Chickens have small stomachs and digestive systems; therefore they prefer frequent, short meals. This means that hens are almost always hungry and obsessed with food.
When hens are deprived of food or water for long periods of time, they cease laying eggs or lay much less frequently. When a flock’s egg production drops, it’s usually because they went hungry for too long.
As obvious as it may be, ensuring your hens always have access to food and water is crucial if you want them to be healthy, happy, and produce eggs.
What to Think About When Deciding on a Chicken Feeder Design
Chicken coops have unique feeding requirements, so it’s important to find a chicken feeder that works for you. It’s important to think about the following before settling on a final design:
1. The Flock
The size of the chicken feeder you make should reflect the number of birds you keep. The average daily requirement for food for an egg-laying hen is 0.375 cups.
You need to make sure that the feeding container(s) can store adequate food for all of your hens. It needs to be big enough so that feed doesn’t go bad before it’s eaten, but small enough that it won’t be wasted.
It’s also important to consider how the hens get their food. Every chicken should have about two inches of room around it while it eats.
The size and design of the chicken feeder might also be affected by the temperament of your hens. Sometimes the dominant birds will not let the subordinates feed, the nosy hens will knock over the container, and some chickens will just make a mess of it all.
Two or more medium-sized feeders are recommended for a large or disorderly flock to ensure that all chickens get fed.