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Does anyone hand feed only their flock?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by aubreynoramarie, Nov 4, 2010.

  1. aubreynoramarie

    aubreynoramarie designated lawn flamingo

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    May 27, 2010
    Reno, Nevada
    I'm curious because I have a small flock of five that live in ther run. They have two separate feeders. Every single day I go to check on them and the feeders are knocked over and drug across the run. I am having to completely fill them every morning and I am flying through feed. I have been feeding them their feed by scooping out about four cups full and tossing onto the ground. I'm just worried that isn't enough food, but I'm worried that their wasting too much food by thrashing their feeders. Advice? Is hand feeding n the morning good enough?
     
  2. bufforp89

    bufforp89 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 26, 2009
    Chenango Forks NY
    I feed off the ground. My flock of 40 is a little large for handfeeding though.....In the mornings I just throw it on the ground and they pick at it all day. Mine have a very large run though and have lots of room to forage...
     
  3. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    We can't throw feed on the ground in the damp PNW as it would be moldy in a day or two.

    Have you tried tying down your feeders? I have my feeders hanging so high they stretch to eat, and there is not much if any that ends up on the ground.
     
  4. sben451

    sben451 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 26, 2008
    Anniston, AL
    Try a hanging feeder. You can buy them or make one from a plastic bucket with a handle. There are instructions here on BYC. I made some from large black plastic nursery containers (about 3 gallon size--these were much thicker plastic than normal). These had no drainage holes, so I made 4 holes spaced around the bottom with a hole-drilling bit on the drill. I got round metal feed pans at WalMart (in the pet dept.--they look like large cake pans). Drilled a sm. hole in the pan and the bottom of the container and attached the pan under the container with a small bolt and nut. I drilled two holes (opposite each other) on the top edge of the container to hang the feeder with some small rope. I've been using several of these for a couple of years.
    I recently had guinea keets in a brooder and they also turned over their small feeders, until I devised a hanger for their feeders. Getting the feeder up off the ground helps alot.
     
  5. Chook-A-Holic

    Chook-A-Holic Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 5, 2009
    Central, N.C.
    Quote:[​IMG] This is what I Do...works great!
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2010
  6. Eglyntine

    Eglyntine Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 8, 2010
    Reno/Sparks Area, NV
    I was having the same problems, they would leave the feed in the feeder just fine all day and even up to roosting at night. Then the next morning I would go out and all of the feed was on the ground almost as if someone came in and dumped all of the feeders.

    I thought initially it was the type of food I was feeding. I was giving them cracked corn mixed with oyster shells in one feeder and a mix of cracked corn, scratch and oyster shells in the other. So I switched over to the Laying crumbles mixed with the cracked corn and I got the same results. Which if anyone knows is way more expensive to be just thrown on the ground. Now I am trying layer pellets and I went out yesterday morning and the food was still in the feeders!

    Once we get the coop finished we will have a totally different feeding system (similar to this one) which should cut down on them being able to scratch out their food on the ground *crossing fingers* but until then, this is getting expensive.
     
  7. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Quote:That is probably the root of your feed dispersal issues. They are probably kicking out all the feed to get to the corn. Chickens love corn. Just use the corn as a treat, as the concentration of corn in the pellets themselves is already pretty high.
     
  8. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Quote:That is probably the root of your feed dispersal issues. They are probably kicking out all the feed to get to the corn. Chickens love corn. Just use the corn as a treat, as the concentration of corn in the pellets themselves is already pretty high.

    Oh yeah...lol...they're digging throught the broccoli (layer feed) to get to the snickers bars (scratch or cracked corn) [​IMG]

    And OP, I totally agree that a hanging feeder would solve your problem...
     
  9. Eglyntine

    Eglyntine Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 8, 2010
    Reno/Sparks Area, NV
    Quote:That is probably the root of your feed dispersal issues. They are probably kicking out all the feed to get to the corn. Chickens love corn. Just use the corn as a treat, as the concentration of corn in the pellets themselves is already pretty high.

    Oh yeah...lol...they're digging throught the broccoli (layer feed) to get to the snickers bars (scratch or cracked corn) [​IMG]

    And OP, I totally agree that a hanging feeder would solve your problem...

    See growing up all we ever fed our birds was scratch, cracked corn and oyster shells so I figured I would cut out the layer crumbles/pellets. I transition them over two weeks and then finally went to only cracked corn, scratch and oyster shells. Well the girls went on a total hunger strike. That is actually when the feed getting thrown out of the feeder started is when I fully transitioned them over to cracked corn. These are adopted chickens and the previous owners only fed pellets and/or crumbles so these girls did not want anything else but that. I have 75 lbs of cracked corn out there that my chickens refuse to eat. I finally ended up making sour mash out of it with buttermilk and they ate the dickens out of that but just the cracked corn itself they will not touch.

    I went back to mixing it with the crumbles at first and they still just threw the corn out on the ground digging for all of the crumbles. I went back to pellets this weekend and I am still mixing it with the cracked corn but they do not seem to be throwing it out as much now. I have really freaky chickens. Hopefully the two new batches that I ordered from chicks will do me proud and be big cracked corn eaters. It will definitely drop my feed bill cost that is for sure.
     
  10. Kansaseq

    Kansaseq Prairie Wolf Farm Asylum

    Feb 12, 2009
    NE Kansas
    I know the corn is cheaper, and they might survive on it, but it's really not healthy for them to eat that as their sole source of feed. It would be like feeding your kids Doritos all day long. You might do some research before ruling out layer feed.
     

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