I have about 35 2 week old RIR chicks in a 3 ft by 4 ft brooder box, under a light bulb for warmth. They are growing like weeds (at least their feathers are!) and as yet they aren't crowded. Will have to seperate them off into smaller groups when they get a bit bigger. But my question is: I have them bedded down in shavings, and I am using half-gallon jars with the screw-on bases for waterers and feeders. To keep the shavings out of the water, and in an attempt to keep them from making a mess of the feed, as they grow I set the feeders and waterers on 2 X 6 blocks. In other words, they are on about a 6 in by 6 inch by 2 inch block. They are now tall enough that I am putting 2 of these blocks under everything, making them about 4 inches off the floor. This helps quite a bit with the water, keeping chips out of it, but they are still somehow raking the feed out, and they have more feed mixed in with the shavings than they have shavings. They are practically bedded down in chick starter!. It is dry, but surely there is some poo in this, but it looks like mostly feed, especially for about a ft. in all directions from the feeder. Has anyone figured out a way to keep them from wasting so much feed? I have wondered if getting a screen--maybe 1/8 inch holes--and sifting the shavings out of the feed, and using this feed for my full size chickens--in addition to their regular feed. ?? Any ideas? Feed is getting pretty expensive around here, and it is aggrivating to waste so much.