Feeding the chickens

FrannyLW

Songster
Aug 15, 2018
196
146
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Central NJ
I have 5 chickens. 4 hens ranging from 1 - 3 years, and 1 rooster. They used to ear heartily (I have 2 feeders, a grandpa and one that looks like a dome). The grandpa was good for the older hens, because the newer/younger ones seem like they don't want to learn how to use it, so I actually have it opened a bit. The other feeder holds alot of food and probably thats my problem. I think they ate the food within 2 months last time. Now there has been food in there the past 2 months and I don't really see them eat it. Should I dump and try something else? I got rid of that feeder and placed a smaller feeder in there but still do not see them eat out of it. When I grab some food and toss onto the ground, they seem to eat it then. Its gone by lunch. Then at night after free ranging I grab more food and mix with some grubs and treats and they eat that off the ground also. Is it ok that maybe just throw food on the ground for them to eat and just leave the small feeder out just in case?
 

All4Eggz

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Apr 23, 2021
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Can you please post some pictures of your feeders? That would help.

Personally, I cannot afford to have feeders set up for my huge flock, so I sprinkle food on the ground. My chickens free range almost all day, so they get plenty of food from that (insects, grass, weeds, etc.)

In your case, I would keep the feeder since you have very few chickens.

Do you free range your flock?
 

U_Stormcrow

Free Ranging
Jun 7, 2020
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Important that feed be fresh. Two months in a feeder is too long. With the unusually wet year parts of the eastern US has had recently, I'd not be surprised if you opened up the feeder and found molds and mildews. Chicken respiratory systems are surprisinly sensitive, and aspergilis just loves to colonize feed.

Dump, clean thoroughly. Dry completely. Put much less feed in there for next time.

/edit yes you can feed by scattering on the ground. Different set of concerns - no perfect answers. But you don't need feeders, if it comes to that.
 

FrannyLW

Songster
Aug 15, 2018
196
146
126
Central NJ
Can you please post some pictures of your feeders? That would help.

Personally, I cannot afford to have feeders set up for my huge flock, so I sprinkle food on the ground. My chickens free range almost all day, so they get plenty of food from that (insects, grass, weeds, etc.)

In your case, I would keep the feeder since you have very few chickens.

Do you free range your flock?
they go out approx 1/2 hr - 1 hr every day late afternoon
 

FrannyLW

Songster
Aug 15, 2018
196
146
126
Central NJ
Important that feed be fresh. Two months in a feeder is too long. With the unusually wet year parts of the eastern US has had recently, I'd not be surprised if you opened up the feeder and found molds and mildews. Chicken respiratory systems are surprisinly sensitive, and aspergilis just loves to colonize feed.

Dump, clean thoroughly. Dry completely. Put much less feed in there for next time.

/edit yes you can feed by scattering on the ground. Different set of concerns - no perfect answers. But you don't need feeders, if it comes to that.
I'm always in the feeder cleaning out any lumpy food and to make sure it looks good. As long as it doesn't matter that they eat off the ground thats all I was wondering. I'll switch the food and put some in a feeder and do the majority by tossing.
 

3KillerBs

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Jul 10, 2009
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I think they ate the food within 2 months last time.

I would suggest that you change to feeders that will be emptied within a few days to a week.

Old feed loses it's nutritional value even when it doesn't get moldy.

Personally, I cannot afford to have feeders set up for my huge flock, so I sprinkle food on the ground.

I personally find that a traditional, metal hanging feeder -- which is not expensive ( https://www.southernstates.com/cata...gory=horse-livestock+poultry+feeders-waterers ) -- saves enough feed from being thrown around and wasted to justify it's cost quickly.
 

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