Wow, that's amazing!!! Do you buy your food in bulk? I feel like my Layena for 7 chickens is so expensive, that I can't imagine for 300. I'm curious how/where you buy the feed for a chicken farm rather than a hobbyist.
Yeah, I haven't been able to let mine free range as much...I know that affects food intake. We have a hungry owl around here. 2 fatalities in the fall. I do wish they would eat less. I'm going to try an make a larger fenced area for them this summer that has a wire "roof" so they can go out more but stay safe from the owl and/or hawks around here. Switching to pelleted food from crumble helped some, with less waste. They just seem to eat a lot. wondering if their age affects food intake? Prime egg laying age...almost 1 year old, so I wonder if they also eat more at this age? Kind of like teenagers???
It would make sense that high production be accompanied by high feed intake.
I used to lose an occasional hen to owls. I have always had to let mine out early in the morning when owls are still a threat, so I started throwing some corn chops into the coop area when I opened the doors hoping they will stay under cover until the owls have quit for the day. So far it seems to be working.
I found that I seemed to have more losses when I let them out early. Now they have to wait until _I_ think they're safe(er). I also ran a fence between the main coops and the "woods". It won't stop anything determined, but does prevent what I think of as a running attack. Usually dogs that just come in and start killing. Of course, my most vulnerable chickens insist on foraging in the cow field, and into said woods. I'm considering a donkey...
We have a chicken group here, and someone said that he runs string across his chicken "run" and it prevents the hawks from diving down and getting his chickens. I know this wouldn't work everywhere, like when you let them out. But in runs it could work.
I myself can't let my chickens out, due to my own dogs. I have two dogs, and one loves the chickens. She sits there and stares at them, or runs around the coops. The other one is purely interested in the wild life, like rodents, squirrels... he is never at the coops. Funny hun?