How Much To Feed Chickens Per Day In Kg

Chickens are a popular choice for egg production. They are also easy to raise and require minimal attention. However, they do need to be fed daily. Understanding how much to feed chickens per day is essential to keeping them healthy and productive.

Chickens require a variety of food, including commercial feeds and kitchen waste. Chickens also need fresh water and grit in their diet. In addition, they need minerals like calcium and phosphorus as well as vitamins to maintain healthy bones and prevent leg problems.

The amount of food you feed chickens will depend on several factors such as the age of the bird, how many other birds are in your flock, and what type of breed it is, amongst others.

This article explores the feeding schedule of chickens; it explains the amount of feed to give chickens as well as how often you need to feed chickens and other related information about feeding chickens. Read Up.

Choosing a High-Quality Chicken Feed

Choosing a high-quality feed is essential to keep your chickens healthy and productive. The primary component of their diet should be a complete feed that contains all the nutrients the chickens need. The choice of feed to give chickens also depends on whether you are keeping chickens to produce eggs or meat.

Chickens require different feeds at different stages of their growth. In this regard, the first step to feeding chicken quality feed is to ensure you are giving them the right feed at each growth phase. Chicken feeds are divided into:

  • Starter
  • Grower
  • Finisher
  • Layers

Each of these feeds has different nutritional requirements tailored to meet the specific nutritional needs of the birds at each growth phase. Read more about these chicken feeds.

Chicks between the age of 0 – 4 weeks eat starter feed and grower feeds are given to chicks up to 20 weeks. Only laying birds eat layers from about 20 weeks till the end of their laying period. Similarly, finisher feed is given to only broilers that are close to slaughtering just to boost their weight.

A complete chicken feed will have all the necessary vitamins and minerals but added supplements don’t hurt. Consider mineral supplements like oyster shells and eggshells for calcium. Laying hens especially need extra calcium to produce eggs with strong shells. Provide oyster shell or eggshell free choice in a separate container. Give multivitamins in drinking water; it boosts feed intake.

The economic side of feeding chickens is to ensure that you are buying feed of started quality. If you are new to the business, ask around the standard quantity of a bag of chicken feed before making a purchase. Choose a reputable brand sold at your local feed store. Ask the store for recommendations based on your flock.

Do not leave the feed store without inspecting the state of the chicken feeds you are buying. Look for signs of freshness. The feed should not have any mold, dirt, bugs, or stale smell. Also, ensure you are not buying the old stock; chicken feeds over 6 months are likely to have reduced quality. Most importantly, make sure the feed is intended for your chicken’s life stage and purpose.

Related: Difference Between Starter, Grower, And Finisher Feeds

How Much To Feed Chickens Per Day

When determining how much to feed chickens per day, there are a few key factors to consider:

– Chicken’s age: Chicks require significantly less feed than mature hens. Chicks under 6 weeks may eat as little as 45 grams (0.45kg) per day, while a laying hen could eat around 226 grams (0.23kg) per day.

– Chicken’s breed: The breed of chicken also impacts their nutritional needs. Larger breeds like Rhode Island Reds generally require more feed than smaller breeds.

– Egg production: Feed intake increases during peak egg production. Hens laying eggs daily may eat up to 340 grams (0.34 kg) of feed per day.

– Season: Chickens eat more in winter months when their bodies work harder to keep warm. Increase feed in cold weather. 

As a general guideline, provide the following amounts per chicken daily:

  • Chicks under 6 weeks: 45 to 227 grams
  • Pullets 6-18 weeks: 68 to 160 grams 
  • Laying hens: 115 to 227 grams 
  • Meat chickens: 227 to 340 grams

Monitor your chicken’s body condition and adjust amounts accordingly. Supply ample feed so chickens always have food available but aren’t overfed.  Having a variety of feeders makes it easier to meet every chicken’s dietary needs.

Layers

Chick Feed Amount By Age

The amount of feed required per chicken varies significantly depending on the bird’s age and size. Here are some general guidelines:

– 1 week old chicks: Provide around 113 grams of starter feed per 25 chicks daily. Spread feed out over paper plates or trays to avoid waste and allow all chicks to eat.

– 2-8 weeks chickens: Chicks eat approximately 115 grams of feed per bird per day from 2-8 weeks of age.

– 9-20 weeks chickens: Rapid growth occurs from 9-20 weeks of age. Pullets eat around 227 grams of feed per day during this time. Ensure water is always available.

– 20+ weeks chickens: From 20 weeks onward, chickens are considered adults. Hens eat 340 to 530 grams of layer feed per bird daily. Roosters and heavier breeds may eat over 540 grams per day. Weigh a sample of your chickens weekly and adjust rations if birds become over- or underweight.

The quality of diet, environmental temperature, and rate of growth or egg production also impact exactly how much feed chickens require each day. Monitor your flock’s condition and adapt their feed amounts accordingly.

Related: Pullet Feeding Guide For Early Laying And Longer Laying Period

Avoid Over or Underfeeding

It’s important to avoid both overfeeding and underfeeding your chickens. An improper amount of feed can lead to health problems.

Overfeeding chickens leads to obesity and related health issues like heart disease, joint problems, and lowered immunity. Fat hens stop laying eggs and have trouble mating. Overfed chickens are also prone to prolapse and picky eating.

On the flip side, underfeeding results in low egg production as the hen’s body focuses on survival over laying. Underfed chickens will begin feather picking to obtain protein. They become emaciated and weak.

The best practice is to provide just enough balanced feed for normal growth, maintenance, and egg production. Monitor your chickens’ body condition and adjust amounts accordingly. Obese chickens should be fed less, while thin chickens need more feed.

How Often To Feed Chickens

Chickens should be fed 1-2 times per day, once in the morning and once in the evening. This feeding schedule works well for most adult chickens.

Chicks under 4 weeks old have small crops and high metabolism, so they need to eat smaller amounts but more frequently. You should feed chicks at least 4 times per day. Some chicken owners choose to feed baby chicks free-choice, allowing constant access to feed. This allows the chicks to eat whenever hungry.

Spacing out feedings allows a chicken’s crop to empty from the last meal before filling again. Their digestive system works best with this intermittent feeding pattern. Waiting too long between feedings can cause chickens to gorge themselves.

Monitor to see if your chickens are finishing all their feed between meals. Adjust the amount and frequency as needed so none gets wasted. Leaving feed available at all times tends to lead to selective eating and wasted feed.

Adjust Feed Amounts Seasonally

Chickens require more or less feed depending on the season. Here are some tips for adjusting feed amounts:

– Feed more in winter: Chickens eat more in cold weather to generate body heat. Increase their feed amount by about 1/4 during winter months. Provide scratch grains in the evening for extra calories to get them through cold nights.

– Increase for molting hens in fall: Molting is the natural process of chickens shedding old feathers and growing new ones. It’s a protein-intensive process, so increase protein in the diet during the molt. Try mixing scratch grains with the regular feed or offer mealworms.

– Cut back in hot summer months: Chickens eat less when it’s hot out. Overfeeding can lead to spoiled feed and attract pests. Try reducing the feed amount by 1/4 during peak summer heat. Ensure they have ample access to cool, clean drinking water. Add frozen treats like watermelon to help chickens stay hydrated and cool.

Monitoring your chickens’ condition and adjusting feed amounts according to the season will help keep your flock happy and healthy year-round.

Provide Ample Feeder Space

Having enough feeder space is crucial to ensure all chickens get sufficient access to food. Overcrowded feeders lead to selective feeding, aggression, and stressed, undernourished chickens.

For chicks, allow around 2-3 inches of feeder space per bird. This gives each chick ample room to eat their fill without competition. As chicks grow, gradually increase the feeder space.

Once chickens are adults, provide at least 4-6 inches of feeder space per bird. This allows them to eat comfortably together. Keep a close eye on the feeders and adjust as needed. If you notice chickens waiting to access the feeder, add more feeders or space them further apart. The idea is that all chickens can eat at once without crowding or aggression at mealtimes.

Having ample, properly spaced feeders is essential for healthy, productive chickens that get all the nutrition they need. Pay close attention to feeder space as chicks grow and the flock dynamic changes. Increase space as needed to prevent competition and stress. With sufficient room, chickens will thrive on the feed you provide.

Provide Fresh Water Always

Chickens need constant access to clean, fresh water. It is commonly said that you can starve chickens for as long as you desire, but do not deprive chicken water. Provide ample drinkers to ensure the chicken does not lack water. Water must be available every time of the day!

Make sure to check waterers daily, and refill as needed. If you use nipples, tap each nipple to ensure it is supplying water. Replace any faulty one as noticed. Dump out and scrub any dirty water to prevent algae buildup or contamination. Rinse waterers thoroughly before refilling with fresh water.

As a rule of thumb, allow at least 1 inch of drinker space per 2-3 chicks when they are young. For adult chickens, provide 1 inch of space per chicken at the waterer. Having adequate space ensures all chickens can comfortably access water throughout the day without having to compete for space.

End Notes

Feeding a high-quality complete feed will provide all the nutrients your chickens need to stay healthy and productive. Supplements can enhance their diet further. Discuss options with your feed store. Clean, abundant water is crucial for chicken health and egg production. Monitor daily to ensure the flock has sufficient fresh, clean drinking water at all times.

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