Food waste with homemade feeder

scottewine

In the Brooder
5 Years
Apr 18, 2014
21
0
22
I am new to chickens, on a whim I bought 8 leghorn chicks at Tractor Supply this spring and have since built a coop and run on our 3 acre lot for them and also purchased 5 silkies and 3 brown layers (Plymouth Rock, Rhode Island Red and a sex link) and they all seem to get along very well. They free range on most days and otherwise hang out in the run.




I enjoy building things and to try to save floor space I built a sheet metal feeder, I found the plans on the internet (I would provide a link to give the person credit, but cannot seem to find the link right now). It is nice because it takes up very little floor space and holds ~40 lbs of feed. The issue is they seem to fling more food out of it than they eat. Is this a phase they will go through or related to the height of the feeder? I had it a bit higher at one point and have since lowered it but it seems to make no difference. I have seen the leghorns do it, I have not seen the others do it but they may. The leghorns are only about 8 weeks old at this point.



I have a 10 lb hanging feeder from Tractor Supply hanging in the run and they seem to waste much less from that one, it has the same feed and it is at the same height. Any advice is welcome.

Thanks,

Scott
 

yyz0yyz0

Songster
9 Years
May 2, 2012
623
130
194
If you can redesign the feeding ports so the food is not so close to the upper edge that will reduce the food waste. Check the 10lb unit you have and see where the level of food is relative to the sides of the ports and you may find that it is the case. Love the metal feeder but I'd be worried about condensation. It may not be a problem for you, but I recall seeing somewhere that storing feed in metal garbage cans is not good because of condensation issues. Dont' know if it's true or an urban legend.
 

pawtraitart

Crowing
13 Years
May 30, 2007
1,726
262
301
Idaho
I am new to chickens, on a whim I bought 8 leghorn chicks at Tractor Supply this spring and have since built a coop and run on our 3 acre lot for them and also purchased 5 silkies and 3 brown layers (Plymouth Rock, Rhode Island Red and a sex link) and they all seem to get along very well. They free range on most days and otherwise hang out in the run.




I enjoy building things and to try to save floor space I built a sheet metal feeder, I found the plans on the internet (I would provide a link to give the person credit, but cannot seem to find the link right now). It is nice because it takes up very little floor space and holds ~40 lbs of feed. The issue is they seem to fling more food out of it than they eat. Is this a phase they will go through or related to the height of the feeder? I had it a bit higher at one point and have since lowered it but it seems to make no difference. I have seen the leghorns do it, I have not seen the others do it but they may. The leghorns are only about 8 weeks old at this point.



I have a 10 lb hanging feeder from Tractor Supply hanging in the run and they seem to waste much less from that one, it has the same feed and it is at the same height. Any advice is welcome.

Thanks,

Scott
If you can put some metal bars (about two per port) to encourage your birds to eat straight ahead instead of swinging their heads from side to side and scooping the food out it might help. Either that or make it so the feed level doesn't get so close to the top edge? I'm not sure exactly how this is built but I know that if a bird can get the feed close to the edge they will pull it towards themselves and scoop it out. They don't out-grow this behavior. It's a natural bird behavior.

Love your coop.
smile.png
 

scottewine

In the Brooder
5 Years
Apr 18, 2014
21
0
22
Thanks. I will start by modifying the outlet of the feeder to lower the level. I notice the feeder from Tractor Supply does have slats every couple inches where they are not otherwise needed structurally, perhaps this is to limit the sweeping motion.
 

scottewine

In the Brooder
5 Years
Apr 18, 2014
21
0
22
I have modified the feeder based on the feedback I received. I added a collar to extend about 3/8" lower so the feed is not so close to the edge, and I added a wire to each trough to eliminate the side to side motion, I will let you know the results in a few days.

Scott

 

slingshotandLAR

Songster
6 Years
May 24, 2013
406
87
101
That's cool...

Like you I'm fairly new to chickens and like to make things, I would try chicken wire over the openings they can still get their beak through it but won't be able to pull out

I have made all kinds of stuff around my farm, I just made a hay rack today. Anyway it would be cool if you can post the link I'm in the process of building a turkey coop and like the idea.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

scottewine

In the Brooder
5 Years
Apr 18, 2014
21
0
22
I made a few more changes to optimize the feeder and I think I have it about as good as it can get, here is what I have subsequently done since the last post.

1. Lowered the collar inside the feeder so it is about 5/8"-3/4" lower than the bottom edge of the cap, this of course keeps the level of feed lower.
2. I put about a 3/8" lip on each trough that is close to horizontal to discourage them from dragging food out. This was done by making a 3/8" cut on each side and using a pliers to kink the trough end bend the corners around.
3. Raised it so that the top edge of the trough is at about 6", this gives them plenty of room to get the feed but not enough leway to mess with it much.
4. I raised the 'poop shield' about 6 inches so it is now about 16" off the ground. It is still effective at blocking bombs, but I think when it was lower it made them nervous since there was not a lot of clearance over their heads.

If found the original web site that inspired me to make this: http://www.modernbushman.com/2012/11/17/diy-low-waste-chicken-feeder/

The main differences are the changes I made to the bottom to lower the amount of wasted and I do not have the turn in mine to allow feeding from outside. Also I necked mine up from 4" to 6" pipe to accommodate more feed.

Thanks for all the feedback.

Scott




 

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