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Author Topic: Chicken Feed!  (Read 3152 times)

Offline ziffabeek

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Chicken Feed!
« on: March 20, 2013, 04:51:51 PM »
Hi All!

Venturing in here for the first time :).  I've done a search but no luck on this specific question.

How much food per month (approximate) would 4 chickens eat, if their feed is supplemented with a family of two's kitchen scraps and a (largish for the city) garden scraps.  They would be confined most of the day except on weekends and then allowed to range the yard during the day for bugs.

Any estimates? I realize it is hard to say, but rough is good enough for me. We finally got the yard fenced and my husband says I can get chickens next spring if I do the math and they aren't going to cost us an arm and a leg.  I want them for eggs and manure for the garden!  And cute chickens in the yard!!

Thanks for any help!

love,
ziffa

Offline swflcpl

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Re: Re: Chicken Feed!
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2013, 05:26:58 PM »
We had (until recently) 6 laying hens that are about 9 months old that were eating about 50 pounds every 6 weeks. They free range on about 3 acres of grass and 2 acres of woodland during the day and were getting scraps from a household of 2 adults.  We just lost 2 to predators (aka butthole neighbors' dog in our yard) so I feel like this will now stretch to about 8 weeks. They are eating countryside organics soy free organic laying blend.   http://www.countrysideorganics.com/product.php?productid=135&cat=0&page=1&featured  They were giving us about 39-40 eggs a week.

Hope that helps.
swflcpl

Offline kathyp

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Re: Chicken Feed!
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2013, 05:37:04 PM »
i have 5 that are not free range and are eating about 40 lbs every 6 weeks or so + all the scraps.  that 40 pounds is + or - depending on how many scraps.  they were going through more when i was feeding crumbles, but now with pellets they are going though less.
.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville

Offline kathyp

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Re: Chicken Feed!
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2013, 05:39:50 PM »
also, remember that they scratch the ground and will tear up your plants.  clip their wings so they never get the idea that they can go over the fence! 

brown eggs go for 4 dollars a dozen here, but that's because these folks think brown eggs are magical.  to much weed in the daily diet  :evil:
.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Chicken Feed!
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2013, 05:45:04 PM »
When things are growing, I only feed them scraps.  When things are not growing and they still have access to the corn field for gleanings, I feed a bit but not much.  When there is snow on the ground, and they can't get to the corn in the field, I feed them as much as they will take.  All in all, I don't feed them much but mine are free range.
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Offline ziffabeek

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Re: Chicken Feed!
« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2013, 06:10:45 PM »
Wow - Thanks everybody! That is perfect information!

Kathy - I know they scratch which is why I plan to only let them out when I can watch them and (try) to protect the plants. This will be an experiment.  I also fear predators which is another reason their free range will be limited.    And you magic eggs comment literally made me laugh out loud.  heh.  They go for $6.00 a dozen at the farmers market here!  I don't think it's the weed. ;)

Thanks again everybody!  Someday I will have my 20 acre plot and then I will free range them,  and maybe even learn to kill rabbits! 

love,
ziffa

Offline kathyp

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Re: Chicken Feed!
« Reply #6 on: March 20, 2013, 08:18:51 PM »
 :-D

i have the land, but with the land come preditors from above and around.  i had to cover my yard with net to keep the flying preditors away.  still, they are worth it.  i had forgotten how fun those dumb birds are!
.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville

Offline bailey

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Re: Chicken Feed!
« Reply #7 on: March 20, 2013, 11:31:34 PM »
Hey ziff. 
Check out the rabbit thread again.  Wrote ya instructions there on the rabbit offing.
Bailey
most often i find my greatest source of stress to be OPS  ( other peoples stupidity )

It is better to keep ones mouth shut and be thought of as a fool than to open ones mouth and in so doing remove all doubt.

Offline oblib

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Re: Chicken Feed!
« Reply #8 on: March 21, 2013, 10:18:25 AM »
My chickens must be gluttons then. 6 RIR hens and 1 roo go through 50lbs in 3weeks. They get to free range every day and get scraps from 3 adults. But I didn't really keep track of how much they ate until it was way too cold for them to be getting much out on the range so consumption will probly drop with spring.

