Frustrated with my feed rations; 10 red sex link males

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Beka123, Feb 15, 2012.

  1. Beka123

    Beka123 Out Of The Brooder

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    I have 10 RSL little males that I'm raising for eating, had them for 2 weeks (or so?) and they are driving me crazy with how much food they waste. I have them in a metal brooder with wire floor so any spilled feed goes through and becomes inaccessible.

    First when they were tiny I just was feeding them in a small oblong dish, but they would stand in this and kick it out everywhere. So I put thick blueprint paper down underneath their bowl but they would tear that up. Then I used one of those plastic containers that you buy spring mix lettuce in, and when they stood on the food inside that and kicked the food it would stay in the bowl bc the edges were so tall. Then they started perching on the top and toppling the container over and sometimes even trapped themselves under neath it (haha!). So I cut the edge off the top but they still managed to be able to perch and topple it.

    Yesterday I decided that I'd probably wasted as much $ in feed as just buying one of those stupid $4 feeders so I went and got a galvanized feeder that fits with a mason jar (already had the jars but they were for water feeders and the metal was all rusted. Been left outside for 7-8 years probably!) and filled up the jar last night around 6pm. To my surprise this morning the jar was completely empty!!! And there is literally a 1-inch piled high ring of inaccessible food underneath the wire floor encircling the feeder! I am about to go dig thru my scrap pile and make them a wooden box to live in and they can just live on their own poop and eat their own spillings mixed with their own feces until every third day.

    Could someone please give advice on how to stop the food wasting! (I hate wasting food, truly despise it. I'll go out and spend money on chickens, housing, fencing, and feed if that means I'll be able to feed my table scraps to them, rather than throw it away. Which is one of the main reasons I decided to get chickens lol.)

    Also I have 6 baby silkie chicks and I still feed them in the same tiny salsa bowl that I used when we first got them, they hardly ever waste any food at all. What's the difference?
     
  2. Moonkit

    Moonkit Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My chicks had the same skill for knocking the jar off the feeder and spilling all the food everywhere. Have you tried getting a hanging feeder instead? If you can hang it and place it at a height to make them stretch their necks a bit, that will make it impossible for them to scratch and kick the food out.
     
  3. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    I would buy a standard, cylinder type feeder, sold at all rural stores. Plastic or metal, with metal being better.

    Our brooder, which is actually a boxed, utility trailer with a plywood floor, allows them to clean up after themselves. If I brooded on wire mesh, I'd certainly place the feeder inside a super large pan, which would catch the feed they spill and beak out. I'd not let the feed just fall through the wire. I'd give them a second chance at cleaning up their mess. If you wait an hour or two before refilling the feeder, even two week old chicks are pretty good searchers and they'll find the spilled feed and clean it up.
     
  4. draye

    draye Overrun With Chickens

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    We have found a metal 4 ft feeder that has a rolly bar on top that rolls them off when they try to stand on it. It cost around $15.00 and worls great for baby/growing chicks. Can't scratch it out and can't stand on it to poop in it either.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2012
  5. NickyPick

    NickyPick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've had this problem with the latest batch of chicks. It was suggested to me here to put a frisbee underneath the feeder (the red plastic version of the mason jar one you have). They pull out all the feed and it collects in the frisbee and they can still eat it from there. The frisbee I used is about 3/4 inch larger than the base of the feeder, so they have difficulty pulling the feed out of it.
     
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  6. xC0000005

    xC0000005 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hang the feeder and get one with the little plastic splines that keep them from raking their heads side to side and throwing it out. (yes, really - chickens love to waste food).
     
  7. NYRIR

    NYRIR Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have found that if you hang it just high enough to make them stretch....they can't beak nearly as much out. I would also put something under the area to catch some of it as they will peck at and eat the spilled food.
     
  8. Beka123

    Beka123 Out Of The Brooder

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    Oh, They are not knocking the jar over, just spilling all the feed out through the holes and emptying the whole jar that way. I put the whole thing into the spring mix container that I was using, so we'll see if that works or not...! I don't have anywhere to hang a feeder from, they just live in our basement, so I don't really want to put a hole in the ceiling... But I guess I may end up doing just that if this last thing fails! Thanks everyone for your help!
     
  9. Moonkit

    Moonkit Chillin' With My Peeps

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    A couple of 2x4's and you could probably build a simple stand that could hold a 2x4 over the brooder that would allow you to hang the feeder from it...

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    Last edited: Feb 17, 2012
    1 person likes this.
  10. Beka123

    Beka123 Out Of The Brooder

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    Oh lol it looks great. I put an old plastic dish underneath though, and the weight of the jar offset the chicks I guess bc when they perch on that now they don't topple it, as there is next to nothing besides poop underneath the wire flooring. I can't believe the amount of Minimal waste they produce now I'm so happy! Thanks everyone for your replies!
     

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