Bird feeder debris and free range chickens

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Bill A, Sep 14, 2011.

  1. Bill A

    Bill A Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 12, 2011
    Our new chickens will soon be free ranging in our backyard, where we have a bird feeder loaded up with black oiled sunflower seeds (which chickens love). I'm not worried about the chickens getting at the feeder (too high), but over the years a lot of debris has collected under the feeder and I wonder if this is breeding ground for disease. I have no doubt the chickens will find this stuff and scratch through it.

  2. colebarnhart

    colebarnhart Chillin' With My Peeps

    Probably not a problem, but if you're really worried about it, can't you just clean it?
  3. Pinky

    Pinky Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 15, 2008
    South GA
    My chickens love to go under my bird feeder, but I never had the debris build up before. If you are worried, you can clean the area under the feeder.
  4. Bill A

    Bill A Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 12, 2011
    Quote:Well, sure, to a point. But all of the old sunflower shells and so on are by now pretty much integral to the soil.

  5. colebarnhart

    colebarnhart Chillin' With My Peeps

    Probably be the least of your worries with them free ranging.
  6. Bill A

    Bill A Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 12, 2011
    Good point there.

  7. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Flock Master Premium Member

    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    Ours love to clean up under the feeder. I don't think the built-up debris will be a problem. And on the upside, they should help keep it clean under your feeder from now on! [​IMG]
  8. Ginagallina

    Ginagallina Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 21, 2014
    North central Louisiana
    Good question I was wondering the same thing. I have had 2 bird feeders in my back yard for several years now. Opposite side of where my chicken yard and coop will be but on evenings I wanted to let them out and run the whole back yard if I'm out supervising and keeping an eye out for the local hawk couple. I have read so much about mites and birds and etc. that I was worried about under those feeders too
  9. howfunkyisurchicken

    howfunkyisurchicken Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 11, 2011
    The way I see it, wild birds have at some time or another walked, pooped, nested or dropped something on every single piece of your property at some point or another, you really can't keep the chickens from coming into contact with things the wild birds might have contaminated. My chickens will eat small birds, mice, frogs, snakes, fish and probably a whole host of things I don't know and don't want to know about. I seriously doubt the sunflower debris will be a problem [​IMG]

    Good luck with your soon to be free rangers!
    1 person likes this.
  10. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    This is true, but why bring more wild birds to your property?

    Wildlife, of any species, congregating in large what can happen when people feed them.... can lead to an uptick of disease and parasites.

    Birdfeeders also can draw hawks to the area.

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