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5 wk olde and food waste

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by jkg, Feb 10, 2009.

  1. jkg

    jkg In the Brooder

    Jan 26, 2009
    I have five red star chicks right around 5 weeks old. I'm feeding them starter mash from one of the galvanized mason jar feeders. They manage to empty the mason jar within a couple hours of refilling it. The frustrating part is how much of it ends up on the floor. All five birds will stand there on an inch deep of food staring out the cage and cheeping at us like we owe them more food. I see them scratching a bunch, but they never seem to eat much off the ground - just pick through for whatever particles they think are good and leave the other 99% behind. When I do fill up the jar again, they pounce on it and while eating some, they pull most out on to the floor with their beaks in what appears to be a search for something.

    Do I not feed them as often and force them to get hungry enough they learn to eat from the ground? Accept that a huge portion of their food eventually goes to the trash? Or add something to their feed that they appear to be missing so they don't feel as strong a need to keep searching?

  2. RIVERA69R

    RIVERA69R Songster

    Jun 9, 2008
    Have you tried to hang it off the ground a little so they can not stand all in it
  3. Akane

    Akane Crowing

    Jun 15, 2008
    I've never been able to fill the mason jar feeders. They always dump it out. I fill the bottom part and then put the jar on empty and just refill as they run out. If they spill a bunch I don't refill it until they clean it up. Sometimes putting it up on a brick or something helps. It might also help to go to crumbles instead of the fine mash. Mash is great for bantam chicks but it results in more waste than crumbles and crumbles result in more waste than pellets. Pellets are too large for chicks though.
  4. debilorrah

    debilorrah The Great Guru of Yap Premium Member

    I figure for the short time they are on the chick start it's not a big deal - they use the excess to dust bathe in [​IMG] We used one of those round feeders with holes in it and they still managed to get it all over the place. Children will be children....
  5. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    I would switch to crumbles and then raise your feeder up on something, a brick, a block of wood, what have you.
    Raise it so that the base of the feeder is at the height of the smallest chick's back.
    They should have to reach just a bit to eat out of it.
  6. cmom

    cmom Hilltop Farm

    Nov 18, 2007
    My Coop
    I use a trough feeder for my chicks with Starter/Grower crumbles. When they start laying they get layer pellets. There are pictures on my BYC Page.
  7. Matt A NC

    Matt A NC Crowing

    Feb 22, 2007
    Morganton, NC
    I use frisbees, potted plant holder, pan, or something else to place the feeders in. It needs to be a couple inches from the edge of the feeder to the edge of the dish and have an edge at least an inch high. Most of the food is caught in the pan/dish. I just recycle it back into the feeder, adding fresh food to the mix. If any shavings or poo has been tossed in, I just pick or sift it out.

    This has worked well for years and keeps the waste WAY down.


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