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Feeding, or Not Feeding, the House Birds

Winona, the Wyandotte, and Sassafras (aka Sassy), the Silkie, trying to get broody on the same clutch of eggs

We keep three hens, one rooster and five guineas in a chicken coop near our home. We had a question on Facebook a couple days ago about how much we feed the birds. It turns out that the poultry are really the only animals that we don't keep a good track of how much they're eating. I had to answer honestly, "I don't know".

There's a couple good reasons why I don't know. The first is that we don't feed the birds very much if bugs are still around. If I find a tick in the yard chances are pretty good they won't get any feed the next day. The purpose of the chooks is to lay eggs and eat bugs. The guineas are 100% for eating bugs. Notice how both have "eating bugs" in the job description? Gotta make sure they earn their keep.

Elvis, our silkie rooster

The second good reason why I don't know is because our non-LGD yard dog, Ginger, is an avid chicken feed fan. I see her over at their little feeder licking up grain all the time. We correct her frequently and she always stops.... but she also always comes back for more.  

I do, however, try to give the chooks a little bit of feed every morning to make sure they stick around. I fill up about half a quart in a mason jar and screw it on to their little feeder. If Ginger doesn't get to it there will always be some left at the end of the day.

I guess they're just spoiled by the freedom and the apparently great taste of our bugs.

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