Feeding 9 - Chickens

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by ravenvalor, Jun 19, 2011.

  1. ravenvalor

    ravenvalor Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 1, 2008
    Hello

    I have 9 - chickens that have a run that is 50' long x 10' wide.
    I feed them by keeping a metal feeder filled with Purina Layena. This feeder holds about 25 lbs of feed and usually lasts several weeks. However, my last refill has only lasted about a week. I am guessing that either they are eating alot more which is odd for this time of year, they are scraping it out of the feeder and it is getting scratched in with the straw on the ground or squirrels are eating it. Although squirrels do graze on the scratch grain in the run, I have never seen one go into the coop.
    I was wondering if I can just pour a certain amount of feed out on the ground in the run on a daily basis instead of leaving it in a container all of the time? If so, How much do you recommend that I put out per chicken?

    Thank you and have a good fathers day.

    JB
     
  2. crazyhen

    crazyhen Overrun With Chickens

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    mtns of ,NC.
    You have helpers eating your feed. Probably rats, they are sneaky and you will not see them unless you really are quiet. I had them once. I shut the chickens up at night and set traps. I caught many large rats I did not know I had. After awhile they were none in the traps and feed bill decreased considerable. Now I have a good mouser cat that does not bother the chickens. I keep my hens in a hugh run and coop too. Gloria Jean
     
  3. Black Cochin Bantams

    Black Cochin Bantams Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 24, 2010
    Iowa
    Quote:I agree that rodents are probably the cause. Trapping will catch some but that educates the others if it is rats. Mice can be caught in so many types of traps and traps do an effective job on mice. If traps do not work I suggest using rat bait bars in a bait station that the chickens can not get in to. I always have a bait station in place to prevent future infestations of rodents. My bait station was made using a piece of 3 or 4 inch diameter PVC pipe at least 2 feet long. I drill a hole half way in the pipe . I thread a piece of wire through the hole and wrap wire around a rat bait bar. I then pull the wire so the bait is located in the center of the pipe and wrap excess wire around the tube to hold it in place. I place one inside my coop always making sure the bait is on the bottom of the pipe and another along the outside of the building where they may travel. No more rodent problems here. I keep all extra feed in metal garbage cans.
     
  4. ravenvalor

    ravenvalor Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 1, 2008
    Quote:I agree that rodents are probably the cause. Trapping will catch some but that educates the others if it is rats. Mice can be caught in so many types of traps and traps do an effective job on mice. If traps do not work I suggest using rat bait bars in a bait station that the chickens can not get in to. I always have a bait station in place to prevent future infestations of rodents. My bait station was made using a piece of 3 or 4 inch diameter PVC pipe at least 2 feet long. I drill a hole half way in the pipe . I thread a piece of wire through the hole and wrap wire around a rat bait bar. I then pull the wire so the bait is located in the center of the pipe and wrap excess wire around the tube to hold it in place. I place one inside my coop always making sure the bait is on the bottom of the pipe and another along the outside of the building where they may travel. No more rodent problems here. I keep all extra feed in metal garbage cans.

    Interesting bait station. Can you please explain this a little more?

    Thank you,
    JB
     
  5. Black Cochin Bantams

    Black Cochin Bantams Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,865
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    Feb 24, 2010
    Iowa
    Quote:I agree that rodents are probably the cause. Trapping will catch some but that educates the others if it is rats. Mice can be caught in so many types of traps and traps do an effective job on mice. If traps do not work I suggest using rat bait bars in a bait station that the chickens can not get in to. I always have a bait station in place to prevent future infestations of rodents. My bait station was made using a piece of 3 or 4 inch diameter PVC pipe at least 2 feet long. I drill a hole half way in the pipe . I thread a piece of wire through the hole and wrap wire around a rat bait bar. I then pull the wire so the bait is located in the center of the pipe and wrap excess wire around the tube to hold it in place. I place one inside my coop always making sure the bait is on the bottom of the pipe and another along the outside of the building where they may travel. No more rodent problems here. I keep all extra feed in metal garbage cans.

    Interesting bait station. Can you please explain this a little more?
    Thank you,
    JB

    The reason to use a piece of pipe is because rats do not travel into something they can't see through or at least that is the theory. The pipe is at least 2 foot long or longer to keep all poultry out and away from the rat poison bait bar. The wire is passed through a 3/16" hole. I use a piece of copper wire that is long enough to to wrap around the bait bar and still be threaded out the hole. I pull wire tight securing the bait inside the pipe wrapping the extra wire around the pipe insuring bait can't be pulled out. I don't want any rat pulling the poison out and perhaps making it accessible to any non target animal. The bait bars can be bought at our local coop, tractor supply,farm fleet stores. I place one outside my building where I think animals might run along and try to get them before they get into the coop (mine is actually an old hog farrowing building). I also have one in the building to get any that do make it into the building. After my initial battle with rats I have had no further infestations. I check them weekly to see if I am having any activity and make sure bait is secure.
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2011
  6. ravenvalor

    ravenvalor Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 1, 2008
    Quote:Hello,

    This sounds interesting.
    Cannot the rats see through the pipe out of the other end?
    Do the rats obsess over the bait and forget about the nearby chicken feed?
    How does this work?

    Apologies for the dumb questions.

    Jim
     
  7. Black Cochin Bantams

    Black Cochin Bantams Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,865
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    Feb 24, 2010
    Iowa
    Quote:Hello,

    This sounds interesting.
    Cannot the rats see through the pipe out of the other end?
    Do the rats obsess over the bait and forget about the nearby chicken feed?
    How does this work?

    Apologies for the dumb questions.

    Jim

    Rats didn't go in a box that I had set a bait station up in. If it(pipe bait station) is placed along an edge they will travel through it. I had to put up the poultry feed each night for a week. Placed it back out in the AM. The rats did find the bait bars and self destruct in a week. Not dumb questions I just understand it so well that I forget to write down everything. Good luck
     
  8. ravenvalor

    ravenvalor Chillin' With My Peeps

    101
    4
    123
    Aug 1, 2008
    Quote:Hello,

    This sounds interesting.
    Cannot the rats see through the pipe out of the other end?
    Do the rats obsess over the bait and forget about the nearby chicken feed?
    How does this work?

    Apologies for the dumb questions.

    Jim

    Rats didn't go in a box that I had set a bait station up in. If it(pipe bait station) is placed along an edge they will travel through it. I had to put up the poultry feed each night for a week. Placed it back out in the AM. The rats did find the bait bars and self destruct in a week. Not dumb questions I just understand it so well that I forget to write down everything. Good luck

    I see, the tube makes sure the rats get to the bait and keeps the chickens away from the bait.
    Thank you.
    JB
     

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