbage. They LOVE cheese, so I throw in the shredded mozzarella cheese and usually give them a slice of american cheese when they come to the door begging. They are cheese fiends - it's like crack to them lol! Mine do get to free range for part of the day (from 3pm to usually dusk when they put themselves to bed), so they get plenty of bugs and whatever horse grain my husband and the horses toss their way at night feed. I only have 2 roosters (pets), so can't extrapolate amounts to 65!


              • #8
                Originally posted by 2DogsFarm View Post
                I also feed them a daily breakfast of oatmeal with plain yogurt & scrambled eggs .
                “Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.” Peter Drucker


                • #9
                  My chickens always ate whatever I gave them!! Like a lab, toss it out and they will eat it and keep on eating it including my sweet perennials!!!!


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by JohnDeere View Post

                    oatmeal & eggs = protein
                    yogurt = calcium
                    all good for egg production

                    & they love chicken!
                    I tossed them the carcass of a storebought rotisserie bird & had to walk away while they attacked & stripped it clean.
                    Not even bones left.
                    *friend of bar.ka*RIP all my lovely boys, gone too soon:
                    Steppin' Out 1988-2004
                    Hey Vern! 1982-2009, Cash's Bay Threat 1994-2009
                    Sam(Jaybee Altair) 1994-2015


                    • #11
                      I have 13 layers (5 that are almost 1 year old and 8 that will be 2). In the winter when they are mostly in the coop, I go through at most 2-50# bags of layer feed a month. When there is not a foot of snow on the ground and it's above 30, they free range all day. During this time, they go through about 1-50# a month, sometimes slightly more & sometimes slightly less. I guess it depends on how much bugs and other stuff is available. They love to hang out under our cherry trees and devour the cherries when they are in season. I don't supplement them with anything other than oyster shells. I do throw them some black oil sunflower seeds as a treat almost daily. They eat those up pretty fast.

                      I do compost which gets thrown on the manure pile. They chase me down when they see the compost can and search through it. They only get what the dog lets them have (he loves broccoli stems). They also clean up whatever feed has been dropped in the horses stalls, usually as it is dropped. My piggy gelding does not appreciate that and usually chases them out of the stall, but he drops more than he eats (although he does clean it up) so they do stick around. It's pretty funny to watch the back and forth between a couple chickens and a 16.2 horse.


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Calvincrowe View Post
                        My 11 hens (Austrolorps, Buffs and Delawares) go through 50lbs. of Nutrena Naturewise (I think...) in 3-4 weeks, depending on how much the Corgi snags when I collect eggs . I also supplement with ChickenCrack, er.. cracked corn and anything that doesn't head to the compost bin from the kitchen. Of course, it doesn't get quite as cold here, but the old biddies do like a nice, big meal.

                        I also get boxes of trimmings and tosses from our local produce store. They give it away. For FREE!! Crazy.
                        Is Nutrena made from whole grain products made into a pellet, or by-products? Thanks!