Offline stella

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Re: Chicken Feed!
« Reply #9 on: April 29, 2013, 11:40:22 PM »
19 hens. 100 pounds of feed a month, or so. (22 bucks a month) And thats in winter when the free ranging is null.
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Offline danno

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Re: Chicken Feed!
« Reply #10 on: April 30, 2013, 09:10:10 AM »
I have had alot of different breeds and it make a world of difference in food consumption.  I have white leghorns now that I really like.   They eat very little and lay large white eggs and they are never broody.  If you want brown eggs take a look at Isa Browns.   These are medium size but lay super jumbo eggs.  They are a sex links so when you buy pullets, thats all you get.  They eat little and are not broody.    The broody thing can really be a problem and old world breeds all seem to have it in them.    Kathy mentioned clipping wings.  If you do just clip one wing of each bird.  This throughs them off balance.   

Offline dING

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Re: Chicken Feed!
« Reply #11 on: April 30, 2013, 08:18:17 PM »
For interest or general knowledge

The chooks have a wattle like thing

On the side of there head where ya

Ear should be and if its white they lay white eggs

And if its red they lay brown eggs

A nother bit of useless info
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Offline AllenF

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Re: Chicken Feed!
« Reply #12 on: April 30, 2013, 10:14:38 PM »
I have not fed my hens in 2 years and 1 month.   March 1st a couple years back, I just went full free range.  The hens have never looked so happy or busy. 

Offline danno

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Re: Chicken Feed!
« Reply #13 on: May 01, 2013, 09:30:24 AM »
On the side of there head where ya

Ear should be and if its white they lay white eggs

And if its red they lay brown eggs

A nother bit of useless info
Not 100% true. There are few exceptions: the Dorking breed of chicken has red earlobes but produces white-shelled eggs, and the Aracuana breed from Chile has red earlobes but produces green-shelled eggs.


Offline hardwood

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Re: Chicken Feed!
« Reply #14 on: May 01, 2013, 03:52:34 PM »
Mine produce not only green eggs (several different shades of green) but blue and pink as well depending on the bird and Peggy can tell which lays which by the ears. I've also been trying the americana breed but only have gotten green or brown eggs from them.

Scott
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Offline kathyp

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Re: Chicken Feed!
« Reply #15 on: May 01, 2013, 06:51:24 PM »
Quote
Kathy mentioned clipping wings.  If you do just clip one wing of each bird. 

yes, sorry.  thought that as a given, but i guess not if you are thinking about clipping queens... :-D  one wing for birds!
.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville

Offline kingbee

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Re: Chicken Feed!
« Reply #16 on: June 05, 2013, 08:10:14 PM »
Hens with white ear lobes lay white shelled eggs.  Hens with red earlobes lay eggs with colored shells.

A little more useless information.  ALL eggshells are white on the inside.  All eggshells are white before they are laid.  The color is added to the eggs' exterior  90 minutes or less before the egg is laid.  The idea that somehow brown eggs are better for you is pure Madison Avenue marketing helped along by widespread ignorance about chickens.  Another bit of truth is that on the average it requires more feed to produce an ounce, a pound, or a ton of brown shelled eggs than it takes to produce an equal amount of white shelled eggs.

Offline itsme

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Re: Chicken Feed!
« Reply #17 on: July 27, 2013, 11:20:18 AM »
I have not fed my hens in 2 years and 1 month.   March 1st a couple years back, I just went full free range.  The hens have never looked so happy or busy. 

Wow!  I would really like to hear more about that.  I would love to reduce our feed costs. 

What do your chickens have access to?  I mean what sort of things do they find for themselves?  Did you plant something for them?  What breed of chickens to you have?  Our chickens free range and they still eat grain.

Thanks!
Bill

Offline danno

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Re: Chicken Feed!
« Reply #18 on: July 27, 2013, 01:43:04 PM »
I could get away without feeding in summer.   The hens are out roaming at first hint of sunlight.   They eat grass, bugs and worms. 

 

anything