Chick Starter as Bedding??

JBARH

In the Brooder
6 Years
Mar 23, 2013
13
1
26
Cypress, TX
My chicks are insane! 2.5 weeks old and SO much personality. Just starting to try and pop out of the brooder.

I have our 4 chicks in a big rubbermaid tub with a lamp, 1 gallon water thing and a 1 qt feed thing with a big fry light as their heat source. Bedding is pine pellets (suggested by the feed store) and they seem fine with it. They break up the little pellets and then I just dump the whole thing in the compost pile. (cleaned it out 3 times in 2.5 weeks.)

The problem I am having is they scratch out a quart of their food in about 2 hours. They only seem to eat what is in the feeder and the brooder floor is covered with it. I have just been replacing it in the morning because it seems like they ought to eat what they pull out to the floor.
1) Is this normal behavior?
2) Should I be doing something different?
3) Is there any reason not to just leave it in there as bedding? I mean, it's like an inch deep around the feeder.
4) Should I be putting out MORE for them more frequently than once a day given the whole place is covered in the stuff.

Any advice would be appreciated.

JBARH
www.jbarh.com/chickenblog
 

Michael Apple

Crowing
11 Years
Mar 6, 2008
3,495
586
318
Northern California
My chicks are insane! 2.5 weeks old and SO much personality. Just starting to try and pop out of the brooder.

I have our 4 chicks in a big rubbermaid tub with a lamp, 1 gallon water thing and a 1 qt feed thing with a big fry light as their heat source. Bedding is pine pellets (suggested by the feed store) and they seem fine with it. They break up the little pellets and then I just dump the whole thing in the compost pile. (cleaned it out 3 times in 2.5 weeks.)

The problem I am having is they scratch out a quart of their food in about 2 hours. They only seem to eat what is in the feeder and the brooder floor is covered with it. I have just been replacing it in the morning because it seems like they ought to eat what they pull out to the floor.
1) Is this normal behavior?
2) Should I be doing something different?
3) Is there any reason not to just leave it in there as bedding? I mean, it's like an inch deep around the feeder.
4) Should I be putting out MORE for them more frequently than once a day given the whole place is covered in the stuff.

Any advice would be appreciated.

JBARH
www.jbarh.com/chickenblog
Yes, it is normal behavior. Even at a few days old they kick and scratch at the floor. The feeder shows them where the food is. It is common to waste much feed the first few weeks. Just scoop up and discard the spilled feed when you refill the feeder. Lots of people like the sliding top with holes in them for trough feeders for the first two weeks of the chick's life, or they use the quart jar that screws into a circular base with holes for feeding. They spill less feed with those types. After about two weeks, I like to get them familiar with Little Giant 3 lb hanging feeders, then move them up to 11 lb ones with a top cover at around 5 weeks. I like hanging feeders because they don't get shavings and junk in them, looting wild birds won't crap in the feed outside, and the feed stays cleaner.

Feed all over the floor shouldn't be there for too long (more than a day or two) . They defecate in it and eat it. Where you can't stop them from eating the occasional fecal matter, you don't want rancid feed to stay in the brooder or eat too much of it. Protozoans and molds can overwhelm them and cause damage to the intestinal tract and the cecum. That's why folks use medicated feed or Corid (Amprolium) in the water as a preventative.
 

Stewarts

Songster
6 Years
Feb 26, 2013
268
24
108
PEI, Canada
Hello new egg
Is your feeder an open one. We feed a dry feed in a feeder I made and they do spill some but not very much, we do not over feed them so they will clean up there spill. We also feed a wet mash ( warm water mixed with chick starter sometimes yogurt as a treat) which could be good in your case, then they cannot scratch it all out of a dish. We use a high sided bowl and they clean it up very well. we have 23 chicks.

Merrill
 

JBARH

In the Brooder
6 Years
Mar 23, 2013
13
1
26
Cypress, TX
I use one of those round ones that screw on the end of a quart mason jar... they just fling it out of there.
 

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom