There’s no more rewarding feeling than keeping your chickens happy. For all poultry farmers, food seems to be the gateway to happiness among flocks. However, feeding your chickens isn’t always an easy task. Sometimes your birds get bored with their traditional meals and long for something more interesting.
In this post, we’ll cover everything you need to know about what and how to feed chickens. Once you get the feeding down to an exact science, running your poultry farm will be a lot easier.
What Do Chickens Need To Eat To Stay Healthy?
Not all chickens enjoy the same meals, and things can get a bit more complicated if we’re throwing turkeys, geese, and other birds into the mix. That said, the basic ingredients are generally the same across the board. Almost all chickens enjoy feeding on growing plants like grass, wheat, buckwheat, etc. Not only do they eat the top parts of the plants, but the seeds as well. They also love dining on earthworms and other insects. Make sure they have a sufficient amount of sand, dirt, or other grit to help them digest wild foods.
Instead of serving all the above foods individually, many poultry farmers use a pecking block for chickens, hens, and roosters. Pecking blocks are an excellent way to feed poultry because it encourages a more natural way of eating. They also make feeding time more physically active, which is healthier for your chickens.
How Often Do Chickens Need To Eat?
Having a proper feeding schedule will not only keep your birds happy, but it will also make your poultry farm more successful. Unlike other livestock, chickens need to have a supply of food all day long. The peculiar thing about chickens is that they only eat when they feel like it. Other animals can adapt feeding schedules, which is a lot easier to manage. To ensure your chickens have food whenever they’re hungry, try to have around 120 grams of good per chicken.
Depending on the size of your coups, you can have more than one feeder available. Multiple feeders can help keep the food supply organized and prevent some of the more dominant chickens from overeating. Position one of the feeders inside the coup and the other outside.
What About Water?
Although not recommended, chickens can go up to two days without feeding. However, they will need an adequate water supply to stay healthy. As a poultry farmer, you should make sure your birds have access to fresh drinking water at all hours of the day. You’ll need to supply them with more water during the hotter months and make sure you keep the water in the shade.
During winter, make sure to check that the water hasn’t frozen over. While providing your chickens with fresh water round the clock can be a rigorous task, it’s extremely necessary. Even only a few hours without fresh water can drastically slow down egg production.
To make the process easier, you can consider investing in a nipple drinker. The nipple drinker is a seamless tool to help your hens stay nice and hydrated without the need for you to keep filling up bowls and troughs.
Feeding your flock is a task that can be rewarding and exhausting, depending on how you approach it. Remember, chickens generally like to eat sporadically, so you’ll need to be creative about ways to keep enough food around at all times. What’s more, always make sure they have access to fresh drinking water to ensure they stay healthy and strong.