Eating too much? Where is the food going!

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Darklingstorm, Nov 12, 2011.

  1. Darklingstorm

    Darklingstorm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 10, 2011
    Durant, Oklahoma
    9 hens around 9-months-old
    4 pullets around 3 months old
    1 rooster around 3 months old
    2 Khaki Campbell ducks around 9 months old
    Very large run with plenty of grass and bugs to free choice over.

    almost 50 lbs of food a week. I have one feeder that I usually fill to the top everyday and one bowl that I fell for the ducks and chickens. By the end of the day both are practically empty. I don't leave food in the coop anymore due to the wild birds getting in and getting trapped inside.

    I was feeding them DuMor grower/finisher with oyster shell free choice, but half the time when I went to the feed store they were sold out. So I switched them to Purina Flock and it seems my feed bill has gone way up. I've also noticed that their poop is now huge!

    I want my girls to be healthy but this seems to be a lot of food I'm shelling out. My DH said he would build me a treadle feeder as soon as he could but that is still a little whiles off (he just got out of the hospital 2 weeks ago and is still not 100%).

    So are my girls eating to much? Should I limit their food?
  2. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    You're losing a third to half your feed. I'd question whether they are really eating it all, especially if there is food left out during our 13 hour, dark nights, now.

    You will either had to feed portions they eat reasonably quickly, or absolutely invest in a waste free system. Looks for signs of mice/rats too. Wild birds. Finally, the waste it on the ground issue.

    With feed prices this high, you likely cannot afford to be losing almost 1/3 of your feed, which you are, given the numbers stated.
  3. HorseFeatherz NV

    HorseFeatherz NV Eggink Chickens

    Ouch, that is a lot of feed and I know how it pinches the wallet. [​IMG]

    I go thru 50 pounds in about 3 days - but I am feeding over 100 chickens (adults to new hatches), four duck, three geese and a turkey.

    Due to the wild birds, wild rodents, dogs (yup, my dogs love chicken food) - I feed twice a day (but my birds are free to range about on 11 acres). Feed in the morning, about a 1/2 hour to hour later I pick up what is left. Same with evening - I feed about 2 hours before the sun goes down and pick up what is left. YES this is a PITA - BUT my feed "waste" has cut down a lot and the wild bird draw is slowing.

    Another thing I found - if the ducks and geese are bored - they will waste feed. They take a mouthful and over to the water they go - mix and slush. Soon the bottom of the water is filled with soggy food.
  4. ScottyHOMEy

    ScottyHOMEy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 21, 2011
    Waldo County, Maine
    A third to a half of your feed is going somehere it shouldn't. I've no experience with ducks, but Horsefeathers's idea bout them would be one thing to look at. Myself, I'd suspect rodents.
  5. Cindy in PA

    Cindy in PA Overrun With Chickens

    Jul 8, 2008
    Fleetwood, PA
    How do you all figure?? Again a dual breed bird would eat 1/3 lb. per day if they are not ranging. Grass in a run is not free ranging. So I do not know how much ducks eat, but if you figure about 15 birds, since there are 2 ducks and several birds at 3 months (I think they would eat a lot) you would come to 5 lbs. a day or 35 lbs a week give or take. Chickens do eat a lot of feed. Now if ducks eat a lot then this figure would be higher. I usually would go through 100lbs. a month for 12 birds give or take depending on the quality of feed. I now go through 60-80 with a better higher protein feed. It seems sometimes people expect to use much less. JMHO
  6. MVchickens

    MVchickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 8, 2010
    Martha's Vineyard MA
    I would place my money on critters such as chipmunks, rats, or birds eating a large amount of feed.
  7. sonew123

    sonew123 Poultry Snuggie

    Mar 16, 2009
    onchiota NY
    Quote:I lose a ton of food to chipmunks every year..We trap and rehome them on our hunting land...I go threw about 100+ lbs a week for 80 birds
  8. allpeepedout

    allpeepedout Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 2, 2011
    Southern Indiana
    Not to say that you don't have feed losses, but I'm seeing dramatic increases in food use in a variety of farm species. I guess the shorter days trigger hormones that tell critters to fatten up for winter. My few chickens seem to be eating 30% more.
  9. Yetti

    Yetti Chillin' With My Peeps

    I used to feed wild birds. I used the small feed seed all the stores sell as wild bird feed. one night I looked out and saw a mouse. it ran from the feeder to a bird house about 12 feet away. the next day I opened it. it had 5lbs of seed in it! it was full to the top. I would suspect something is moving the feed and storing it. check around in the hutch or near by for anything that can act as a container. I once had a customer bring in a car running poorly. the air box was packed with dog food.
  10. kingsfarm

    kingsfarm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 25, 2011
    my friend has 25 chickens and feed 50# a week...hope this helps .. nothing else..

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