from in-coop to outdoor feeding

Suzilla Bean

Songster
5 Years
Jun 25, 2015
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126
I need help transitioning my girls to eat outside. They're been fed inside the coop since I got them (6 months ago). But I've had enough with the food everywhere. I don't want to change everything all at once. How do I go about "weening" them so they can only feed in the run?
 

Happy Chooks

Free Ranging
Premium Feather Member
11 Years
Jul 9, 2009
40,417
3,557
626
Northern CA
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I wouldn't recommend feeding in the run, aside from treats. Feeding outdoors will bring in wild birds and squirrels, which will cause you to have to buy much more food. The biggest issue is wild birds carry diseases/parasites that can be transmitted to your chickens. Mareks, canker, lice and other issues can come to your flock from wild birds. Avian Influenza from wild waterfowl.

I have water outdoors for my flocks, but all of their feed is indoors.

For food spillage, don't refill the feeder right away and they will clean up the mess. (meaning a day of an empty feeder, not longer) Or you can shovel the spilled feed and toss it out in the run. (assuming it's not wet/moldy) They will think it's a treat and clean it up. You can try changing feeders, but even with several different types of feeders, you are going to have some spillage.
 
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AuntNomi

Songster
5 Years
Aug 13, 2015
547
42
146
Callahan, Florida!
I feed mine FF, but when I was feeding dry food and they made a mess they got around to getting it cleaned up on there own. My chicks always made a bigger mess, but I just left it for them til they got to it. Then when it was all gone I'd feed them again. Now that I use FF there is NO mess. They eat every single drop of it.
 

shortgrass

Crowing
Mar 14, 2015
3,234
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Northern Colorado
I feed mine FF, but when I was feeding dry food and they made a mess they got around to getting it cleaned up on there own. My chicks always made a bigger mess, but I just left it for them til they got to it. Then when it was all gone I'd feed them again.  Now that I use FF there is NO mess. They eat every single drop of it.


Yep, me too. They eat every last bit if FF; I've even wondered how they get the pans so clean without licking them :D

I've always fed them outside, unless it's blizzarding lol; wild birds are there anyway so I'm not too worried about them, aside from them being snacks for my cat and our local sparrow hawk ;)

Unless you are planning on using a automatic feeder or a self feeder(which you might want to cover in case of rain or rodent problems), the only thing needed is to put it outside... They get hungry; they'll go find it :)
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
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SW Michigan
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I need help transitioning my girls to eat outside. They're been fed inside the coop since I got them (6 months ago). But I've had enough with the food everywhere. I don't want to change everything all at once. How do I go about "weening" them so they can only feed in the run?
Agrees with HC about feeding outside possible bringing in unwanted eaters.

This trigger feeder has worked great for me for 15-20 birds.
https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/aarts-almost-waste-free-funnel-bucket-feeder
The high sides keep them from billing out the feed onto the floor.


 

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