feeding challenges plus we're new

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by lwemmer, Aug 1, 2011.

  1. lwemmer

    lwemmer Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 16, 2011
    We're new to chickens this summer and we now have 7 regular sized hens plus a banty hen and one rooster in a large fenced area with two pygmy goats (we had the goats first). The chickens are in a new coop we built similar to the Purina free coop plan double-sized but the problem is we didn't realize the goats would fit through the chicken-sized door to the coop! They love chicken food so I don't want to leave food out all day for the chickens because the goats would just eat it. We have been feeding the chickens in the coop at night when we lock them in to get them to learn to go into the coop and also to prevent the goats from eating all their food. I don't put lots of food in because I want them to eat it all so the goats don't get it. During the day they have free run of the goat pen to scratch for bugs but it is pretty lacking in vegetation, and I am worried about underfeeding them. They seem pretty hungry at night when we feed and lock them in.

    First question: how much should I be feeding 9 chickens a day?

    Second: for those with goats, any ideas on how to goat proof a feeding area for the chickens?

    I can't even put hay as bedding in the nest boxes because the goats think it is their personal feeding station. [​IMG]
     
  2. ChicKat

    ChicKat Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    Welcome Iwemmer,

    Sounds like a real challenge. In the cattle business, there is a thing called a 'creep feeder'. The idea is calves can get into the semi-enclosed space, but the cows are too large. Perhaps you could make an arrangement where the chickens can enter but the goats cannot and put your feed in there. Maybe construct a box of hardware cloth.

    I don't have goats but I have heard that they can get through any fence or nearly any fence. Does the goat industry have a creep feeder type thing for goats?

    Barring that -- perhaps a covering over the feeder where the chickens can reach in, but the goats couldn't. Some of the chick feeders have pretty small holes for feed.

    My similar problem now that I mix chickens and our dogs is that the dogs think that the chicken feed is a pretty cool snack. (any thing is a pretty cool snack when it comes to that.) I feed the chickens in the run.

    Feed is really important to health, development and egg laying. Hope you find good answers to this one.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2011
  3. PapiChoso

    PapiChoso Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 9, 2011
    Lawrenceville, VA
    Hi. I've looked around a bit, and I can't really find many good ideas either. About the best one I saw was to have an enclosed feeder with holes big enough for chicken beaks but too small for goat snouts. It's far from perfect, but it's the best thing I've been able to find. Good luck though!
     
  4. chickenalice

    chickenalice Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 12, 2010
    ChicKat's idea sounds like a good one to me!
    Now about how much to feed them - Chickens should have unlimited access to their food. They will not overeat, so they will stop on their own when they are full.
     
  5. zookeeper15133

    zookeeper15133 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 22, 2010
    SW PA
    Hi, I've had the same problem. Someone on here told me to build a sturdy box with a sturdy top, you can use pallets for the sides, you know they will climb it. Put the very small hole for the chickens to get in on top.

    Do your goats have horns? Make the chicken door on the coop smaller than their horns will fit through (even twisting it in), a chicken doesn't need a big door. I have a plywood feeder that has a trough on each side. I put 1x2" wire across the opening. The chickens can get the feed, but the goats only get a very little bit.

    Hi. I've looked around a bit, and I can't really find many good ideas either. About the best one I saw was to have an enclosed feeder with holes big enough for chicken beaks but too small for goat snouts. It's far from perfect, but it's the best thing I've been able to find. Good luck though!

    Goats have long flexible tongues!​
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2011
  6. allpeepedout

    allpeepedout Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think I recall that chickens eat about 1/2 cu. per bird per day. They do seem to spend most of their day foraging and eating, so it seems having continual access to feed is desireable.

    Seems like you could put a single narrow board across the doorway that would keep out goats yet chickens could go under or over? Or make a frame that fits inside the coop door to decrease its size to like 10 in. x 10 in.? I've seen small goats but how small can these goats be?
     
  7. zookeeper15133

    zookeeper15133 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've seen small goats but how small can these goats be?

    Goats are like weasels! They maneuver around to get where they want. They are also very strong, even little ones! Mine is about 42 pounds. She snaps 100# dog cables quite frequently.​
     
  8. Kaitie09

    Kaitie09 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Goats are like weasels! They maneuver around to get where they want. They are also very strong, even little ones! Mine is about 42 pounds. She snaps 100# dog cables quite frequently.

    I have a fat pygmy that can easily squeeze under a fence if it is more than 6inches off the ground. She has horns that add another 6 inches to her height too.

    I should have taken a picture, but my 100lbs Boers got through the chicken's 12x6in free-range pop door so that they could get the corn that I had just thrown into the run. I have to keep a lock on it now.

    edited for spelling
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2011
  9. lwemmer

    lwemmer Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 16, 2011
    I think the chicken door is only about 12 inches max (maybe less) and the goats have no problem getting in at all, and yes they have horns. They will crawl to get to chicken food if they have to. They like to get in and headbutt the poor chickens out of the coop!
     
  10. Kaitie09

    Kaitie09 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Could you possibly raise the door so that they goats cannot get into it? If you raised it say, 4ft off the ground and then built a chicken ladder on the outside, the chickens go in and out as they please, but the goats would not be able to climb the ladder up to it.
     

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