Hogs? Certain breeds of chickens - you bet!
Let me tell you something about poultry... chickens will eat a lot more grain than ducks and ducks will eat more than geese when they have access to pasture. Some chickens can be pigs.
But recently, I noticed a serious uptick in grain consumption. Mind you, I'm raising a few turkeys for our Thanksgiving meal, several guinea fowl, and I have about twice as many juvenile chickens out there right now as "on staff" layer hens so I, naturally, thought that those babies (and those dang turkeys) were seriously gobbling up the chicken chow. I would fill all the bowls each morning and when I returned in the late afternoon the bowls were licked clean. The most surprising thing was that when I came into the henyard with the feed bucket I was mobbed by starving birds.
I thought... wow! that's over 25lbs of feed just in the morning, but I put out an extra tray of kibble for them.
That didn't seem to make a dent at all... birds in that yard were still desperate for food when I got home. So that weekend I decided to take a seriously hard look at who to cull from the flock. I usually make this decision in mid-September when my juveniles are old enough for me to properly assess. In early August I'm not usually at the point that I'm certain how many roosters will be going to freezer camp and how many of the remaining hens will be sold or retained. But this food situation called for a quick turn around.
Sunday morning I headed out to the henyard with my cup of coffee and my camera. I sat down on the front step of the henhouse to watch and learn. I wanted to see if I could figure out how many baby roosters I had out there and how many pullets I wanted to hang onto. Some are breeds which lay fancy eggs that I want for my egg customers, some breeds I hatched in order to offer on my Little Leased Coop chicken rentals, and some I want just for me (I'm greedy that way).
It was a gorgeous summer morning so I'm out there quietly enjoying some chicken TV, photographing, taking notes, and sipping my coffee. Just as I'm thinking how nice it is to finally relax on a weekend, I look around the rainbarrel and see that two visitors have silently slipped over the fence into the henyard without disturbing a single fowl... guess who's been cleaning out the bowls of expensive chicken kibble every day??