ARE they PIGS or what?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Hennyhandler, Jun 28, 2010.

  1. Hennyhandler

    Hennyhandler SilkieJax

    Jun 10, 2009
    I had a medium square tubberware like bowl to feed my chickens with. It worked well but I was filling it up ALL the time and sometimes they would run out before I got home or would dump it upside down. This didn't happen frequently but I wanted a new feeder anyway. (I love to shop for chicken supplies. [​IMG] ) SO I bought one, it is a red plastic one that is huge and looks like a bucket. You pull the lid off, fill it up, and put the lid back on as the feed falls out the bottom of the bucket into the lowered pan below. Works wonderful as I am not filling up a bowl every five minutes. [​IMG]
    Now, the problem was I realized I was going through a lot of feed but I figured having only to fill it up so little and it holding so much that it wasn't as bad as I thought. This whole time, including the time I had a bowl I had it on a cement block, well when this occured I added a cement topper to the block. You know, like the thinner pieces that is supposed to cover the holes in the blocks? So you can get an idea how tall this thing is. It is pretty much even with their backs if I had to take a guess. I thought this was good but I am still using way to much feed. To give you an idea, I filled the whole thing up yesterday and today I am a little below half. Wouldn't you say that is a little much?

    I do have to admit that there is some pellets around the area to attest to the fact that it does get spilled, don't know how but it does, but it sure couldn't be THAT much. [​IMG] I don't know but I hate to waste so much feed. [​IMG] I don't mind if I know they are eating it and are healthy but if it's going to waste... Thanks for listening to me ramble and for any help or replies.
  2. pharmchickrnmom

    pharmchickrnmom Songster

    Apr 13, 2010
    My first question would be how many chickens do you have and at what age? I have 8 and they do eat well, I have a pvc feeder that holds 3 days worth of food for them==about 3 quart pitchers full. However, my girls also have access to a fresh run area every day. They spend all day eating grass, bugs, weeds, worms, etc. and get goodies as well. They have access to their feed 24/7. If I were you, I would keep track of your chickens for a couple of days to see exactly how often they are feeding and how much they may be billing out. I found that changing my feeder to the one I made cut out almost all the billing out so food waste is minimized. [​IMG] If you think you are still losing too much feed, check for rodents. You may be feeding the locals as well as your own babies![​IMG] I hope this helps and that others can give you more advice. [​IMG]
  3. louloubean

    louloubean Songster

    Mar 19, 2009
    OC, NY
    my chickens go through phases of eating more and less. (they DO lay more eggs when they are pigging out!)

    but we know we had days when the chipmunks come to the buffet. watch out for those little buggers!
  4. jenjscott

    jenjscott Mosquito Beach Poultry

    May 24, 2008
    Southeast Arkansas
    As above, we need to know
    1: how many chickens are there
    2: how old are they
    3: How much does the feeder hold, total.
  5. Coco Rico

    Coco Rico Chirping

    Dec 1, 2009
    Santa Barbara
    This may sound crazy since everyone seems to recommend pellets over mash because it supposedly wastes less, but I just switched my birds to mash and they love it - haven't wasted a bit of it yet. I noticed they were spilling the pellets all over the ground in order to get to the dust left over in the feeder and would do this every time I added more food. They are much happier with mash.
  6. Hennyhandler

    Hennyhandler SilkieJax

    Jun 10, 2009
    Sorry I didn't add that. I didn't think about it. I have ten chickens and the feeder is supposed to hold UP to fifty pounds by what the description for the feeder says BUT when using a fifty pound bag of feed it uses about half give or take. Sorry that is not more accurate. The chickens are a little over a year old. I have gotten about seven or so eggs and then all of a sudden I started to only get about five for about two days, then WHAM! I have gotten eight in the last couple of days. Please also remember that one of my hens has taken up with the nest box trying to be broody so I am sure she is not laying an egg. That's not all that bad.
  7. jenjscott

    jenjscott Mosquito Beach Poultry

    May 24, 2008
    Southeast Arkansas
    If it is holding that much feed and they are going through half of it in a day, there is some disappearing somewhere. Based on "adequate" food for a large fowl, and average weights of the foods I feed, a BALLPARK figure would be 2-1/2 quarts a day. So even if you want to be generous, try putting out 3 quarts a day for a while and see if they eat it all. Just general guidelines, but if you do this for a week or so you should get a general idea of how much they are really eating. Also if your feeder is adjustable, set if for the least amount of feed at a time to prevent slinging of food. So you would put the barrel part of the feeder as low in the bowl as it will go.
  8. Ema

    Ema Songster

    Jun 4, 2010
    N. Ontario CANADA
    I was having the exact same issue. I got 21 red sex links and I am not kidding I was filling the feeder 2 sometimes 3 times per day, not a small feeder either. I realized that even though I had that many chicks there was NO way I could be goign through so much feed. My freind got the same amount of chciks and she had about half a sack more feed than me. so I thought either I am wasting it, or she is not feeding her chciks enough. well I decided to take a good look and guess what all the feed was under their bedding....they were sticking thier little feet in there and scratching it out of their feeder. so I went ahead and switched the feeder for a long feeder with the swiveling top bar so if they stand on it or try to get thier feet int here they can't. So now I am conserving on thier feed and none is being wasted...once a day I take a cup and fill it with feed, oatmeal and grit and then sprinkle it over their bedding to encourage them to scratch and fluff their bedding since they love to make bare patches and bunch it all up in one luck I hope this helps you some :)
  9. growinupinfl

    growinupinfl Songster

    Apr 2, 2010
    Thanks for posting this link I have the same question. I have 15 4-5 month old hens and they are PIGS they are eating everything in site. I didn't know if you should be using a cup of food a day per a chicken or something like that. They are going through about 4 quarts of food in 24 hours. Piggies. Plus they are free range. They have a coop in the middle of 3/4 acre and the fence is outside that. They are normally up and getting all the bugs from the night before by 6am. In between free ranging, feed, and treats should they really be eating that much? I have been feeding them HMC chicken feed crumbles. Plus all the other stuff they get. Could this be they are tossing their food and I don't see the crumbles once they hit the ground and are lost in the hay, or do chickens go through growth spurt where like kids they just eat everything for a while? Any idea's would be helpful. As a side note, how old will a rooster be when it starts to crow. We have one that we are questioning the sex. Her comb and wattles are bigger and redder than the other girls but no attempts at crowing. Any other idea's?

    Thanks for the help,

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