Can I feed my chickens by hand only?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by cockybalboa, Jul 21, 2010.

  1. cockybalboa

    cockybalboa In the Brooder

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    Jul 21, 2010
    San Antonio
    THE CIRCUMSTANCE: I currently have 4 RIR's and they have a pretty large run for them to pick around all day. THE QUESTION: I want to know if i can feed them by hand instead of using the feeder that I currently have (where they get food all day)? and if so about how much feed should i spread out per bird (not including scraps) THE CAUSE: the local wild birds are eating all of my feed. Dozens and dozens are feeding everyday, and i have done everything and i mean everything to try and thwart their efforts to no avail, putting the feeder in the coop is not an option due to the setup that i have. MY PROPOSED SOLUTION: So i was thinking may be if i just feed them by hand twice a day the chickens will eat just when i put out the food and free range the rest of the day. Any suggestions or experiences are greatly appreciated.
    THANKS in advance.

    PS: i also have 5 Plymoth Rock chicks that i will place with my reds in about 2 months.
     
  2. orionburn

    orionburn Songster

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    Is there some reason why you can't put netting or wiring up around their run? I suppose you could feed them by hand, but I think it would be easier for you if you simply put their feed bucket out and stayed out there with them while they ate. I doubt the little birds would come close with you out there.

    [​IMG]
     
  3. cockybalboa

    cockybalboa In the Brooder

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    Jul 21, 2010
    San Antonio
    Thanks Nate, Yea I have netting around where the feeder is currently but the small space where the chickens go in, is where the wild birds go in too. The run itself is too large for me to net the whole thing so i am desperately seeking alternatives, because it seems like the wild birds are eating as much if not more than the chickens:barnie
     
  4. Gallo del Cielo

    Gallo del Cielo La Gallina Resort & Spa

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    My Coop
    Quote:Hi Cockybalboa, I'm having the same problem and I'm fixing it by making a doorway out of strips of shade-cloth. I first cut a square the size of the opening or slightly larger. I then stapled that to a small board that I can eventually screw in above the door. Then I cut ~2" strips vertically into the square of shadecloth. I then have the whole thing loosely wired up above the doorway, starting with the bottom of the strips hanging about 2/3rds of the way down into the doorway. Then I move it down a half inch ever other day or so. The flaps are now almost on the ground and most of the smaller birds are prevented from entering while the chooks have learned to worm their way through. I've reduced small bird entry by more than 90%. They still get through the wire around the coop, but I'll get that covered with bird netting in the next couple days once the shade-cloth door flaps are on the ground. Good luck.
     
  5. shepherd

    shepherd In the Brooder

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    Jun 19, 2010
    I free range my 45 chickens and feeding them every morning and evening isnt a problem. It actually gets your chickens more tame feeding them by hand. I have one chicken that flies up on my shoulder to get food. So I would say feed them by hand.
     
  6. KimberlyJ

    KimberlyJ Songster

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    Jun 13, 2010
    If you're really handy with wood working you could try making one of these THREADLE feeders. They open when a chicken steps on them. I would love to have one, but I'm not that good [​IMG]

    http://www.woodworkingcorner.com/feeder.php
     
  7. shepherd

    shepherd In the Brooder

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    Jun 19, 2010
    That Threadle feeder looks neat but its kinda small.
     
  8. cockybalboa

    cockybalboa In the Brooder

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    Jul 21, 2010
    San Antonio
    Thanks everyone for all of the posts, hopefully there are more to come, I am handy with wood so I think I could do the one where the chickens can step on it to get the food, very very cool but i think that will be a long term project. For now i will just feed them by hand every morning and night. [​IMG]
     

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