Author Topic: When to feed?  (Read 99 times)

Justin Snyder

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When to feed?
« on: March 03, 2021, 08:55:17 AM »
I keep reading about biosecurity and pest management and seeing suggestions of removing feed at night. Some even suggest only feeding what they will eat right now and not having food available all day. I have heard it suggested to not feed in HOT times of the day but to wait until it cools off so they don't have a full crop during the heat so they aren't trying to digest.

When do you feed and why?
Do you limit when they can eat?
Do they get enough nutrition if you limit the time they can eat?

Suki

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Re: When to feed?
« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2021, 10:35:18 AM »
hi Justin,  If the weather is over 85 I do not feed during the day but wait until 5 pm so they do not get sour crop.  I have had a few good poultrymen tell me the same, or warn me during the heat of July.  So i feed early in the morning, before nine am and then after  five pm.  They have plenty of water all day.  I don't mow until late either so they don't get clippings until after 5 either.  They have done well with that routine and I've no problems. 

Now that is late winter, I try to get them out and feed starting by 8 am until dusk when they go to bed in the coop.  Food is out all day long.  They have no food at night, they do have water UNLESS we are expecting a major snowstorm in which case I go out late and feed the night before in case I cannot get out during the day.

Best of luck, Sue

John W Blehm

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Re: When to feed?
« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2021, 12:26:12 PM »
I understand that rodents can get into feed left out and open to them at night.  Personally I don't see that it would be worth my time to remove feed every evening and replace it each morning.  I keep poison out for mice at all times and sometimes they get into the feed bin and can't get back out.  Sometimes wild birds get into the chicken barn and help themselves to some feed and probably the chicken's water too.  On small scale hobby operations I don't see the biosecurity risks being great enough to warrant much more than I do.
Some think chickens may get too fat if feed is offered free choice, but unlike humans chickens only eat as much as they need.  There may be times with they will gobble up treats, such as table scraps, but any weight gain is very temporary.  Perhaps a high fat ration would produce an overweight bird, but when fed commercial rations that are formulated for chickens they do great.
Pellet and crumble feeds have all the required nutrients and when fed as a sole ration is the best way to go, so there isn't worry of proper digestion.  Feeding grains and other stuff without grit can cause problems.
I add feed to feeders when they are low.  I try not to fill feeders to the top, since some birds like to play with their feed and waste it.
 
 
« Last Edit: March 04, 2021, 12:28:45 PM by John W Blehm »

Mike Gilbert

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Re: When to feed?
« Reply #3 on: March 04, 2021, 02:10:41 PM »
I have two neutered barn cats to keep rodents under control.   I don't empty the feeders at night either, but there is always the possibility of feed going stale and losing some nutrients.   Because of all the different types of chickens and bantams I keep, I've gone to an "All Flock" mini-pellet for everything except chicks and growing birds in the brooders.  I think the pellets have less susceptibility to going stale than a mash or crumble, the birds eat it well, and I've found it still yields good fertility and hatchability.   So that saves a lot of time and effort.   I usually stock up when it goes on sale in cool or cold weather.  In the summer I buy less each time so it does not go stale before being used.  If you watch how well the birds go after it, you can tell if it is fresh or stale.  Here is the nutrient analysis of those pellets from the feed bag tag.   
« Last Edit: March 04, 2021, 02:27:56 PM by Mike Gilbert »
Mike Gilbert
1st John 5:11-13

Justin Snyder

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Re: When to feed?
« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2021, 08:17:05 AM »
Thanks, I guess I will just keep doing what I have been. If it works for you it will work for me. I think I will try to figure out some way to reduce the sparrow population a little. They are pooping everywhere on everything.