Chickens are pretty content creatures when it comes to being fed. You can pretty much give them anything to eat. Whatever you give them they will peck it without complaining. They eat anything from food to insects and worms. But then, what is the exact amount of chicken feed should you give you chicken?
The exact feed amount for your chicken to keep them happy and healthy depends on various factors. This is the type of chickens you have, the size of the chicken and their temperament. Chicks will consume little compared to bigger chicken. If you have many chickens, you expect to feed them more feed compared to a small population. In this article, we will learn the amount of feed you need for a chicken. This way, you can be able to budget well on the amount you should purchase to feed your chicken.
How Much Feed Per Chicken?
Chicken should be fed approximately 1/4 pounds of feed in a day. However, this is just an estimate and not an exact amount to feed your chicken. You can provide them with a little more than this amount.
In feeding your chickens, there are many ways on how you could do this. One way is by getting a container big enough for all of your chickens. Feeding chickens should be done using many bowls and feeders to ensure that all the flock get to eat without being pecked and bullied by the other chicken. Availability of many feeders in the chicken coop ensures that when one bird is chased away from a feeder or bowl it can always run to eat the other available one. An example of a good feeding ratio when feeding chicken includes two feeders for a flock of six fully grown chickens.
Chickens like to eat little and every time. They tend to spend a lot of their day foraging for food, particularly barnyard chickens. They hunt for small grubs and other pests which they consider delicacies. Caged or confined chickens should be fed more every time, and their diet observed for nutritional deficiencies. They do not have the benefit of running around in the fresh air and foraging as barnyard chickens do.
Chicken tends to eat more during the cold weathers than when it’s hot to maintain their body temperatures and stay warm. It is highly recommended you feed your chickens once a day and always check on then with the changes in the climatic conditions to ensure that they are fed well. This will not only give them something to look forward to but enables you to ensure they have fresh food and water each day as well.
Chickens should be encouraged to eat as those that eat well will lay well too. Chickens don’t tend to overeat, with this; you need to understand that obese chickens are a rarity. There isn’t too much else for chickens to do other than lay eggs, roost at night and run around chasing each other during the day. By ensuring there is plenty of food around will stop your hens from getting bored.
The breed of chicken also determines the amount of feed consumed by your flock. For example, breeds like leghorns are well known to be good foragers and are beneficial in keeping the food costs to a minimum, especially when practising low budget chicken farming.
If you do not have something to place their food on, scattering it on the ground is not a good idea. The feed should be provided in feeding trays instead of just thrown on the ground as a lot of waste occupies the ground. For good health and sanitation, ensure that you feed your flocks in feeding trays. Feeding them on the trays ensures that no food goes to waste as they can always eat it later and not step on them until they become dirt. A good farmer should ensure that his or her trays discourage chickens from standing in them as this will move their waste from the ground to the trays.
Always ensure that you water your flock as much as you feed them. They like freshwater; farmer should always check the waterer and ensure they have plenty of fresh water. Like us, chickens don’t like dirty water or stale food. All food should be kept in sealed storage for it to remain as fresh as possible and don’t get contaminated by vermin. Uneaten food should be thrown out after a few days before it goes mouldy or attracts unwanted pests.
When your hens are at their egg-laying season, they need calcium in their diet. You could provide them with additional calcium by including crushed clam shells in their diet. Never give them whole clam shells. They may mistake it as their eggs. That is why the shells should be thoroughly crushed before being given to them.
Some feed stores carry crushed clam shells; you do not have to crush them on your own. Buying other supplementary feeds will also help in providing additional nutrients. Chickens would not have the idea of whether they have been fed with meat from their kind. You can place chicken bones in their meat but be careful that they do not consume a huge quantity of chicken meat or parts of the brain or spinal cord or else they may develop encephalopathy.
In conclusion, the best foods that you could feed to your chickens are specially made feeds, corns, pellets and other grains. They also eat meat, vegetables and fruits, but be careful in giving them these kinds of food. If you do feed them with these, keep an eye out in their diet. Some foods can be deadly to them. Chickens love eating grains. Feed them corn or rice grits, and they happily peck them. If you are on a tight budget, you could even feed your chickens with leftovers. Scraps like food bits and fruit peelings can be given to them too. You do not have to worry about preparing special food for them.