feed all over coop floor... am I feeding too much?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by deedles, Dec 23, 2008.

  1. deedles

    deedles Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hello to all,

    I notice my chickens have gotten their feed/oyster shells all over the coop floor...quite a bit actually. Am I feeding them too much, shouldn't they be eating this up and scratching around for it?

    I've taken out their feeder for a day and raked the hay/feed mess all around but I'm just not seeing them doing a whole lot of scratching for it like I'd think they would if they were hungry. I have thrown in bread and greens for them, but what's up with these birds? My husband says I'm feeding them too much but I read on here that they should always have feed available.. well, they do... all over their floor! I'm hesitant to be putting their feeder back in until they eat up what's in there, but is that wrong? These are my first chickens, been laying since late Oct. and I get about 2-3 eggs a day from 6 hens.

    I feel I've done well with them so far (thanks to some good advice within the forum here) but on this question, I'm stumped.[​IMG]

    Thanks
     
  2. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Is their feeder on the floor where they can get in it and scratch around?
    Hang their feeder, with the tray of the feeder level with your smallest hen's back.
    I too believe in having feed available 24/7. I have very little waste because they can't actually get to the feed with their feet to scatter it around.
     
  3. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    Have you recently changed feed brands? Mine will do that if they don't like the feed.

    Like Gritsar said too....hanging the feeder at back heighth makes it harder for them to throw it out.
     
  4. deedles

    deedles Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We can certainly hang the feeder and I can see that would help, thanks for the idea.

    Should I leave it empty until they peck up what's all over the floor? I mean, there are cups and cups and cups worth of feed on the ground mixed in with the hay.

    I've not changed their feed... same as usual there.
     
  5. neverbdone

    neverbdone Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mine won't eat off the ground. I have my feeder up on cement blocks. I also am using layer pellets instead of mash. When I used mash they threw it everywhere and I had a lot of waste. Changing to pellets I have about 1/2 as much waste as before and the hens are very well fed. [​IMG]
     
  6. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

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    Quote:That too! I love layer pellets. Much less waste. [​IMG]
     
  7. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

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    You want the feeder (waterer too, actually) about the height of the hens' backs, so they are not bending down at all to eat. That greatly minimizes billing-out of feed and the ensuing waste.

    If this is a homemade feeder, it is also possible the sides are too low relative to the level of feed in the part they eat from - it requires a bit of fine-tuning, and one of mine (they're all homemade) I am still having trouble getting just right [​IMG]

    Good luck, have fun,

    Pat
     
  8. deedles

    deedles Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Okay, I hung the feeder and it seems to be much better already. I'll have to wait for a nice day and clean out the whole mess before it starts to rot it there. Thanks for the info, people!
     

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