Why Do My Chickens Always Seem Hungry?

If you are a keeper, you definitely know that feeds can literally empty your pocket!

It is not surprising if you think that a whole bag of chicken feed only takes a few weeks before it gets emptied.

The reason why is likely because your chickens are consuming lots of feed, as if they are not capable of feeling full!

Is this normal?

Are you just under feeding them?

Or are chickens just naturally heavy-eater birds?

Let’s find out why your chickens always seem to be hungry!

Chickens may really act as if they have an infinite stomach.

You would see them foraging and eating some food, right after you just feed them.

If you’re worried if ever you are doing something wrong, let me be the bearer of good news!

Chickens always eat, even if they are not really hungry.

These birds are clearly opportunistic feeders and they will absolutely eat whenever they can!

Fowls also love treats and they might have an uncontrollable desire to eat, which is why it is important as their owner to monitor their meals. 

Why Is My Chicken Always Hungry? 

You probably had some thoughts whether you are feeding your chickens correctly because they always seem hungry all the time.

However, it may only appear on the surface, because in reality, chickens will eat as if they are seriously starving, even if they are not feeling hungry at all.

Remember that chickens are foraging birds.

It is their instinct to always eat whenever there is edible food available.

Whether they eat grass, wild flowers, bugs, or insects, chickens will continue to hunt and eat because it is their nature. 

Since we’re talking about chickens and eating have a look at some articles about what they can eat

Chickens are also opportunistic feeders.

This is the reason why you might think that they are almost 24/7 hungry!

Meaning, they will eat if there is food, regardless whether they are hungry or not. 

Can Chickens Eat As Much As They Want? 

Even though chickens always eat and hunt for food, they are capable of managing themselves.

Chickens will stop eating if they think they have consumed enough.

In fact, their bodies will naturally process and regulate the food they have eaten to keep themselves healthy.

In other words, chickens may eat as much as they want, but they still know that they have their limits. 

So can you overfeed a chicken?

Let’s find out

Can You Overfeed Chickens? 

No matter how good your chickens can be in self-regulating, it should not be your excuse to overfeed them.

Indeed, chickens will stop eating once they are full.

However, they are not exempted from becoming obese. 

Overfed chickens have a high possibility to live an inactive lifestyle.

Since they are gaining weight and becoming heavier, they would have a hard time moving.

This will cause them to become less active which may result in other major risks, such as diseases. 

I know what you’re thinking

You don’t want to overfeed your chickens right?

This leads me my next point which will hopefully give you some clarity

How Many Times a Day Should Chickens Be Fed? 

If you’re a beginner in taking care of chickens, you should know how important it is to know how often you should feed your flocks.

In reality, it depends on what works for you while keeping your fowls healthy.

Still, it is important that you at least follow some basis for guidance.

Ideally, chickens should be fed at least twice a day, with some treats in between.

You can even divide their feeding time into 3-4 small feedings.

Chickens prefer to have small and frequent meals rather than one big meal a day. 

Some keepers try to feed their chickens continuously in small amounts.

You can also come up with your own way as long as you meet the amount required for your fowls, which is around ¼ pound of feed per adult chicken.

How Do I Know If My Chickens Are Eating Enough? 

The digestive tracts of chickens are designed to consume food continuously.

But, it is critical for you as their keeper to monitor the amounts of feed they are consuming a day.

This will help them stay in their healthy weight and avoid obesity. 

So, how to know if your chickens are eating enough?

There is no precise way to tell if your chickens have consumed enough food for the day.

The only way is to keep monitoring the amounts of food you give them. 

Naturally, this will vary according to their age, breed, season, feed quality, and other factors.

To give you a general idea, adult chickens should eat at least ¼ lbs of feed daily.

Chicks, on the other hand, should need about ¾ lbs daily with more access to water. 

Should Chickens Have Access To Food All the Time? 

While there is an option to feed your chickens twice a day, one of the best practices to do is just to let your chickens have access to food throughout the day.

Just make sure that you don’t put too much food, or else you will have lots of pests everywhere.


Chickens will not greedily eat all the food they have.

They know how to prevent overeating and are capable of managing their own.

Chickens will only eat what they need.

They will only stop eating once they have consumed enough food for that time being.

Just make sure that the feeds you give are high quality and are still within the required needed amount to keep them healthy.

Wrapping Up 

Chickens are opportunistic feeders and will eat once there is an available food.

These birds are natural foragers as well, so you might think that they are 24/7 hungry.

However, chickens just have big digestive tracts that almost have a never-ending appetite. 

Still, there is no need to worry as chickens know when to stop eating.

Just make sure that you give them the proper amount of feed per day and a healthy, balanced diet.

After all, it is still your responsibility as their keeper to monitor their health, and keep them in perfect condition.

Check out my article – Do chickens sleep during the day? 


We at birdcageshere.com write about bird health and diet however it should not be taken as medical advice. For advice on your bird you need to seek out an avian vet. The information you find on birdcageshere.com is for educational purposes only. At birdcageshere.com we are not liable for any information that you may find on here. Birdcageshere is NOT a substitute for professional medical advice about your bird.