Hens are throwing all their feed out of the feeder and on to the ground

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Rick26, Nov 2, 2013.

  1. Rick26

    Rick26 New Egg

    Nov 2, 2013
    Cleveland, TN
    My wife and I are new to the chicken "business". Late spring we purchased a small coop (tractor-style) and now have four nice red sexlink hens giving us an egg each every day. We're feeding them from a small hanging feeder (Tractor Supply) that holds about 1-2 lbs of feed. Using good quality layer pellets. Supplementing feed with scratch, 2-3 cups a day on the ground. Problem is that every time we fill the feeder, the hens almost immediately begin digging out all the feed and throwing it on the ground. This has been happening for about 6 weeks now. Any ideas as to why and what we might do to resolve the problem?
  2. Mtn Laurel

    Mtn Laurel Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 18, 2012
    Northern Virginia
    My Coop
    If they're spilling it out with their beaks, you might want to try a feeder that has little dividers - baffles - in the feeding area. It helps prevent them from being able to flip the feed out.

    Link to a pic of one in case I didn't explain it well > http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41fjVdSPIfL._SX425_.jpg

    If they're scratching it out with their feet, raise the feeder or hang it from something so their feet can't reach it.

    Good Luck!
  3. Rick26

    Rick26 New Egg

    Nov 2, 2013
    Cleveland, TN
    Well, the feeder is hung approx. head height in the coop. The feeder already has some dividers but the hens are using their beaks to flick the feed out.
  4. jetdog

    jetdog Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 18, 2013
    Had the same problem I made a 5 gallon bucket with two 90degree elbows 3inch, they have to stick their heads in the hole and can't fling the food out, cut the elbow so it is about 3/4 of an inch off the bottom of the bucket and I put a little caulking around the elbow just to make sure no water gets in, this thing is the greatest thing since sliced bread.
  5. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 31, 2008
    Grifton NC

    Quote: If they are "flicking it out" it's still not quite high enough.
    Also STOP refilling until they eat what's on the ground.
    It won't hurt them
  6. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    My feeder is high enough the smaller birds need to stretch a little to reach the feed. They still wind up with a fair amount on the ground sometimes, so once a week or so I just don't feed them. That day they clean up what's on the ground. Feeders are a human convenience, birds are quite happy to eat off the ground, it's actually far more natural for them, so don't think you're being "mean" or anything by making them clean up their spills.
  7. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    I use a fortex black rubber feed pan under a 12 lb feeder and set the feeder right inside it (not hung). Then I dump the feed that spills over into the tub back into the feeder each day. Almost zero waste for me. You can also use an oil pan.
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2013
  8. jimmywalt

    jimmywalt Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 24, 2013

    I second this post...........Jetdog told me about the one in the picture above and I'm so glad he did!!!! I had what you have and will NEVER use it again. TSC makes a killing on those junk feeders that waste food!!!!

    There's a link in my signature below that will show you how to make one for about $3 bucks. It holds 25lbs of food, no poop can get in the food, and ABSOUTELY no waste. You will never use another feeder once you have one of these. Guaranteed!!!!!!!!!!

    Link https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/...te-5-gallon-25-feed-bucket-feeder-for-about-3
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2013
  9. OrchidDragon

    OrchidDragon Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 18, 2013
    Boonville, Indiana
    My Coop
    I made this feeder too and it greatly reduced the spillage but it is not foul proof. Just use crumbles or pellets. If scratch or corn is mixed in with regular feed, the chickens can bill it onto the ground to pick out their favorite scratch/corn. I throw out scratch in the morning and corn at night and that forces them to eat the pellets the rest of the day.
  10. jetdog

    jetdog Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 18, 2013
    Yup I agree straight pellets is what I feed then scratch on the ground.

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