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Chickens not eating all food in feeder

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Gardenlady2, Nov 26, 2013.

  1. Gardenlady2

    Gardenlady2 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 17, 2013
    I have 12 7-week olds and they aren't emptying their feeders, but absolutely pig out when I refill them as if I've been starving them. At first I thought they were being picky eaters - eating just their favorites and leaving the rest. But I have two feeders and if I simply pour the leftover feed from one on top of the leftover feed in the other, they pig out on it. Also yesterday I moved one of the feeders around, and they would come up to it and take a few pecks an walk away, but when I took the lid off they went nuts and ate almost every last crumb!
    So do they just not like sticking their heads that far down into the holes?
    I don't like that they won't eat all the food and instead go hungry :-(

    Here they are with the lid off yesterday:

  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
  3. digitS'

    digitS' Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 12, 2007
    ID/WA border
    I doubt if they go hungry with some feed always available and most any kind of access to it.

    They are motivated by actions and the responses of others. "Something new! It's edible! Others are eating it! Mine! Mine! MINE!" Those crops begin to fill up . . .

    When they are down to powder, GardenLady, you may want to put that powder in your compost. Think about the cost of organic fertilizer compared to the cost of that chicken feed. Not a lot of difference.

  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    Anyone else hear the seagulls from Finding Nemo? [​IMG]

    Anyway, I think your chicks are outgrowing that feeder. I only use those feeders for chicks in the brooder, then graduate them to a larger galvanized feeder with the big birds.
    1 person likes this.
  5. Mtn Laurel

    Mtn Laurel Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 18, 2012
    Northern Virginia
    My Coop
    If you normally feed them with the top on the feeder, I doubt they can reach the last bits of the food. Looks like they need to graduate to the Big Girls feeders. I find my gals don't like being crammed up against each other when eating and it promotes pecking as one girl pecks on the other gal who is trying to squeeze into the group to eat.

    I've got 8 girls and use two separate hanging feeders. That gives them enough space to be able to eat without bumping into each other.
  6. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    From the picture, that's not enough feeder space.
    They are too big for a chick feeder.
    I recommend that people who only intend to have chicks once, or rarely, not even buy a chick feeder as they outgrow them so fast.
  7. Gardenlady2

    Gardenlady2 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 17, 2013
    Thanks everyone!

    I have two of the feeders pictured and 12 birds. They do not peck at each other when eating that I have seen. I've watched them up close and there is plenty of room for them to reach the food that they are leaving, so that's why I figured they just don't like dipping their heads in very far because they can't see around them then?
    Anyway, I see how these feeders won't work well for full-grown chickens so I'll start shopping for something else. They will end up free range for the most part so down the road I don't plan on giving them much bagged feed except maybe in winter when there isn't as much for them to forage for.

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