are chickens always hungry : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

no matter how much or often we feed our chickens they seem hungry.Is this common with chickens or something we should be concern about

-- sue (, March 06, 2002


Hello Sue,

Try feeding them more until you see leftovers. When you see that they are leaving leftovers, cut back on their feed a little.

It is best to feed them twice a day. I usually feed and water in the early morning and then again just before dark.



-- (, March 06, 2002.

my mother in law, who knew EVERYTHING about chickens, fed early in the morning, then about 4:00 in the afternoon. If you feed later, they leave enough left to encourage mice and rats.

-- Rose (, March 06, 2002.

I have raised chickens for 7 years and have always used a hanging feeder with food available at all times. also water available at all times. They are always healthy and lay great. If you do this you can go off for a couple of days and not have to worry about them. We use a five gallon chicken water now. we used to use a nipple waterer fed by a big bucket on top of the chicken house. It works great for adult chickens but if you have young ones they can't reach it.

-- Corky Wolf (, March 06, 2002.

Do you have meat chickens or layers? Our layers never seem to get fat, so I leave food in front of them at all times. The good layers can REALLY pack it away! I have heard, however, that it is possible for meat chickens to get too fat. I don't know from personal experience: I've never had meat chickens.

-- Terri (, March 06, 2002.

I sort fell into a good feeding trick that extends the days for your hens during the winter. I started putting a couple of the little solar sidewalk lights in at night to extend the days, but my hens would still seem to go to perch at about the same time and having lights wasn't encouraging them to be up and eating at all. So, at about sunset when I put the lights in, I started putting a cup of cracked corn on top of their regular grain. They LOVE the cracked corn, so they hop right off the perches when they see me coming and head down for corn, then continue eating for awhile. This gets them moving around more and since I started doing that in January all 6 of my hens are laying. Life is good.

-- Sheryl in Me (, March 06, 2002.

My birds free range on pasture and insects, but wander in and out of the pens to eat, drink, lay eggs. The hoppers always have feed in them and I've never had a rat/mice problem. The birds always seem to be pecking away at food, whether in the pens or out on pasture. They seem to take more breaks to nap in the summer months, no doubt due to the heat.

Perhaps they're similar to horses. The equines have small stomachs and aren't made to be fed 2 large meals/day. Left on their own, they graze about 18 hours/day. They eat the same amount of feed as when hand fed, but it's spread out over the 24 hours.

All my critters, livestock and house pets, have feed available to them whenever they want it. This and having enough space to wander is part of what has kept me free of vet bills. My opinion!

-- ~Rogo (, March 06, 2002.

Rogo, I agree with you. EXCEPT I am told that sheep can and do overeat on certain things which can kill them. I was told they needed some sorta shot so as not to get sick and die BEFORE it ever happens. Instead I was just careful of what they ate...

-- Novina in ND (, March 07, 2002.

Sue, I am really late with this post but I kept waiting for someone to ask WHAT are you feeding them? Now I am no chicken expert but I would ask this if someone e mailed me for duck advice re the same thing. So, are they getting a good well balanced quality diet with lots of greens and bugs too? And are they getting all they can eat 2 or 3 times a day? And what are the temperatures where you are? Is it very cold there and the chickens maybe needing more calories? Just some things to ask yourself. Also, for good advice, lots of feeding tips and good links to other great sites log on to Good luck and have fun.........LQ

-- Little Quacker (, March 08, 2002.

My chickens always SEEM hungry too. If I toss them a bucket of weeds from the garden, they will come running. If I toss them another in five minutes, they will come running again. I think they just have a very short attention span. They are used to being fed by people and whenever they see us, they line up at the fence, even if their feed dishes are full.

-- Maggie Fry-Manross (, March 09, 2002.

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