Do I need a chicken feeder?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by hannahrose894, Jun 23, 2010.

  1. hannahrose894

    hannahrose894 In the Brooder

    May 20, 2010
    West Lafayette
    I only have two chickens, and they will have a whole yard to scavenge for food in, so can i just toss them some layer feed each day or do I need to have a whole feeder for them?

  2. slightlyscrambled

    slightlyscrambled Songster

    Mar 30, 2009
    I would feed them in something. It can be as simple as a plastic butter dish secured to the wall. But that way you wont be wasting feed as if you are throwing it on the ground.
  3. elmo

    elmo Songster

    May 23, 2009
    Spilt feed on the ground can get mouldy if it gets wet. I use a plastic saucer under my feed dish so that I can easily clean up spilt feed.
  4. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Welllllllll.... their nutritional needs may vary day by day. First, they shouldn't get layer feed unless they are laying (or just about to lay). Second, what are you gonna do when it rains and you are throwing feed onto a wet surface? Third, have you calculated how much a chicken needs each day for its age? Fourth, how are you going to ensure ONLY your hens are eating the feed, and not visiting sparrows, crows, jays, finches and other wild birds? Fifth, that's a pretty wasteful method of feeding chickens.

    Really, you should use a feeder, and probably keep it in the coop, so ONLY the chickens get to it. That would also guarantee your birds establish the coop as their home, where they eat The Good Stuff.

    Just my opinion, for what it's worth.
    ehoneybee likes this.

  5. hannahrose894

    hannahrose894 In the Brooder

    May 20, 2010
    West Lafayette
    Wow thanks! I'm glad I asked your opinion.

    So when I do have a feeder, will I need to monitor how much they are eating or will they just eat as much as they need on their own?
  6. Morgan7782

    Morgan7782 Dense Egg Goo

    Mar 22, 2010
    Sacramento CA
    If you are able to keep a mental tab of how often you fill the feeder and such that would be good. Like any animal, you can usually spot sickness in a chicken if the feed intake has stopped or slowed to a worrisome rate. I like to keep track of how often I fill the feeder just so I know my girls are eating their normal amount. I keep a feeder inside the coop, along with one waterer, and one waterer is outside in the yard while they free range.

    Unless you are planning on only having your chickens for a few weeks or months, I do suggest keeping a feeder. I've known ranchers to scatter 'scratch' on the ground and assume the hens will find what they need. Usually those hens died awfully early due to malnutrition. I know you've already came to the conclusion to get a feeder, I just want to reiterate how important it could potentially be.

    Whenever any of my food happens to fall to the ground it brings small birds like sparrows and finches. Personally I would rather they found their own food, since I have no idea what illness they might carry and such.

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