feeder size andquantity

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by woodmort, Nov 9, 2010.

  1. woodmort

    woodmort Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,168
    30
    201
    Jul 6, 2010
    Oxford NY
    Just an observation that may or may not mean anything.

    I have two fairly large, hanging, galvanized feeders inside the coop for 40+ birds--one in each room. Each day I add two heaping scoops of feed--currently grower crumbles--to what is left in each one. I've never had the feeders go empty in the 24 hrs between feeding. (I store my feed in a Rubbermaid Brute.) While, if I wanted to fill mine to the top I could put more feed in these feeders, other than when I go away, I'm careful about having too much excess feed lying around to attract either mice, rats or wild birds. When I see these 40-pound (or larger) feeders that some people have made and fill to capacity, I wonder if they aren't just feeding rodents along with their birds. Any comments?
     
  2. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    May be. Also the damp air in the pacific northwest would have mold growing in no time.

    It would go stale quickly if it is a manufactured feed, not whole grain.

    I prefer to meter out their feed daily. I even remove all feed at night to a covered pail in the garage. The fog just ROLLS around the coops in the mornings.
     
  3. silky ma

    silky ma Chillin' With My Peeps

    388
    10
    154
    Sep 14, 2007
    I tried feeders didnt like them. So I use large round shallow pans so the feed can get good air flow. All the hens can eat at the same time and I cover them at nite or bring them in. I store the feed in its original bag if it is a game fowl mix and if it is crumbles I vac seal it into smaller portions. I found that the crumbles went bad fast so out came the vac seal machine.
     
  4. nuttyredhead

    nuttyredhead Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 3, 2010
    Southern NH
    Interesting thought. When i had my original 12 large birds i never thought about it, they were always eating everything! But now with the Bantams i do wonder about how long the food is sitting there.....
     
  5. jomercer

    jomercer Chillin' With My Peeps

    I've never filled my 5# feeder. I only keep at most 2 or 3 scoops in it--enough for about 4 days for 4 chickens.

    At first I was concerned about the blowing rain soaking and ruining the feed, which it has a couple of times. But once I saw Mr. Squirrel hanging upside down from the chain stuffing his face with pellets, I swore I'd never fill it to the brim, rain or shine!
     
  6. A.T. Hagan

    A.T. Hagan Don't Panic

    5,390
    131
    303
    Aug 13, 2007
    North/Central Florida
    I would think it depends on your set up and the number of birds you have. In my fixed yards there is a problem with squirrels, other rodents and birds getting into the feed. I've stopped hanging feeders there for the very reasons you cite. But some folks have better setups where they can keep pests like those out so big feeders aren't as much of a problem.

    In my tractors they are not a problem because I move them every day. The rodents don't have time to find them and the birds can't ordinarily get in. In the dry times of the year I fill their thirty pound tube feeders full.

    During the Florida rainy season I keep the grain feeders full, but the mash feeders only half full. This insures the feed doesn't have time to soak up so much moisture that it spoils. Good airflow helps a lot there as well.
     
  7. briteday

    briteday Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 16, 2008
    Northern NV
    I find, whether hot or cold weather, the mice and squirrels find my feeders. So I throw kitchen scraps out to the girls in the morning before I go to work. And then I fill their feeders when I get home and go out to collect eggs. Feeding them in the evening is a good way for me to get them back in the run/coop when they've had free range of the property during the day.
     
  8. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

    6,771
    130
    281
    Apr 15, 2009
    I never fill my feeders to capacity because I would be feeding the rodents and tempting the bigger pests (bears) to try to get in my runs. I know how much mine eat over the course of a day, so I fill the feeders accordingly. It also seems to never fail that when I overfill the feeders it will rain, and spoil the feed and muck up the feeders.
     
  9. 7L Farm

    7L Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    4,637
    52
    231
    Jul 22, 2010
    Anderson, Texas
    I've always kept mine full. It holds about 50 lbs. It's attached to a wall inside the coop. No problemx thus far. I feed them 17% [​IMG]laying pellets.
     
  10. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

    20,148
    3,361
    496
    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    I used to keep my feed in a rubber garbage can until the mice chewed a hole in the bottom. Now storage is in a metal garbage can.

    This is the kind of feeder I use. [​IMG]


    I purposely let mine run out a couple of times a week so they clean it up. That way, the stuff in the bottom doesn't get moldy or old and lose its potency. I use Layer pellets when they are all old enough but a lot of the time I use Grower or Grower/Finisher and that only comes in crumbles. Mine pick out the bigger chunks and try to leave the powder behind, at least until they get hungry. Then they will eat. I think in either type of feeder, the stuff in the bottom getting moldy might be an issue.

    I think regardless of what you do, they are going to spill enough on the ground, on the floor, in the bedding, however you are set up, that you will attract rodents, even if you lock the feeders up at night. Locking the feeders up at night will keep them from eating that good food and what they are going to find is mostly unusable spilled food, so there is a benefit in locking it up. I don't bother myself.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by