Feeding wonderment

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by The Lazy L, Jan 9, 2013.

  1. The Lazy L

    The Lazy L Chillin' With My Peeps

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    8 Buff Orpingtons hens and 1 Rooster. Almost 8 months old.

    12 pound hanging feeder with sloping cover.

    Feeder hangs approximately 12" from the ground in a secured run.

    Run is 8' x 24'.

    Secured run is totally covered with 1/2" wire fabric including roof eaves.

    Run also has a 1/2" wire fabric apron 18" around the base of the run.

    Run floor is 100% sand.

    Run is attached to the coop with a chunnel made with plywood and asphalt roofed.

    Coop is built from 3/4" tongue and grooved and is 4' x 6'.

    Chicken door between Coop and run is left open 24 x 7.

    No signs of chickens pecking each other.


    Wonderment

    I would fill the feeder twice a week. Tuesday evenings and Saturday morning, always some feed left in the feeder when I refill.

    With the colder weather, feeder would be almost empty. I figured with the colder weather they were eating more.

    Then I noticed that there was a lot of spilled feed on the run sand. I figured one of the chickens was entertaining themselves by digging feed out of the feeder and throwing it around. Thrown feed as always gone when I refilled the feeder.

    Monday when I gathered eggs I check the feeder, empty! I filled in back up.

    Tuesday evening filled the waterer and checked the feeder. Feeder with 1/2 empty with a hand full or two thrown on the ground.

    Now I wondering is something isn't getting into the run and stealing feed?

    No signs of and digging or tunneling around the run's wire apron.

    No gaps in the chunnel, coop or run larger then 1/2" square.

    The "something" would have to be able to squeeze thru a 1/2" square then either leap up 12" or crawl/slither up the wall, across an angled rafter (upside down), then down a chain to get to the feed.

    Because of the dry sand run floor no indications other then chicken tracks.

    A trail cam is presently towards the bottom of the budget/priority list. Thought about moving the web cam from the coop into the run, unfortunately it isn't weather proof and I don't have enough record capacity.

    Wondering what y'all think I'm missing or is a going on?

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  2. groundpecker

    groundpecker Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Depending on the type of feed, they may be wasting it by picking through for what they want to eat. There also may be mice/rats, but that would mean a whole lot of rats eating the feed.
    Because your floor is sand, i bet the birds are wasting feed and you cannot see all the wasted feed mixed in. Try feeding 1 or 2 times a day at 1/4 to 1/3 pound of feed per day, per bird, depending on the quality of the feed.

    I feed 2x a day by weight, because my birds will pick through the feed eating what they want and wasting the rest.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2013
  3. The Lazy L

    The Lazy L Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feed is 100% Purina Layena pellet.

    Wife is tending all of the stray cats within a 5 state radius. No mice, no chipmucks, no ground moles or baby birds learning to fly.

    Rats. We are on 3 wooded acres. Closest farm farm is 1/2 mile away. We've been here for 18 years and have never seen any signs of rats. Can a rat get thru a 1/2" opening to get to the feed but leave the chickens alone?
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2013
  4. groundpecker

    groundpecker Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Rison, Arkansas
    I read more carefully and you have a 12 pound feeder. It seems your birds are eating about right amount of feed (including waste). I was thinking of one of those 30 pound or larger feeders.

    My estimated calculations. 9 birds x .4 pounds a day each = 3.6 pounds . lets just say 4 pounds a day waste included.

    4 pounds x 3 days = 12 pounds

    So i say your birds are eating about the correct amount of feed for the feeder. I should have read more carefully the first time.
     
  5. groundpecker

    groundpecker Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You can always take the feeder out for a day and let them scratch around for wasted feed. I hope i have helped.
     
  6. The Lazy L

    The Lazy L Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would aggree except for Monday to Tueday when something took 6 pounds of feed!

    "Monday when I gathered eggs I check the feeder, empty! I filled in back up. Tuesday evening filled the waterer and checked the feeder. Feeder with 1/2 empty with a hand full or two thrown on the ground."
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2013

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