One of the most common questions we get from farmers who raise chickens concerns how much feed is needed per bird. Many factors impact how much feed you need, including what type of birds you have and how old they are.
Feeding broiler chickens the appropriate amount of feed per day is essential in that it helps them achieve optimal health and size, helping you turn out quality products for consumers. Broilers — chickens raised for meat — are well-known for their high feed-conversion ratios and fast growth rates.
The amount of feed you will need per broiler or free-range chicken will depend on its age. Make sure to feed your broiler chicks organic, non-GMO starter feed to ensure they are getting optimal nutrition.
To better understand broiler feed consumption per day, consult the following chart:
|Broiler Feed Consumption Per Day by Weight|
|Age (Weeks)||Number of Birds|
|1 Bird||25 Birds||50 Birds||100 Birds|
|1||4.2 oz||6.56 lbs||13.13 lbs||26.25 lbs|
|2||9.2 oz||14.38 lbs||28.75 lbs||57.5 lbs|
|3||14 oz||21.41 lbs||42.81 lbs||83.63 lbs|
|4||18.8 oz||29.28 lbs||58.75 lbs||117.50 lbs|
|5||26.1 oz||40.78 lbs||81.56 lbs||163.13 lbs|
|6||34.5 oz||53.91 lbs||17.81 lbs||215.63 lbs|
|7||38.5 oz||60.16 lbs||120.31 lbs||240.63 lbs|
|8||42.6 oz||66.56 lbs||133.13 lbs||266.25 lbs|
|9||46.5 oz||72.66 lbs||145.31 lbs||290.63 lbs|
|10||4 lbs||75 lbs||150 lbs||300 lbs|
|11+||4 lbs||75 lbs||150 lbs||300 lbs|
Broiler chickens gain an average of one pound per week until processed at four to seven weeks. To determine the amount of feed a broiler chicken needs to gain one pound, use the calculations above based on the bird’s age. For example, an average one-week-old broiler chicken will need to consume 4.2 ounces of feed in a week to gain one pound.
Feeding young chicks requires a feeder that will hold the food in place as the birds eat. When broilers are less than one week old, you can help them learn to eat by putting their food in a shoebox lid or egg carton lid. Once broiler chicks get accustomed to eating, you can cut holes in the carton and place a lid on top, or buy a commercial feeder designed for chickens.
For the first four weeks of life, broiler chickens require broiler starter feed, which should be at least 18-19% protein.
When raising a flock of broilers, it’s essential to ensure your birds have a sufficient amount of clean, fresh water, as a broiler chicken will not be able to digest feed without adequate hydration. Chickens may also start to eat more to compensate for their thirst — and grow less.
By using a poultry waterer, you can provide your flock with a continual supply of fresh water. A well-designed waterer has a pan for the birds to drink from and a reservoir for refilling. As the chickens drink, more water fills the container from the tank!
To cover your free-range chicken’s daily needs, our team at Kreamer Feed recommends our organic brand, Nature’s Best Organic Feeds.
Our chicken feed is scientifically tested, organic, and Non-GMO Project Verified. Pick up a bag of Chick Starter/Grower Crumbles at your local Tractor Supply Company or contact us for more information about broiler feed consumption today.