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optimistic pessimist
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I let my chickens free range around the house during the day. I have noticed that they will not eat the chicken food that I put out anymore. Should I be worried they aren't eating enough? These are egg layers and not for meat. They seem happy and often come to my door now and just chirp and sing for attention.
 

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Stop being on my side!
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Are they laying now? Depending on how much land they're roaming over, and what's on it, they could be getting enough food. Mine always end up eating at least osme chicken feed, but then they're pigs anyway. ;)
 

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As long as they seem healthy I wouldn't worry too much. I let mine "free range" in the fenced backyard sometimes. When they are wondering around scratching they are eating various plants and bugs, thus they are getting their nutrition without the need for processed chicken food. One thing I did, however, is leave plenty of fresh water around the yard for them as my "free range" is limited to maybe a 1/4 acre. Free ranging is cheaper on the wallet and is more natural for the birds. I've gone days without them eating any of my food and they seemed to thrive. In the wintertime, though, there is less food for them available.
 

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optimistic pessimist
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
We have tons of water available and I also try to give them kitchen scraps. I adore my chicks. :)
 
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lets put it into a different perspective...if you were in the garden of eden with all the fresh fruits, vegetables and healthy stuff that tasted great and someone dropped a bigmac in your lap, would you turn your nose up at it? exactly...

theyre eating the bugs and small plants and whatever else they can find. and saving you money on their feed while theyre doing it. plus it probably isnt anything that was genetically modified or some sort of waste product at one point.
 

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In my experience, if they aint eating then their crop is stuffed. They always eat, luckily, yours prefer to scratch for food. Try some over riped tomatoes whe they come inb... bet they will eat that.
 

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I love chicken football - when one finds a nice, big worm or something just as good and all the others chase the first. It's one of my favorite things to watch!
Lol, I watched mine do that too, except with a grasshopper. They spent much more energy fighting over it then it was probably worth, but definitely a wild 5 minutes.
 

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I love chicken football - when one finds a nice, big worm or something just as good and all the others chase the first. It's one of my favorite things to watch!
I saw my flock do that with a dead mouse they plucked out of a water bucket. Wow that was a chase.


The way I look at it is if your chickens are 'singing' they are probably totally happy. Also if your worried go and feel thier crops when they go to bed for the night. If it feels like they got stuff in there they are fine and they are probably better bug control than money can buy. Just be careful of foxes and coyotes. If you hear a chicken that's out of sight 'freak out' with frantic screeching and cackling upseting the whole flock then you might want to start counting your hens.
 
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