Are you wondering how much to feed chickens per day? While much will depend on the breed of chicken and its age, there are a few basic estimates and guidelines that you can follow to get an idea of how much chickens eat.
The amount of food will be determined by a number of things like the size of Chickens, Type of food and even the time of year.
Let’s take a look in more detail at How much to feed your chickens each day.
Table of Contents
How much to feed chickens per day
The layer feed consumption per day will be different from how much meat chickens eat per day. So, the first thing you need to keep in mind is whether you are keeping chickens for eggs or whether you are fattening them as meat chickens.
You will also need to consider the breed you have. Larger breeds eat more than smaller breeds.
If you’re keeping a small backyard flock, the easiest thing to do is to fill their food bowl or feeder with a quality chicken feed.
You should use enough feeders so that everyone has a chance to eat. Sometimes the more dominant birds will chase the other chickens away so they can eat more.
A good rule of thumb is that if you have six birds, you should have at least two feeders. Place them in different areas of the coop so they have ready access.
And, be sure that they are placed somewhere where the feed will not get wet.
It should not be outside in the pen in case it rains or snows. Feed that gets wet will get moldy quickly. And, that is not healthy for your chickens to eat.
How many times a day should I feed my chickens?
Chickens aren’t like other pets where you set out a bowl of food once or twice a day. Chickens will need to eat throughout the day.
So, it’s important that you leave a feeder full of quality chicken feed available to them at all times.
Check the feed level in the morning when you collect their eggs and top it off if necessary. Then, when you get ready to lock the pen for the evening, check the level once again.
As a note, your chickens will eat more when the weather is cold. They need more food to keep warm. So, you can expect the amount that they eat to be higher in the winter than in the summer.
Top 5 Recommended Feeds
Can you overfeed chickens?
When it comes to how much to feed chickens per day, you can’t really overfeed chickens. The most important thing to keep in mind is that they need chicken feed and not cracked corn or table scraps.
Chicken feed has all of the essential nutrients necessary.
When choosing a chicken feed, you need to get the correct variety. There are different varieties for layers versus chicks.
Understand where the life cycle your chickens are and choose the correct variety.
How much do you feed free-range chickens?
If your chickens will be free ranged rather than penned in, the expectation is probably that they will forage for a portion of their food. Make sure that you offer them a high protein chicken feed in their pen at all times.
Then, allow them to hunt for bugs, grains, and grasses while they are out. It’s important to understand that the amount of food available to forage will vary depending on the time of year.
So, your chickens will eat more or less chicken food depending on what they find when foraging.
Do chickens stop eating when they are full?
Yes, chickens will stop eating their pellets when they are full. It’s important that they go to sleep with a full crop. They will need that extra energy overnight for egg production.
Be sure that the majority of their diet is a quality chicken feed and not cracked corn which is lacking in complete nutrition. It doesn’t hurt to give them a treat occasionally. But, it is the pellets that they need.
Is bread good for chickens?
If you’re wondering how much to feed chickens, you might be curious about table scraps. There is nothing wrong with feeding your chickens healthy table scraps.
But, they should be getting foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains rather than over-processed foods. They can eat bread but it’s best to give them whole grain bread rather than white bread.
What not to feed chickens
Chickens can eat much of what people eat with a few exceptions. Do not feed them the pit and peel of the avocado, chocolate or candy, citrus fruits, green potato skins, or dried beans.
You should also be sure not to feed your chickens junk fruit including salty snacks or sweets. Do not feed them moldy or rotten food.
If it’s not healthy for you to eat it, you should not be giving it to your chickens.
How much to feed chickens per day summary
When it comes to how much food your chickens will need every day, there are a few variables to keep in mind.
- Chickens raised for egg production will eat less than chickens raised for meat production.
- Choose a quality chicken pellet feed rather than cracked corn which is lacking in nutrition the chickens need to be healthy.
- Different breeds will eat more due to variations in size and habits.
- Chickens who also forage for foods will eat less than chickens that are solely feed chicken pellets.
- Chickens need to eat all day so leave a bowl or feeder full of food for them at all times.
- Chickens will eat more when the weather is cold so plan for more food in the winter.
- You can feed your chickens most healthy table scraps.
Conclusion: How much to feed chickens per day
So, if you’re wondering how much to feed your chickens, a good estimate would be that each chicken will eat about 1 and a half pounds of chicken pellet feed per week.
So, a fifty pound back of chicken feed will last a small backyard flock of six chickens roughly one month.
Remember that there are variables. So keep in mind that this is just an estimate. You will need to see how much your flock eats each day to determine how much to buy.