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Feed Waste

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Dachicken, Jul 30, 2011.

  1. Dachicken

    Dachicken Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 19, 2011
    Montgomery, Texas
    Hey how do you keep you chickens from tossing so much feed on the ground? I use standard hanging feeders. They eat it off the ground too so it's not a total waste but it attracks ants, really big ants.... (Leaf Cutters/Trail Blazers...) regular ants during the day, some of which get ate. Big ants at night. Thanks!
     
  2. ruffedgrouse

    ruffedgrouse Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 20, 2011
    Central Pennsylvania
    What kind of feed do you use? Mash, crumbles...?
     
  3. Dachicken

    Dachicken Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 19, 2011
    Montgomery, Texas
    Crumble
     
  4. ruffedgrouse

    ruffedgrouse Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 20, 2011
    Central Pennsylvania
    When using crubles there is usually always going to be waste. If you can switch to pellets there is much less waste. But it takes them a few days to get used to eating it.
     
  5. Dachicken

    Dachicken Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 19, 2011
    Montgomery, Texas
    Ok, I'll give that a try. Thanks!
     
  6. briteday

    briteday Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 16, 2008
    Northern NV
    Due to mouse, rabbit, squirrel problems I quit leaving food out 24/7. Now I put a measured amount of feed in the hanging feeders early in the day, just enough that everyone is satisfied (be sure that the lower ranking birds have full crops when they go to roost for the night) but all is gone before I close the coop at night. Since we are in a very dry summer climate I can usually hang the feeders outside. And any kitchen scraps provided to the birds are also fed outside the coop. Even in the winter I only provide enough food for the day especially if it snows and they must have the feeders in the coop.

    I found that when the birds continually dropped food in the coop, even though it appears they clean up a fair bit of it, there was plenty left over to feed tons of mice and other animals.
     
  7. scratch'n'peck

    scratch'n'peck Overrun With Chickens

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    Oct 31, 2008
    West Michigan
    My Coop
    There could be a few things you could try. Mixing DE in the bedding might help deter ants. Using pellets tends to produce less waste.

    To prevent my chickens from "beaking out" so much feed I tried making a beak out guard with duct tape. I placed it 1/4 inch from outside edge of feeder and then folded it over and adhered it to the inside edge of feeder, so no stick part was exposed. It actually worked better than I expected.
     
  8. Rustywreck

    Rustywreck Chillin' With My Peeps

    cut the chickens some slack - it's hard to eat neatly without hands and fingers:)
     
  9. ll

    ll Chillin' With My Peeps

    try putting a large flat dish under the feeder to catch the waste.
    you can fill the dish with sand.
    the chickens will eat the pieces that fell in the dish.
    good luck!
     
  10. Beekissed

    Beekissed True BYC Addict

    I switched to an old trough style feeder, placed it up on blocks and wrapped it with welded wire to prevent flicking. I also use a mix of mash and whole grains and only feed once a day what the birds will eat and clean up. These measures have saved me tremendously on feed waste due to scratching, flicking and shoveling and rodent consumption.

    One good thing about the ants.....I've read that corn is very corrosive to ants' digestive tracts and they develop intestinal ulcers that cause them to die. When I get black ants in my kitchen each spring I just place a lid filled with corn meal on my countertop. Works every spring! Pretty soon, no ants in the kitchen.
     

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