Excessive amount of food and water?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by bjagen, Apr 29, 2007.

  1. bjagen

    bjagen Hatching

    Apr 29, 2007
    I have 18 hens. All look healthy and happy, poop looks normal. I've noticed some are moulting.
    My husband fills their feeder, and has mentioned that they seem to be eating a lot. I didn't think too much of it. Yesterday I filled their 5 gallon waterer and this morning I would say there maybe is 2 gallons left. I also put...hmm, maybe 10-15 pounds of food in their feeder, and it's almost gone.
    In the past when I fill their waterer, it would last a good part of a week. Their feeder holds about 30 pounds of food, and that would last...maybe a week to 10 days. They are confined, so they don't get to freerange more than a couple times a month (waaay too many predatory birds that have taken up residence in the woods behind our house). I am just posing this question because something seems to have changed. Like I said, they all seem happy and healthy--It's just that they seem to be inhaling the food and water at a pretty fast rate. Suppose this is normal? Thanks for your help!
  2. Forest_Nymph

    Forest_Nymph Songster

    Jan 11, 2007
    Is there a possibility of rats, mice or squirrels getting in and feasting?

    They're quite apt to diminish the feed and water quickly at this time of the year....

    Other than that, It's anyones guess....

    Hope you can solve the problem soon.
  3. chickbea

    chickbea Songster

    Jan 18, 2007
    Yup, the first culprit is probably a non-chicken visitor to your feeder. I came across a cache of chicken food inside an old tree hole once - pounds and pounds of it! Naughty chipmunks and squirrels! [​IMG]
    If you are sure that isn't the case, then the next most likely cause is worms. Your vet can run a fecal sample for a nominal charge. A well-cared for flock can carry a light to moderate worm load and still appear healthy.
  4. keljonma

    keljonma Songster

    Feb 12, 2007
    8A East Texas
    They don't handle heat or high humidity well. If the weather is getting warmer or humidity is higher, the birds will drink more water to try to stay cool.

    Other than that, I agree with the others, check for mice, rats, chipmunks, squirrels, and wild birds. Wild birds will eat more before a weather front comes through. I think the phrase, "Eat Like A Bird" really means to pig out! [​IMG]

    Last autumn, we had a few wild birds get into the barn. They couldn't reach the chicken feeders behind the 1/4" hardware cloth wall of the hen house, but would have eaten anything they could reach.

    Good luck!


    if edited, probably for typos.....
    Last edited: May 3, 2007
  5. hencackle

    hencackle Songster

    Mar 25, 2007
    Telford, TN
    Add rabbits to the list of chicken feed thieves. The wild rabbits in my backyard help themselves to the feeders.
  6. cookiesdaddy

    cookiesdaddy Songster

    Apr 13, 2007
    California Bay Area
    This thread raises a question for me: how do you prevent squirrels from eating my girls' lunch? My chicks are about 6 weeks old and will be moved to their new coop next week (hopefully). I'm building it under two large redwood trees, with a cover run around it. I use 2x4 welded wire all around. Can squirrels squeeze themselves through 2x4? If they can, what's the next best protection?
    Last edited: May 5, 2007

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