February 15, 2022

How Much Chickens Should Be Fed Per Day (How Much Do Chickens Eat?)

When starting a flock of chickens, including the California quail, it might be difficult to know "How Much Do Chickens Eat" and how much feed to store.

Most people who keep chickens in their backyard don't have a large enough flock to sell fowl or eggs, so saving money on feed is a good method for owners to get closer to breaking even.

Too little feed, on the other hand, may be harmful to your birds, and it is critical to ensure that your hens are happy and healthy.

How Much Feed Does a Chicken Command?

Calculating how much food a chicken need is an essential yet tough problem to tackle.

The answer is not that simple since hens, like people, are creatures whose appetites alter based on the season, their dietary demands, and how successfully they hunt for their own food.

Fortunately, we have a decent notion of what average intake is for most birds.

How Much Should Chickens Be Fed Per Day?

According to Pam Freeman of the site I Am Countryside, a decent rule of thumb is to start with 4 to 6 ounces of feed per chicken every day.

Grain your hens and modify the quantity of feed as needed. If you see that the food is quickly disappearing, it may be time to add a bit more.

However, having a lot of leftovers at the end of the day might be wasteful and attract other creatures such as skunks, raccoons, and squirrels.

If you find a lot of wasted feed, decrease back a little to save money and aggravation. 

It's also a good idea to keep a check on consumption all year, because your flock's hunger will alter from season to season.

What Factors Influence a Chicken's Appetite?

As previously stated, certain factors will influence the amount of feed required by your flock.

Being aware about those aspects can help you save money while also enhancing the general health and happiness of your family.


Your hens have feathers but no small little jackets to keep them warm in the cold.

Calories are burned when you generate more body heat to keep warm during the winter months. 

Expect your hens to eat more in the winter than in the summer, when the temperature is higher and they are kept warm.


Breeding may influence a bird's appetite in two ways: body size and foraging.

Orpingtons, Jersey Giants, and other fowl breeds have bigger bodies.

This implies they must consume more calories each day in order to conserve and grow muscle.

Egg layers, on the other hand, like Rhode Island Reds, have a little smaller physique. A smaller body requires less nourishment on a daily basis.

Foraging has an impact on how much feed the hens require.

Some breeds, like as the Leghorn, prefer foraging for their own food when given enough area.

Timber Creek Farm claims that after allowing their hens to roam free for part of the day, their feed consumption was decreased in half.


There are many various types of feed you can give your hens, and different types of feed have varied concentrations of the nutrients they require.

This article from Backyard Chicken Coops explains the distinctions between each type of feed and why some chicken owners prefer one over another.

If possible, select a feed that will keep your hens satisfied while also meeting all of their nutritional demands.

Sprouted or fermented feeds are ideal for this, but you may also add a little amount of maize to your meal.

Food Delivery

If you have numerous chickens, they may bully each other, especially when it comes to feeding time. If you haven't already done so. 

Timer Creek Farm has a wonderful blog post about chicken feeding and how to do it efficiently. 

Essentially, you need to divide up your feed so that chicks lower on the pecking order may eat somewhere else.

You can use shallow feeding bowls or specialized feeders.

Dishes are a good place to start since they are simple to clean and inexpensive.

However, because hens aren't known for their dining manners, you may discover that a chicken feeder saves you money over time.

Chickens will scratch at food, tossing it onto the ground if the pieces are too tiny or moist, and the chickens will not always return to consume what has been spilled.

Chicken feeders do not change the amount of food your flock consumes, but they may minimize the amount of feed that is wasted.

What Can I Do to Cut Feeding Costs?

You might be wondering how you can save money on your hens' feeding now that you know how to get a general estimate of how much feed they will require each day.

Fortunately, there are a few different ways you may stretch your meal a bit farther.

The ability to roam freely

It's fantastic if you have the room to let your hens run around and seek for food.

Even a tiny enclosure outside the coop may assist, and planting chicken-friendly plants like alfalfa, dandelions, and nettles can help promote their foraging tendencies. 

Chickens are omnivores, consuming insects and grubs in addition to vegetables, and if given the opportunity, they will always find something crunchy to peck at.

Scraps of table

While there are some foods that hens should avoid, such as potato peels and citrus, there are plenty that may be included in their regular diet.

McMurray Hatchery offers How Much Do Chickens Eat a handy little list of what is and isn't beneficial for the hens.

However, a general rule of thumb is to avoid meals that are salty, greasy, or processed. Veggies, cooked meats, cereals, and fruit are all excellent sources of fiber in how much do chickens eat.

Feeders vs. Dishes

You may have already heard this, but chicken feeders are just more efficient. Avoiding spilt feed not only saves money, but it also lowers insect problems.

Spilled feed is a feast for nocturnal critters, including mice that might be carrying dangerous infections.

The appropriate feeding regimen can improve your hens' capacity to produce eggs and build their bodies for poultry.

Not to mention that well-fed hens are often happy and easier to deal with so how much do chickens eat is good consideration.

You may now enjoy the benefits and excitement of owning your own backyard chicken coop now that you have the knowledge you need to purchase the appropriate amount of feed.

About the author 

Happy Quails

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