Any way to combat crumble dust?

cluckingheck

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So, I recently switched to pellets because the dust from the crumble feed was causing my chooks to sneeze. They’re eating the pellets with no sneezing, but they definitely aren’t as enthralled. i had a broody hatch chicks close to four weeks ago and this wasn’t a problem at first because I kept the brooder door closed until the chicks were a little over a week old, but since I’ve opened the door everyone wants to eat the chicks’ food when mom takes them outside the coop.

the chick starter isn’t dusty, though when I switch back to the big chickens’ crumbles, is there anyway to reduce the dust so i don’t have a repeat of the sneezing? would i have to sift it?
 

aart

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though when I switch back to the big chickens’ crumbles,
What brand?
Might try a different brand.
Is it fresh.....check mill date.

Crumble is inherently dustier than pellets.
Don't really have a problem with it here, they eat it all.....and yes, sometimes they sneeze.
 

cluckingheck

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What brand?
Might try a different brand.
Is it fresh.....check mill date.

Crumble is inherently dustier than pellets.
Don't really have a problem with it here, they eat it all.....and yes, sometimes they sneeze.
Dumor at first, then eventually switched to Purina flock raiser crumbles and now I’m on their pellets. The local TSC doesn’t really have a lot of options when it comes to all flock/flock raiser ( it’s mostly all layer feed but I have 6 roos that I plan on keeping long term ). All the bags I bought were within the week or two. I didn’t know if the dust would’ve eventually caused some kind of respiratory issue and was kind of paranoid about the sneezing.

If it’s not going to be much of an issue, I’d definitely feel better about switching them back to crumbles. Hopefully then they won’t be as tempted to eat the chicks’ food. I doubt it knowing them, but it’s a start.
 

U_Stormcrow

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I used the Purina Flock Raiser several times this year, yeah, it was dusty. The Pellets really were my favorite, but I found a local mill which allows me to get fresher feed, MUCH cheaper - but only as crumble. That's when I started the wet food/wet mash routine (which really depends mostly on when I remembered to prepare the 5 gal feed buckets, and how many I started at a time.

Handling of those bags doesn't help any of the product, I've had the Nutrena Pellet this year almost half crumble too. Not all of it is in the control of the store.
 

U_Stormcrow

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Doesn’t wet feed run the risk of molding? I have their food in hanging feeders and offered at all times.

Nope. Or maybe, depends on how you do it.

I have 5 gallon buckets, and am mixing crumble from two bags to make my feed for my flock. 2 scoops of 24% game bird feeder, 1 scoop of 16% layer, repeat, 2 more scoops of 24% game bird. Gives me a 22% protein mix at about 1.5% calcium ( a little higher than I want, honestly) at a cost of about $0.23-0.27/lb (prices just went up). Anyhow, that's 9# of feed to a bucket and fills it about 2/3. Mix, then add water up to the first ring near the top, leaving about 1 1/2" of "head space". Lid, loosely. Set aside two days, mixing periodically. That will feed my flock for three days. I usually prepare two buckets at a time, its never more than 10-12 days when served, usually closer to 5-7. Because its covered by water the whole time, no mold or mildew.

If I don't have enough water, don't mix well, and leave it in the run (which I sometimes do), the last day can turn a little grey on the surface - like oatmeal left next to the sink for a day, but that's it. and I'm in FL, typically hot and humid.

If I had a much smaller flock, then yes, the quantities I make might go moldy with time.


/edit to add Yes, I free choice oyster shell and grit, two locations of each - though my birds seem to get plenty of grit from free ranging the property.

Also, my birds free range all day, with the choice to roam about 4.5 acres, protected by electric fencing. I feed them once daily by scooping the wet feed/wet mash into plastic rain gutters before they settle in for the evening, as an incentive to come to the run before sunset.
 
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NatJ

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the chick starter isn’t dusty, though when I switch back to the big chickens’ crumbles, is there anyway to reduce the dust so i don’t have a repeat of the sneezing?

You could serve them all chick starter. It's fine for chickens of all ages.

Just be sure to have a separate dish of oyster shell, so the layers can get the extra calcium they need. (Chickens are usually good at eating the right amount of oyster shell for their needs.)
 

cluckingheck

i wanna be a cowboy, baby ( HELL YEAH )
Jun 15, 2020
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You could serve them all chick starter. It's fine for chickens of all ages.

Just be sure to have a separate dish of oyster shell, so the layers can get the extra calcium they need. (Chickens are usually good at eating the right amount of oyster shell for their needs.)
I thought about that, but I also have 4 ducks ( 16 weeks old ). I never thought to mention them because they never had an issue with sneezing. Though, I don’t think the ducks would change much. And I already have a dish of oyster shells out because I have both cockerels and pullets in the same flock, so I was using flock raiser instead of layer feed.

So, yeah, it probably wouldn’t hurt just to switch to chick food until their old enough. The chicks are already around 4 weeks old
 

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