Do you use a feeder?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by chickenlover09, Sep 4, 2014.

  1. chickenlover09

    chickenlover09 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    HI everyone! I was just wondering if everyone used a feeder or just threw the food in. My chickens are on wood shavings, and they kicked all the shavings into the feeder. The feed wasn't too high, so I just dumped everything, shavings and food, onto the shavings and they seemed to like that. I had a scare when they were chicks, the feed bin lady said that they probably ate the shavings and cut themselves and started pooping blood, but it turned out they were just pecking eachothers bums.

    So,everyone who has chickens, do you use a feeder, or just throw the food in????
     
  2. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

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    My Coop
    I use a feeder for my crumble and toss scratch to give them something to dig for. The issue with dumping the larger quantities of feed involved in the crumble(or pellet - whichever form one uses) is that you would have an incredible amount of feed waste....and with the price of feed I can't imagine choosing that. They do enjoy scratching for feed, but it is not really a practical approach with anything other than treats, imo.
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2014
  3. chickenlover09

    chickenlover09 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Okay thanks. The feed I buy at the feed store is $9 for a 25 pound bag, and $16 for a 50 pound bag (it's not very expensive, and the feed is REALLY good quality). I'll stick to using the feeder, I might hang it though, and i'll throw the scratch grain and chicken scraps in.

    Thanks again.
     
  4. chickcrazzy

    chickcrazzy Out Of The Brooder

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    I give mine there food in a medal pan
     
  5. RonP

    RonP Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have 12 birds in a fully enclosed coop and 14x14 secured run.

    Mind you, the flock spends their waking time, and eats, 90% outdoors, in their run.

    I feed them fermented feed whenever possible...

    I built this mostly for peace of mind, and as a backup.

    [​IMG]

    Three stations, 3" PVC pipes with Y fitting. Concrete 16" paver block for nail and beak maintenance. It is sitting on 2 8" cinder blocks, I use deep litter.


    [​IMG]

    Middle station is for feed. Picture shows the reserve, a 5 gallon reused water bottle with the funnel, a cutoff of another 5 gallon water bottle for extra reserve. It will easily hold 30+ pounds. It probably will last well over 2 months, if used exclusively. This reserve empties straight down into the middle feeder.

    [​IMG]

    Above shows the 3 stations. Far left holds Grit, middle holds Feed, far right holds Crushed Oyster shells. Far left and right are capped. 2 foot pipe probably holds over a years supply of grit and oyster shell.

    [​IMG]

    Another picture of the feed reserve, I'm pretty sure I put close to 40 pounds in there.
    The reserve just sits in place, no nails or glue.
    Everything can come apart easily if needed.
     
  6. Double Kindness

    Double Kindness Chillin' With My Peeps

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    RonP- that is very clever! Can you put fermented feed into it or would it get stuck? I have several chicken runs/areas and building out feeders as to not have them scratch their ff everywhere is vexing me!
     
  7. pdirt

    pdirt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    RonP - LOVE your feeder setup, especially for the grit and oyster shell! I might try something like that someday. My current oyster shell setup is a pain in the butt because I have to refill it so often.

    Chickenlover09 - We've always used feeders for the simple wastage issue already mentioned. We use expensive feed and even if we didn't, I hate seeing food go to waste. We now use a treadle feeder my wife made(lid closes when chicken steps off the platform), which is great to keep mice and birds out, but we were still losing a lot of feed as the chickens billed through the feed. I then took a thin piece of wood, drilled some 1.5" holes in it, placed it on top of the feed and now they have to gingerly pick the food out in the smaller holes and they can't bill out the food. We were losing probably a couple pounds of feed a month due to the billing out and we still had a mouse problem eating the billed out feed.
     
  8. RonP

    RonP Chillin' With My Peeps

    I wouldn't use this for the fermented feed.

    I daily put the fermented feed in a bowl, made from the other end of the cuttup water bottle, in their run.

    This feed station is just a backup feeder in case I can't get to the birds for an extended period of time.

    I have yet to see any waste from billout.
     
  9. Double Kindness

    Double Kindness Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hmm, the thing is, how to keep them from kicking & scratching the ff out of the bowl that is vexing me.
     
  10. pdirt

    pdirt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I only give them enough fermented feed that they can eat in about 30-60 minutes. They don't waste a bit, and even if some of it ends up on the ground, they gobble it up. Also, a 3-foot section of vinyl gutter works great as a FF feeder.
     

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