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Feeders Or Ground

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by MrsFletch, Aug 21, 2011.

  1. MrsFletch

    MrsFletch Hatching

    Aug 21, 2011

    I am very new to chicken keeping - I took delivery of four this Friday just gone. What is the best way to feed them? They have a feeder with pellets and they do go to it - but TBH I don't think they are eating enough out of it - they seem to prefer it if I scatter thier pellets in thier run (they are not free range at present I am getting them used to thier home!) [​IMG]
    Which do you all find best - by the way - I don't think any rodents can access thier run as it has 1 cm wire and they can't burrow underneath as the run is on paving slabs!


  2. NonnasBabies

    NonnasBabies Muddy Acre Farms Premium Member

    Sep 20, 2009
    On the Farm!
    First off [​IMG]

    I much prefer to use feeders. I throw their scratch on the ground!!
  3. MrsFletch

    MrsFletch Hatching

    Aug 21, 2011
    Thanks for that - can you tell me what is scratch?
  4. Hollywood Chickens

    Hollywood Chickens Songster

    Mar 12, 2009
    for me it depends on the feed, pellets and grains I spread, but I put crumbles and wet feed in dishes.
    Yes they do have a lot more fun scratching around for the little bits, but if it rains that it all washes away.

    ETA: Scratch is a whole grain mix for chickens, it usually has oats, cracked corn, and millet, and it is 10% protein versus the 16-18% of the feed mixes, so it is good for free range chickens and as a treat to penned chickens.
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2011
  5. The BackYarder

    The BackYarder In the Brooder

    Aug 21, 2011
    Left Coast
    I used to throw my feed on the ground, but then it rained. My coop is pretty bid but the ground got saturated and I did not like it. I used various different feeders, I tried one in the hen house and out in the run but never really like it. Also it was difficlut to get into the hen house or coop every evening after work. I wear a suit to work and can't go out in it to feed the hens.

    I then decided to build a feeder myself. I used PVC and attached it ouside the coop. It angles into the coop at the bottom where the chickens are. It is great becuase it is off the ground stays dry durring the rain and I can fill it from the outside. Also it hold 2-3 days worth of food. It is made of 2" PVC with a custom trough at the bottom. I use a funnel to fill it at the top.

    If you are interested in building one yourself and need some help please let me know.

  6. 7L Farm

    7L Farm Songster

    Jul 22, 2010
    Anderson, Texas
    [​IMG] I would use a feeder. You can hang it Or build one on the wall this coop has an example of both. The chickens in this coop use both feeders & both waterers. I like having two of each because there's always one that won't let the others eat. I provide two waters just in case one gets knocked over are something goes wrong.I don't ever want them to be out of water or feed.[​IMG]
  7. JodyJo

    JodyJo Songster

    Sep 27, 2010
    feeders, mine are hanging also

    scratch is a treat, not to be used as food...on the ground, they love to scratch around by nature...

  8. audioguy

    audioguy Songster

    Dec 6, 2010
    Branchburg, NJ
    I am done with any hanging waterer! They all get fouled fast and need changing all the time, sometimes twice a day! No more. Built a rig using PVC and nipples I got on Ebay. Using gravity I fill a 5 gallon paint pail and hose it to the PVC. No mess, I can fill the bucket at anytime. The nipples even come apart should they get dirty and have metal stems and balls for a good seal.


    I only have 4 birds so I built it with two nipples. Works great. No more poop in the water!
  9. ALRwild

    ALRwild Songster

    Jul 9, 2010
    I prefer to use feeders. Sometimes chickens won't get enough to eat if their food is on the ground. You may go ahead and put scratch on the ground, but only if the weather isn't hot. Chickens are good at regulating how much they eat, so I don't think you have to worry about them not eating enough.
  10. DTRM30

    DTRM30 Songster

    May 25, 2009
    If they are accustomed to eating the pelletts off the floor, it will take some time for them to get used to a feeder - but a feeder really is the best way to go. minimizes waste. (I'm guessing they are older birds - just ready to start laying or in that area ? - chicks need to be eating chick feed - which is small crumbles).

    It it was me, I'd put the feed in a feeder - and show it to them - so they know where the food is to be found. It may take a few days, but they'll figure it out.

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