Chicken diet questions.

AquaticQueen

So I am looking forward to getting chickens in May, and I was wondering something, how much chicken scratch would 6 layer hens need if they were free range. How many pounds a week would they eat aside from the insects, kitchen scraps, and weeds that they would get?
Thanks!
 

mmercier

So I am looking forward to getting chickens in May, and I was wondering something, how much chicken scratch would 6 layer hens need if they were free range. How many pounds a week would they eat aside from the insects, kitchen scraps, and weeds that they would get?
Thanks!

My family has had a group of eight free range chickens. We set up a feeder of layer pellets for them and left it in their coop. They have access to it all the time and will eat whatever they find in the yard and kitchen scraps along with that. We buy a pretty large bag (I'm guessing around 20 or 30 pounds) and they take months to run through it. I would just let them have access to the food in whatever kind of shelter you're offering them and fill it up when it gets low.
 

CoryBoi

you can’t just feed them scratch. It should be a once in a while treat. They need a layer feed.
you can expect them to eat 1/3 of a pound of feed a day per adult hen.
you will need a coop with at least 4 sqft per hen and a run with 10 sqft per hen, remember these are minimums! Keep food available 24/7.
 

Fisheye

Check out Justin Rhodes on Youtube (not the singer) for a wealth (more) info and chicken systems. He has a great property and lifestyle.
 

CoryBoi

Check out Justin Rhodes on Youtube (not the singer) for a wealth (more) info and chicken systems. He has a great property and lifestyle.
He’s okay for some baseline info, but don’t follow his info closely. He keeps like 100 chickens in a small 8x8 “chickshaw” with wire bottoms. And he is mostly good for permiculture not animal care.
 

Fisheye

I thought they were free range and the chickshaw was for acclimating, night time housing and moving. Appreciate your input.
 

CoryBoi

I thought they were free range and the chickshaw was for acclimating, night time housing and moving. Appreciate your input.
No. they go in there Every night, unless he changed something, I haven’t watched his videos because the info is not great and his videos are so repetitive. even free ranged chickens still need a coop.
 

Fisheye

Yes, I was aware of night time housing and mentioned that. Not pretending to know anything about chickens but wanted to share info about a channel I enjoyed watching at one point.

AquaticQueen, I hope you enjoy your chickens and will post pics!
 

AquaticQueen

Yes, I was aware of night time housing and mentioned that. Not pretending to know anything about chickens but wanted to share info about a channel I enjoyed watching at one point.

AquaticQueen, I hope you enjoy your chickens and will post pics!
I'll update once I have them, but it might be a little while.
 

mmercier

I'll update once I have them, but it might be a little while.

I have had chickens for many years if you have any more questions I'm sure I can help
 

AquaticQueen

I have had chickens for many years if you have any more questions I'm sure I can help
If I give them access to layer feed 24/7 they should be fine along with grit, scraps, and the usual yard weeds?
 

mmercier

If I give them access to layer feed 24/7 they should be fine along with grit, scraps, and the usual yard weeds?
Yep, they'll eat their fill and no more. If they fill up on other food one day then they just won't eat their layer feed. It's totally fine to leave them constant access to their feed and still give them other snacks
 

-Mak-

Agree with all the info above on layer feed!

Also recommended that at least 90% of their diet is from feed, because it's nutritionally complete and everything else isn't. Though if they are free ranging you have less control over this, just make sure you're not giving them tons of scraps every day. We put our extra scraps in the compost pile and the chickens dig around in there sometimes
 

AquaticQueen

Thanks guys!
 

Flyfisha

I remember having chickens. The thing that I remember as a warning for you was getting 8 eggs per day from 6 hens for most weeks of the year. You can only fit about 7 eggs in a cake believe me I have tried.
 

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