For first-time backyard chicken owners, you’ll probably have a lot of questions. One of the questions will be how much to feed your chickens. Chickens need plenty of food to eat every day to remain healthy and strong.
So, how many times a day should I feed my chickens? Chickens should have the staple food of commercial feeds available to them all day long. As for other food such as fruits, vegetables, and treats, it should be given to them once a day. Also, age, size, and seasons will be a big factor to determine how much food you should give them per day.
How Much to Feed Chickens per Day?
It will depend on many factors when it comes to how much to feed them in a day. Some of the factors are age, size, if they are laying eggs, and the time of the year.
Generally, for most chickens, the average amount of feed they will eat is 120 grams per day.
Besides food, chickens will eat grits as well. They need grits in their diet to help grind the foods.
if you let your chickens free-range, they tend to not eat as much as those kept in a single place. Foods are not that plentiful when they are allowed to roam freely.
On the other hand, chickens that are kept in a run will tend to eat more as they have access to food all day long.
Chickens, in general, tend to eat the right amount of food that their body needs. Once they are full, they will stop eating.
Should You Have Foods Available To Chickens All The Time?
Most chicken owners will leave commercial feeds and other foods out for their chickens.
However, the problem with leaving the food out all day long is the risk it carries. Food left for a long time may spoil or attract pests, rodents, and other animals to it.
Some of these animals are dangerous to the chickens such as foxes, raccoons, and snakes. As they are attracted to the sense of the food, they will kill the chickens if they see an opportunity for a quick meal.
Therefore, it’s recommended to start with about 120 grams of food per chicken, per day. You can put half in the morning and see how much is eaten by noon. If there is little to no food left, put the other half in the afternoon.
On the other hand, if there are some foods left by noon, top off just a bit more.
It’s much better to have less food as that will help prevent pests and other animals from being attracted to it.
Can You Overfeed Chickens?
When it comes to feeding your chickens, you can’t overfeed them on commercial feeds. These feeds should make up 90% of their entire diet. For that reason, feeds should be left out for them to eat throughout the day.
On the other hand, you can overfeed them on chicken treats, scratch corns, and table scraps. These are all foods that enhance their overall diet and boost the nutritional value.
Too many treats will cause harm to the chickens. The treats will usually have too much nutrition that they don’t need such as sugar and salt.
Treats should make up only 10% of their diet.
Can You Feed Chickens Once a Day?
Yes, you can feed your chickens once a day. Make sure to put out enough food for them that will last throughout the entire day.
If you’re going somewhere for a whole day, place feeds for them in one container. In another container, place treats such as fruits and vegetables for them.
The only problem with leaving too much food out is that it will either spoil or attract pests, rodents, and other animals to it.
What Should Chickens Eat?
Chickens can eat just about anything that’s edible. When feeding them, the bulk of their diet should consist of quality feed.
Commercial feeds are formulated with the proper amount of nutrition that the chickens need to stay healthy. There are different types of feeds for different ages of chickens.
At different ages, there will be more or less nutrition in the feeds. One nutrition, in particular, is protein. This is what the chickens need from the day they are born until they are an adult. As they get older, the lesser protein the chicken will need. Too much protein in their diet can cause health problems for them.
Besides feeds, their diet should consist of fruits and vegetables as well. These should only make up 10% of the chicken’s entire diet. Anything more than that will not help the chicken but may harm them instead.
As for fruits, you can feed your chickens apples, pears, plums, and blueberries. These fruits will give your chicken a boost in nutrition. Beware of the amount of sugar fruits has. Too many fruits can lead to obesity, heart problems, and other health issues for the chickens.
As for vegetables, you can feed your chickens lettuce, cucumber, and okra. These are great as a supplement to their commercial feeds.
As you can see, for your chickens to remain healthy and strong, they should be provided food throughout the entire day. Feeds should be available to them at all times, especially for baby chickens and hens that are laying eggs. As for any other foods such as fruits and vegetables, they can be given to them as treats.