Chickens tossing new brand of feed on the ground!

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by WitchyAng, Aug 14, 2013.

  1. WitchyAng

    WitchyAng Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 8, 2013
    Southcentral WI
    Hello, All...

    I'm hoping for some advice about our recent development...Our chicks are ten weeks old.
    I had been feeding them Dumor chick starter from TSC since receiving the chicks via mail-order
    back in May. When I ran out of the Dumor, I visited a new Kent feed store in our area and the employee sold me a bag of "layer" feed. I only fed that to my chicks once, after doing a bit of research here at this forum and realized my chicks shouldn't have the added calcium--yet. So I'll save that bag for this Autumn...

    Next, I went to a different local feed store and was sold a "grower" feed. It was all they offer for chicken feed. It has 20% protein, the same as the Dumor chick starter had, I believe. But this
    new feed does not have the higher calcium. Do you think this is acceptable?

    Well, my chicks seemed to LOVE the new feed! I quickly realized, in just the first 48 hours, that they were consuming double the amount I had previously been giving them! (I have been keeping their feeder full at all times.) Now, about three weeks later, I'm beginning to wonder how
    much they are actually eating. The sand floor in the coop around the feeder is covered with the crumbles they've thrown out. Very similar in size to the chick starter, maybe a tiny bit bigger...so it's not like I switched from crumbles to pellets and they're complaining about that! I've tried not keeping the feeder full at all times, thinking they would pick through the sand if they got hungry enough, but I don't think they are/can do that....?

    They are usually given something else each day, whether it be kitchen scraps or garden goodies (carrots and tops, beet tops, cilanto, pea plants, etc) They have a small run that is still new and not picked over, yet, and they are rarely out to free-range. I would like their feed to be their main staple of their diet, so why are they throwing it out? Vigorous eating because they love it so much? Or are they telling me they dislike the new feed?

    Any thoughts would be appreciated--thanks!
     
  2. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    It's just a normal chicken thing to do. Raise the feeder up to the level of their backs, where they have to stretch just a little to get the feed. This cuts down the waste. I usually have one day a week I don't fill my feeder, to get them to clean up the feed on the ground. I guarantee your birds know how to eat off the ground and will happily scratch around there if the feeder is empty.
     
  3. WitchyAng

    WitchyAng Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 8, 2013
    Southcentral WI
    Well, this AM I did put our feeder up higher, at about level with our chicks chest -- and STILL! The big mess! Crumbles all dug out of the feeder in just one minute; I only ducked out to grab the poop scoop--one minute! Would putting it as high as possible, allowing for the Bantams to still reach it, make a difference? We've got four BOs and three Bantam EEs....
    I'm starting to worry all the crumbles on the sand inside the coop will attract mice...

    Thanks for any advice!
     
  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    Southern Oregon
    Bring it up as high as you can and still have the smallest bird reach it. It's fine for them to have to stretch a little! You'll have more waste still from the big birds as you have to have it low enough for the bantams.
     
  5. jetdog

    jetdog Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG]try a 5 gallon bucket with two 90 degree elbows. No waste no poop no mice they can't get to it.Hang it or put up on blocks like I did works great.
     
  6. lcammack

    lcammack Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That is a great idea, do you have any pics of the sides where the 90's are or what the inside looks like?
     
  7. jetdog

    jetdog Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG]you could put 4 elbows I put 2 I only have 4 hens holds a month worth of food. I cut the elbows so they are maybe 3/4 of an inch off the bottom of the bucket I used 3inch pvc it's big enough that 2 will try to use the same hole at the same time. Just put a little food on the edge they will catch on within a few minutes.
     
  8. WitchyAng

    WitchyAng Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 8, 2013
    Southcentral WI
    Hey, All--

    Thanks for the ideas! Moving the food higher has helped a little. I have it placed on a cement
    block. When I first place the feeder, the chickens go crazy, as if they are starving! They are 16 weeks old and we are still keeping the feeder full, for most of the time. I have noticed that when they spill the crumbles all over the cement block, when I come back later-- the block is clean.
    Are they better able to pick it off of the block than out of the sand? Or maybe they're standing on top of the cement and scratching the crumbles off?

    Maybe I should try fermenting their feed?....
     
  9. cybercat

    cybercat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You might make a mash out of it to get them to eat it with out spilling it. Just wet it down till a thick mash potatoe consistance. I do this for all my chicks till they are on layer pellets. Way less waste.
     
  10. Attila Kara

    Attila Kara New Egg

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    Aug 28, 2013
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    What is holding the elbows in place? Just the caulking or is that liquid nails or something?
    Did you use 90 degree or 45 degree elbows?
    Are you able to fill the bucket all the way without the weight of the feed moving or breaking the caulking on the elbows the elbows?
    Did you caulk around the inside of the bucket also?
    Sorry for so many questions but, I'm liking this idea for the shear fact of keeping the food dry when it rains. The feeder I currently have is the standard 10 pound galvinized feeder from TSC. It seems that no matter what I do the feed get wet.
    Thanks.
     

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