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Mumsnet does not check the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you're worried about the health of your chickens, please speak to a vet or qualified professional.

How much should 4 chickens eat?
4

notasausage · 06/05/2012 21:06

I have had them for a week now. 3 are apparently at pol though only 1 is laying regularly and one other has laid once. The 4th is about 4 weeks behind the others. I'm feeding layers pellets (breeder said this was ok for the young one too) from an omlet grub. Their website says it should hold enough for 4 chickens for 2 days but they're eating nothing like that much. I'm also feeding about 3/4 mug of corn once a day and they have a large free range area that they're in all day. Is it the extras that are making the difference? How do I make sure they are getting enough of the right nutrients to keep them healthy? I dont think they're taking much of the grit I'm leaving out for them either.

Can some of you experienced chicken people please advise.

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Grockle · 06/05/2012 21:19

If they're free ranging, they'll be getting grit in their diet anyway.

Yours might still be settling in and getting used to the food - is it different to what they had before?

To be honest, I tend not to worry too much about food unless a hen looks under the weather. I fill my grubs up a couple of times a week (5 hens, 2 grubs) and chuck corn in every now and then. If you're worried, cut the corn.

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boomting · 07/05/2012 11:31

When they say that it holds enough food for 4 for 2 days, it will be assuming that you are feeding exclusively layers pellets (which include all the nutrition your hens need).

You are feeding a fairly large amount of corn. It's the nutritional equivalent of giving smarties to your children, and given that chickens only eat between 100-125g per day, you can see that they are getting a lot of empty calories, and therefore (however much they love it) it should be restricted to being a treat every few days, given in the afternoon.

They will also be picking up quite substantial amounts of greens, insects etc. when they are free-ranging. These are good for them, and will help improve the quality of the eggs. However, I'd suggest keeping them in the coop / coop & run for two-three hours after sunrise, so that they fill up on the layers pellets first.

Don't worry that you're not seeing the grit going down - it's normally such a subtle change that you can can't see it. Plus, they will be picking up grit from free-ranging, which will reduce their needs.

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nickelhasababy · 10/05/2012 16:49

you need to put out (in layers mash or pellets) 125g per hen per day.

don't put out any more than that, because they will overeat, or it will go stale because they don't!

It's also a good idea to have grass, so if you can't free range them every day, either make a few cat litter trays with grass, and put them in (swapsies) or provide them with cabbage or broccoli etc every few days.

Never leave excess food out overnight - if it doesn't go manky, it will attract rats anyway.
(which is the main reason why you only fill the tubs with the correct amount of food each day)

We have 3 hens, and one of those Carte D'or ice cream boxes, half of it is the correct amount of food for 3.

My best advice is to weight out the right amount of food and find a tub that it fits (or draw a line on a tub at the right height)

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MNP · 16/05/2012 18:01

We have a pellet hopper and fill it as it needs, they tend to go thru it in about a week. Water we change alternate days. They get greens in the morning and a handful of corn in the afternoon and some dried mealworms. As occasional treats they get cooked pasta, compost with worms and sunflower seeds.

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