Better to keep feeder almost empty?

Chocobo

Chirping
8 Years
May 27, 2011
159
1
89
I have a feeder that looks almost exactly like this, minus the jelly beans of course.

I have (4) eight day old chicks and when I fill the container up so it is gravity fed the holes fill almost to the top and the feed gets EVERYWHERE when the peck and scratch at it.
However I noticed that if the container runs out and the feed is only half filling the metal pan then almost no crumbles get out since they have to put their head down further into it.
I am home all day right now so would it actually be better for my chicks if I just keep the metal feeder half full?
 

Fred's Hens

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
You can do what you are doing. Soon, and very soon, that feeder will be far too small. In no time, their appetites will pick up BIG TIME. You'll need a different feeder anyhow. Feed waste is a concern, but when using these chick feeders of various kinds, it's more efficient to place it on a pizza pan or similar. That way, if they chicks kick out or beak out feed, they get a second chance at it, which they will eat, if allowed to do so.
 

Sinfonian

Songster
8 Years
9 Years
Jan 24, 2011
193
1
101
Seattle area
I find my chicks pick through their feed til only the mash is left. I just top it off now so as not to waste it. I clean it with the brooder.

I also raised both my feeder and water and kept raising it as they grew. Good practice.

Good luck!
 

debid

Crowing
9 Years
Jan 20, 2011
7,543
6,843
496
middle TN
I found that raising it just a bit worked wonders; I used a scrap of 1x6. I tried a plate under it but that just filled up with kicked around litter. I guess the sides weren't high enough (or they're simply aggressive scratchers...)
 

Chocobo

Chirping
8 Years
May 27, 2011
159
1
89
These are all excellent suggestions. How long will this type of feeder work for 4 chicks before I need to upgrade to something bigger?
 

debid

Crowing
9 Years
Jan 20, 2011
7,543
6,843
496
middle TN
They'll start roosting on it in a couple of weeks (at the latest) but you can prolong use by making it a cardboard cone hat and giving them a roost to play on instead. They'll eventually be large enough that they'll knock it over with their activities. I couldn't tell you exactly how old that will be since it depends somewhat on personality and how much space they have to run around but I know I was very happy to be moving up to a hanging feeder in the coop when my chicks were 4-7 weeks (I have mixed ages) because they were knocking it over so often.
 

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