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boisdevie1

Am I feeding my hens too much?

I have two laying hens, 5 hens about to come into lay, one old duck and two geese. I've been feeding on demand and gone through a 25kg bag of wheat
In just over two weeks. They free range over an area of rough grass of about 500m sq. Am I feeding them too much? Should I cut down the feed and 'force' them to forage a bit more? Am I correct in assuming the geese won't be eating much of the grain or should they go in the freezer. I'm trying to do my poultry in a more efficient way.
Finsky

Geese are big birds and can gobble up quite amount of food..
I would expect sack of pellets to last about 5-6 weeks between 7 hens..maybe tad longer depending what else they get to eat.
So your 'little over 2 weeks' doesn't sound that much our of proportion .. depending how you feed them too...are you creating waste, uneaten food? Does rodents have access for their share?
Chickpea

I had 7 hens, and they gave 6 or 7 eggs daily. I fed them only layered pellets in the morning, free feeding, they helped themselves then after they had laid they were allowed a bit of freedom to dig for insects etc. then in the evening a handful of mixed grains, my sack of layers pellets lasted 6 or 7 weeks.
Mutton

With our geese we found poultry corn would come out in their droppings, unchanged, certainly the smaller bits. They have access to plenty of grit so it isn't that their crops don't have grinding material in it.
The chickens did then peck the corn out of the muck so it wasn't wasted.

We now feed crushed barley soaked in water as the top up feed for our geese, but they mainly graze. The crushed barley does seem to be digested better.

Can't comment directly on amounts you are feeding, though it is definitely a lot more than we do, but our birds free range over a large field and pick up lots out there.
Tavascarow

Hens require about 150gms of grain (or pellets) per bird per day.
If they have access to freerange & it's not a mudbath then I wouldn't give them more it just encourages laziness in the birds & Rattus norvegicus will soon discover any surplus.
As to geese haven't a clue. Can't stand the creatures.
Bodger

Do you remember those beautiful old scales I came by a while back? I use them to weigh out all my big and poultry rations these days. I now realise now just how crap I am at guessing weights.
That's perhaps one of the reasons I'm on a diet again. Very Happy
Tavascarow

Do you remember those beautiful old scales I came by a while back? I use them to weigh out all my big and poultry rations these days. I now realise now just how crap I am at guessing weights.
That's perhaps one of the reasons I'm on a diet again. Very Happy

I haven't got a set of scales but the 1000ml scoop I use holds almost persactly (Cornish for almost but not quite)1kg of mixed corn. Checked using kitchen scales.
Bodger

A thousand ml scoop, that's a litre isn't it? If you're only feeding half a dozen chickens, then that means a lot of guesswork. As in is my scoop a quarter full? half full? And so on. Very Happy
sean

Surely you just keep the right number of hens for the size of your scoop. Confused Wink
dpack

treadle feeders cut waste

imho whole dry grain is a "feed in moderation"food ,grit is required

smashed grain ( home made or as found in pellet etc is easy to digest )

micronised peas are popular and seem a good way to up the protein ration

at the mo there wont be much forage to scrat for so good rations are sensible .

whatever defra say chooks are not vegan so allowing them access to suitable foods is important ,protecting rare species can also be an issue .worms ,beetles mice etc good ,newts and tings not so good.
Cathryn

I have thirteen guinea fowl, four bantam hens and a bantam cockerel who free range over about ten acres for the hens and about forty acres for the guinea fowl every day. They get through a sack of mixed corn about every week and half. It's mainly the guinea fowl getting through this. They don't half nag when it runs out.

From this lot I get about three small eggs a day and quite an effective lawn mowing.

I'm also feeding quite a large number of other birds including crows, house sparrows, hedge sparrows, chaffinches and quite a population of small brown things, some of whom bring the corn into the house to store it more safely in my shoes, the drawer with all our outdoor gear in it, the bag of plastic bags and no doubt lots of other places.

Feeding too much, nah, but then maths doesn't come into it.
Tavascarow

A thousand ml scoop, that's a litre isn't it? If you're only feeding half a dozen chickens, then that means a lot of guesswork. As in is my scoop a quarter full? half full? And so on. Very Happy
6 hens @ 150g per day= 900g so a little under a full scoop should be about right.
I did say 'almost persactly'.
Drekly.
Wink
Bodger

Surely you just keep the right number of hens for the size of your scoop. Confused Wink

Never thought of that one Sean. I'll tell the Mrs I need more chickens. That'll go down well. Laughing
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