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How much feed does newly hatched poultry require?

Answer: Feeding amounts for newly hatched birds are as follows:

  • layer chicks: 9 to 10 pounds per bird in the first 10 weeks
  • broiler chicks: 8 to 9 pounds per bird in the first six weeks
  • turkeys: 72 pounds per bird in the first 12 weeks

As laying birds mature, chickens will require 1.5 pounds per bird per week, and turkeys will require 4 to 5 pounds per bird per week.

Pastured poultry can obtain anywhere from 5 to 20% of their daily dietary requirement from forage, if the forage is young, vegetative, and not too tall. Clovers seem to work best. Most pastured poultry producers will factor in 5% of the diet coming from forage, and feed the rest of their diet with a prepared grain mix appropriate for their stage of development.

The following ATTRA publications provide additional information on this topic:

Pastured Poultry Nutrition and Forages

Pastured Turkey Production

Pasture-Raised Poultry Nutrition

Also check out the Poultry section of ATTRA’s website, where you’ll find a host of related resources, including publications, videos, and podcasts.