dumping feed everywhere!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by crystal94040, Sep 23, 2007.

  1. crystal94040

    crystal94040 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 15, 2007
    I fill up the jar with feed, and it seems lately that an hour or two later the chicks have somehow spead the feed everywhere...it's a mess...then they poop in it and I end up throwing it away and having to change the bedding everyday!
    Is there any trick to stop them from doing this?
     
  2. Davaroo

    Davaroo Poultry Crank

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    Feb 4, 2007
    Leesville, SC
    Well yes and no.
    - They need to have the feeder raised to the height of their own back as they grow. This prevents billing. An inward turned lip over the feed helps greatly inthis, too.
    - There also should be only enough room for them to put their beaks in to get the food. They shouldnt be able to get up into it in any fashion.
    - I use an old fashioned chick feeder, an antique really. A mason jar screws on to it and it does the above nicely. Todays trough type is about as good, expect you have top add a spring rail on the top so they cant stand on it.
    - I also put a heavy cardboard ring around the rim of the feeder, protruding above the edge about an inch. Then they have to put their heads down into it, too.

    Heres a few pics to inspire you:
    http://journeytoforever.org/farm_library/ppp/ppp6.html
    This one is near the bottom and is for a protected water pan. Youll get the idea.
    http://journeytoforever.org/farm_library/ppp/ppp7.html
    Another idea, mid way down. Notice the inward turned lip over the feed - stops billing.

    Try some of these things. But, chicks are messy little cretins, no matter what you do.
     
  3. crystal94040

    crystal94040 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    THanks, I have the mason jar kind too...I watched them and what they are doing is pushing the feed out with their beaks. then scratching the ground and eating some of it...then repeating [​IMG]

    I'm guessing they just REALLY want to scratch?
     
  4. Davaroo

    Davaroo Poultry Crank

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    Feb 4, 2007
    Leesville, SC
    Yep. They're foraging. By that stage, they're bored. They're probably also sporting around a lot, too.
    My favorite thing to give in the litter is some instant oatmeal, scattered around. Its high in protein and they like it. A little ground CalfManna or finely ground scratch, a little bit of chopped grass or kale works, too. Not too much, though, since they dont have developed systems yet ad you dont want to mess up their feed balance. Just enough to keep them busy.
    And make sure your top layers of litter are clean!

    You might try a few bits of shiny or mirrored plastic or bright fabric, hung in the brooder. This gives them harmless things to peck at and keeps them entertained. Dont use things that will shred easily though, or they could get the shreds in their crops and clog up.
     
  5. schlitch

    schlitch Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 2, 2007
    Raymond, Mississippi
    Crystal,

    I have the same Mason jar feeder setup and and having them outside one day and having them empty the feeder onto the ground in about 2 hours, I stopped filling it up. For now I fill the feeder only to where the jar attaches, so nothing is in the jar itself. I do this in the morning and at night with 10 chickens. I moved mine outside this past Thursday permanently, they were 2 weeks old, and have a great time out there. They grow so fast.
     

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