Food waste

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by mandelyn, Mar 7, 2011.

  1. mandelyn

    mandelyn Crowing

    Aug 30, 2009
    Mt Repose, OH
    My Coop
    Ok, I'm tired of throwing away feed with the bedding. Seems as soon as the feed hits the ground, they don't want it, has to come from the bowl. For the last flock we had built a PVC feeder, really neat space saver. But the birds wasted a lot of feed then too.

    Is there a prevention method that I don't know about? Is feed waste inevitable? The 3 young birds are worse than the 6 older hens. The babies have a no-flop double dog bowl since they kept knocking over their other bowl. The big birds have regular birds. I've used the "auto" feeders before that look like the waterers, same waste.

    What about an elevated trough type design, with higher sides? The waste seems to occur when they "sort" it with their beaks, eating a tiny bit and throwing a lot. Repeat, times 9 birds. But with higher sides and the feed lower down, they wouldn't be able to "sort" it out. The feed is uniform crumbles... there's nothing to sort!

    The design would need to be thin enough they couldn't stand in it, or on it, to avoid pooping in it.

    Any ideas?
  2. lilchick

    lilchick Songster

    May 23, 2008
    Williamsport In.
    I like the metal hanging feeders. Just hang it high enough so they cannot "play" in their feed!

    I have mine about level with their head and adjust as the bedding gets deeper.. They will pick thru it while eating but cannot throw much out.
  3. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon

    Also, I fast my birds one day a week, thus encouraging them to clean up the ground around the feeders. And before anyone gets their knickers in a twist, they're 24/7 free range, so it's not like I'm starving them. Just making them clean their plates [​IMG]
  4. onthespot

    onthespot Deluxe Dozens

    Mar 29, 2008
    Riverside/Norco, CA
    I fast my birds too, when they need to clean their room. Sometimes I do a mini-fast a couple times a week, or some pens can go weeks without wasting their food. I find putting big rocks on top of their food in bigger open feeders on the ground they waste very little. You can make a spill proof feeder by putting a smaller plastic bucket (think five quarts of ice cream with a snap on lid) inside a larger plastic bucket. Cut a hole in the lid of the smaller bucket big enough for them to eat out of. Put it in the bigger bucket and secure it with a double ended snap to the side of the coop or run. When they do manage to flick any out, it lands in the bigger bucket, and you can dump that into the smaller bucket to give them a second chance to finish it off.
  5. key west chick

    key west chick Songster

    May 31, 2008
    Gainesville, GA
    Im glad Im not the only ones who "starve" my chickens. I got so tired of seeing half their pellets on the ground I didnt feed them for about 2 days. [​IMG] But they did eat it so I now occasionally do that.
  6. elmo

    elmo Crowing

    May 23, 2009
    I set my feeder inside a large plastic plant saucer. The feed that gets billed out of the feeder is caught in the saucer. Unless somebody poos in the saucer, I dump what's fallen in the saucer right back into the feeder.
  7. Arielle

    Arielle Crowing

    Feb 19, 2011
    Massachusetts, USA
    Good to know! Didn't know the baby girls who now scratch and fling grow up to scratch and fling!LOL Grain is too expensive to waste! I have one hen who cleans up after the sheep, too!
  8. coralanna

    coralanna In the Brooder

    Jan 10, 2011
    great to hear about how to save and not waist.

  9. jeffmaggie

    jeffmaggie In the Brooder

    Jul 21, 2013
    This is something that I came up about a month ago to solve my anxiety regarding the epic waste of feed that is "normal" for chicken feeding. I was going through a large feeder every other day. Most of it ended up in the dirt, and the chickens didn't seem too eager to eat it. Rather, they'd act all hungry and trick me into filling the feeder.
    So after months of seeing all this waste money fall on the floor and morph into dirt, I came up with this idea of a gravity feeder system. It's not only efficient because everything gets sent back up top, but it's incredibly clean too. Not a spec of feed on the floor. EVERYTHING goes into the collection receptacle.
    It works via gravity. Place the source on top of a wire mesh screen floor, that sits over a funnel, which sits over a collection container.
    I'm not trying to sell anything and I don't have any plans, just done from my head, but you will get the idea and be able to make your own. Please check out the link to several of my chicken videos on this topic. Thanks, Jeff
    I've made 4 video variations so far.
    DIY Zero Waste Bulk Gravity Chicken Feeder/Waterer Saves Money $$$

    DIY "No-Waste" Gravity Chicken Feeder - SAVES $$$ MONEY


    DIY Bulk Gravity Chicken Feeder Recycles All Food - Zero Waste!!!

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