1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Are my chickens just weird or what?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Jakoda, Jan 12, 2013.

  1. Jakoda

    Jakoda Chillin' With My Peeps

    651
    35
    131
    Apr 12, 2012
    Old Lyme CT
    When I had to house my chickens in the house for a few days (storm Sandy)..I had to use a different type of food bowl since we were short on space. I used an aluminum dog crate bowl, the kind that "hooks" thru the kennel wire.

    Anyhow, I was CONSTANTLY filling that cup up (it's probably a 16 0z size, and the chickens I felt, were eating way more out of 'this' bowl vs their regular plastic feeders.

    Ok , so over the past couple months, it seems like I never have to add crumbles to their plastic feeders (one in the coop/one outside in the run,,they do not free range).

    Well I bought 3 of these dog crate bowls, figuring two I could use for oyster shell and grit, since they can't tip them over and make a mess,,,one I bought BIGGER, to test my theory and put their crumbles in..

    They went nutso, I put ALOT of crumbles in the bigger bowl , and theywent to town eating their crumbles.

    So what gives? The aluminum crate bowls attract them / guess they don't like plastic feeders? are my chickens just weird?

    Anyone else see a difference in the type of feeder/bowls they use?
    Diane
     
  2. Pullet Surprise

    Pullet Surprise Chillin' With My Peeps

    Maybe it's because they're shiney???? There's no telling with chickens! LOL
     
  3. rollkeeg877

    rollkeeg877 Chillin' With My Peeps

    334
    6
    91
    Dec 4, 2012
    london ontario
    well when chickens see new things they like to eat them so when a chicken sees a boil of its food its like ohhhh myyy gosh and just goes crazy my chickens do it a lot
     
  4. Jakoda

    Jakoda Chillin' With My Peeps

    651
    35
    131
    Apr 12, 2012
    Old Lyme CT
    I was thinking the "shiney" thing,,it was kinda funny, when I attached them to the wire before I put anything in them, a couple were looking at their reflections like WOW:)

    Well I'll keep watching my "experiment" I swear they eat more out of these bowls tho than my plastic feeders!
     
  5. CrzyCknLady

    CrzyCknLady Chillin' With My Peeps

    125
    3
    93
    Apr 13, 2012
    It's funny you mention this. Ever since I switched to a 30lb. metal feeder, my chickens are eating far more than they used to out of the plastic feeder. I have 25 in my flock (23 hens, 2 roosters) and they eat about 10lbs of feed a day. It is insane! I was thinking they were eating more to bulk up for winter but now I'm not so sure it isn't the shiny feeder. I wonder if I could spray paint the middle tube part black and it would cut down on how much they were eating......I know once I switched to this feeder, they nearly doubled their daily intake and I'm constantly having to clean out the coop whereas I didn't have to clean it nearly as often before. More food + more poop, right? Hmmm........now you have me wondering.......
     
  6. CrzyCknLady

    CrzyCknLady Chillin' With My Peeps

    125
    3
    93
    Apr 13, 2012
    Well - since I was cleaning out my coop today thanks to the lovely warm temps, I decided to spray the feeder with some black spray paint I had laying around. I let it get good and dry ( a couple of hours in the breeze/sun) and filled it back up and hung it. I'm hoping this cuts down on how much they are eating. I put about 30lbs of feed in it (filled it right to the top) - we'll see if it lasts more than three days......I started to buy organic feed from the local feed mill and I got the new feeder at the same time so I wasn't sure which was the culprit of the excessive eating - All I know is, I got 1000lbs of feed in early October - I just opened my 6th bag today - but I do have a large tin can filled in the coop itself with about 150lbs of feed so essentially they have gone through nearly half of the feed I got that was supposed to last until late May based on how much they were eating when I was getting the stuff from TS - and it's just early January. We're just about 100lbs ahead of where I wanted to be at this point - which doesn't seem like a lot - but it is.....especially since we've cut back from 21 eggs a day to 9-12. Little piggies either need to lay or stop eating so much. :)
     
  7. Jakoda

    Jakoda Chillin' With My Peeps

    651
    35
    131
    Apr 12, 2012
    Old Lyme CT
    definitely let me know how your experiment goes! LOL..I only have 9 chickens , 4 or 5 are laying (they are 7 months old), and I do supplement their feed.

    What can I say mine are spoiled bad;( In the am & pm they get a big bowl of 'mash',,veggies/fruit/grains/whatever I have laying around..They scarf that down like there's no tomorrow..And I was thinking, gosh, they are eating more "stuff" than their regular crumbles..so tried the bowl thinking it was maybe their feeder they weren't impressed with..well now they are chowing both LOL..

    If mine start going thru the kind of feed yours are, I'm sendingthem to you:)))) or going back to the old feeders LOL
    Diane
     
  8. Pullet Surprise

    Pullet Surprise Chillin' With My Peeps

    Have you thought about fermenting your feed?
     
  9. TweeTea

    TweeTea Chillin' With My Peeps

    120
    1
    71
    Dec 11, 2012
    Canberra, Australia
    How does fermenting help?
     
  10. CrzyCknLady

    CrzyCknLady Chillin' With My Peeps

    125
    3
    93
    Apr 13, 2012
    I have thought about fermenting - but I want to wait until spring to give that a try. With the snow, it's not super easy to get out to the coop with my hands full some days. Today I took advantage of the nearly 60 degree temps to get the coop clean, the trash can full of feed, and the nesting boxes cleaned out. Last time I had to haul feed, I had to do it in knee deep snow - 7 trips back and forth about 75' or so each way - so not fun! I also did a re-routing of the hens route to the nesting boxes......they had to walk on the poop trays to get to the lower boxes and my eggs have been nasty for the past few weeks since the last time I changed the coop. I don't know why that never dawned on me - clearly chickens don't care what they are stepping in.....they certainly don't prance around on the front of the trays that didn't have poop on them.....lol


    I have to say - when they all went back in the coop, they didn't really go straight for the feeder. I don't know if it was because I had darkened it up or if they were full from digging around out in the mud all day. We'll see what the next couple of days bring. I'm hoping this cuts down on their eating. Based on how full the trays were in just a week, I'd say they abide by the "in one end and out the other" rule.......Despite the increase in their eating, they don't appear or feel any fatter - so really, I have to assume they are just eating and pooping.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by