How much layers’ pellets should my one-year-old hens be eating? I fill a feeder with about 2.5kg of feed and they get through most of it (one eats more than the other) in a week. The food is available most of the day, but they also get to free range if we are home. Are we feeding them too much?

Anne Perdeaux says: As a very rough guide, an average chicken will eat around 120-150 grams of food a day, but this varies widely according to the breed, how the chickens are kept and the weather. Feeding layers’ pellets along with some free ranging is unlikely to cause problems, as the hens will tend to regulate their own intake. It sounds as if there is usually food left over, which implies that your hens are having enough to eat but not over-indulging! Over-feeding is more likely to occur when chickens are given too many extras – ie corn or scraps – which they gorge on and ignore their balanced ration of layers’ pellets.

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