Birds helping themselves to chicken feed

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by arthury, Aug 9, 2013.

  1. arthury

    arthury Out Of The Brooder

    My flock is free range during the day.
    So, I have a feeding and drinking station outside the coop.

    Well, that feeding station is now attracting birds and the flock will chase them away but the birds return once the flock is "grazing" elsewhere.

    How do you tackle this problem?
  2. thomasboyle

    thomasboyle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 28, 2013
    Northwest Hills of CT
    I have my food and water inside the covered coop run, and that opens up to the outdoor range area. The doorway is a 3' high door that is hinged at the top (swings upward) and I've never had an issue with anything other than the hens getting the food. If they are free-ranging, they shouldn't need food - they can get bugs, grass and weeds, and you want to encourage that, not keep them on feed welfare!
  3. mamas

    mamas Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 8, 2012
    I am having the same problem, I have a coop that is connected to an outside cage which I open each morning to a small fenced in area which has been picked clean. I throw garden scraps to them but I still need to keep them fed(the feed and water are both in the lockable caged area). I have noticed that the sparrows are constantly in their feed, I know that they are eating more than the chickens. I hope someone can give us both some advice on this problem!
  4. thechooks22

    thechooks22 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 1, 2013
    Queensland, Australia
    I had/am having the same problem with wild doves eatting the chook feed and drinking their water and them drinking the water gave my hen a konger (lump in wind pipe) which almost killed my wyandotte hen as she had trouble breathing i'll have to be more careful :/
  5. SophiaMoon

    SophiaMoon Out Of The Brooder

    Jun 21, 2013
    In my case its not only the birds but chipmunks, squirrels and mice plus the odd bunny rabbit helping themselves to a free meal. I only part time free range my chickens so have to have food out for when they stay in the run for the day.
  6. marktoo

    marktoo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Prior to getting chickens we used to feed the wild birds BOSS, although we no longer feed them the feeders & bird bath are still there. Occasionally the chickens don't finish all their fermented feed, some of which I put in the bird feeder....the sparrows & finches have not touched it, no bird has. Fermented layer pellets, fresh garlic & Cayenne pepper. Perhaps it's just a fluke but it's worth a shot.
  7. Nambroth

    Nambroth Fud Lady

    Apr 7, 2011
    Western NY
    My Coop
    Your two best options are either treadle feeders (lots of plans here on BYC if you search) or simply keeping the food in the coop. If a chicken is not finding enough forage on free range, it has enough smarts to go inside for a bite to eat. Most of the time chickens will feed most heavily early morning and then again before roost, and will browse/graze/forage throughout the day so this works well for many people (just keep feed in the coop).

    You don't want wild birds sharing feed, as it is a disease vector, and also a vector for unwanted critters like mites. Doves sharing the water source should be avoided too if possible.

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