Bugs in food?

Mys Teri

In the Brooder
May 15, 2016
I made a pvc feeder out of 3" pipe. I keep finding bugs in the food. :( I never see any in the bucket that stores the food, but one day after putting food in the feeder, it is filled with bugs, even though I disassembled it and washed it all out the day before.

I also have little cups that I fill with food inside the coop. I found some bugs in that before I cleaned everything, but the cup doesn't have bugs in it today.

The bugs are all small black things. Not roaches or ants, but I don't know what they are.

How do I stop this? I'm wasting tons of food, and have gotten to the point of only putting a small amount of food in the pvc feeder at a time. That kind of defeats the purpose of the pvc feeder though, and is not helpful when we travel.
I don't have a pvc feeder but do you have a cap on the end that you fill it with? Don't have bugs in my feeders ... but I am kinda surprised that your chickens aren't eating them.
I have a cap on the top of the feeder, but I leave the part where they feed open. The bugs are hidden unless the food is stirred. I'm not sure if the chickens are eating the bugs or not, but they seem to prefer the food in the cup over the feeder.

I am wondering if the bug larva were inside the food already, and they just "hatch" when I put them out? I notice the food in this bag seems to have little black dots inside each tiny piece, but I always thought that was just what it looked like. (This is only the second bag of food I've ever used).
Could you post a photo of the bugs? I sometimes get bugs in my scratch canister that I leave out at the coop, I would rather not have them in there but the chickens don't seem to mind.
I'll try to get a pic tomorrow, but I did some research online, and they look like grain weevils.
So now what? I bought a 50lb bag, I've used about 15 lbs of it, I don't have the receipt or the bag, because I transferred the food to a bucket.

I guess I have a few questions... First, how do I get rid of them? I've been dumping the food on the ground in and near the run... Do I have to somehow get rid of an infestation in the soil, or will cleaning the feeder and bucket be enough?

Second, how do I keep them from coming back? Since I've never had weevils before, I'm going to guess they were in the bag when I bought it. I keep the bucket in an outdoor storage closet with all of the other chicken supplies, including treats. Do I need to scrap all of it? Am I in for deep cleaning this closet now?

Lastly, there are very few feed stores with chicken supplies in my area, and even fewer that carry any brand of organic food. I had to drive an hour to find the place where I found this food. Based on the cleanliness and organization of the store, well, let's just say I'm not super surprised to find bugs. Are there any online suppliers that don't charge an arm and a leg for shipping? When I looked a few months back, the shipping was nearly as much as, if not more than the feed itself.

Thanks for helping me everyone.
Does anyone have any thoughts on why I don't see the bugs in the food bucket?

This is a picture of the food scooped right out of the bucket, after stirring it vigorously. No obvious bugs, but you can see little black spots inside the food. Also, there is a lot of powder.

I tried to take a picture of the bugs in the feeder, but it was raining all day yesterday, and today.... The weevils (or whatever) were replaced with a TON of ants. -sigh- I'm at a loss.
So I tossed all of the bug-infested food, replaced it with a different kind of food from a different source. I threw out the old bucket and bought a brand new air tight one to contain the food. I sprinkled DE everywhere, including all over and outside the coop and run, in the storage closet, and in the food itself. I washed out the food cups and moved them to the other side of the coop. I dug up the dirt under the cups where food had been spilled and replaced it with fresh dirt. I'm only putting enough feed out for one day.... And yet I found weevils again in the cups. I washed the cups out again and put more DE in the bottom. Anyone else have suggestions for getting rid of this problem?

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