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Do you offer pellets free will?

 
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Location: CT zone 5b
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Do you? We do, but sometimes it seems like our chickens might be too fat. Thoughts?
 
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Hey will, I don't feed pellets, but I have always heard and observed that chickens should have free choice on food. My chooks have a few activities, eating, dust bathing, eating, sitting in the sun, eating, standing around, eating.. You get the idea. But since my birds are ranging on plants/bugs it might take them more time to find enough of what they want to eat. I use scratch grain as a supplement, which I will refill, or throw more out to them when I see they are low.
With pellets there is more complexity given it might have too much nutrients or vitamins or whatever is put in there, but I think the general practice is still free choice.
 
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My chickens and ducks get access to as much feed as they want but they don't always (usually don't) eat all of it. They prefer eating worms and bugs and whatever they can scratch up over that boring old commercial feed. Long before I had chickens I had pet birds and learned the critical importance of them having plenty to eat. They will regulate their food intake. I don't think I've ever seen a fat bird (especially not a well exercised bird) but I have seen starving birds and it is a sad sight.
 
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