How can I cut down feeding waste - my pullets scatter their food

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by ybmagpye, Nov 2, 2009.

  1. ybmagpye

    ybmagpye Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 17, 2009
    Fair Oaks, California
    I'm curious - I've used two types of chicken scratch feeders. The little plastic ones where the tiny chicks feed through a round of open holes, and a bigger one where they eat around the edges of a round gallon container (food is about 3 inches off the ground.

    In both cases, about 1/2 of what was fed to the greedy lil' buggers ended up in their cage litter, pooped on and wasted.

    Is there a way to cut down on losing half their feed to scattering? They love to fling their food up and over the feeder rims. Is there a way to slow down their scattering? What I mean by that is my aunt had a dog that wolfed it's bowls of food in like two bites. The vet had her put cooked rice in with the food and somehow that made the dog only wolf his food in like ten gulps. Is there a trick to getting hens to eat without tossing their food?

    Just wondering... these sloppy buggers... driving me mental...
  2. wombat

    wombat Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 23, 2009
    If they are past the chick stage:

    - Put the feeders at the same height as their backs.
    - Try pellets instead of crumb.
    - Don't put scratch in with their food, scatter that separately so they don't bill out the feed to get to the scratch
  3. Marlinchaser

    Marlinchaser Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 18, 2007
    Raise your feeders so they are shoulder height so the chickens have to reach up to eat, and they wont be able to scratch out the food. Also they get older switch them to pellets, I find less waste, and I dont refill thier feeder till they have cleaned up what they did manage to bill out of the feeder.
  4. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

    Aug 12, 2009
    BuCo, KS
    My Coop
    Quote:This is my solution too. If the feeder is empty but the ground around has lots of food, I just wait to refill the feeder until they've cleaned up most of what is on the ground. That way the food isn't being wasted. I think they actually prefer to get it off the ground as it fulfills their natural desire to scratch for their food.
  5. Buck Creek Chickens

    Buck Creek Chickens Have Incubator, Will Hatch

    Nov 26, 2008
    Neenah, WI
    I have found that if the pans are deep it is harder for them to scatter the feed, shallow pans that are full is the worst, a good size lip that folds in helps too
  6. ybmagpye

    ybmagpye Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 17, 2009
    Fair Oaks, California
    Shoulder height! Ok, that makes perfect sense to me. When the girls were in their chickarium (brooder) I used to wait until they ate what they spilled before giving them more. That doesn't work now because they're in a temporary holding pen where spilled food slides through the grate and gets pooed on.

    Thanks for the advice everyone! [​IMG]

    Ok. Now to work on getting their food shoulder height. Where ARE those extra bricks I've been saving... [​IMG]

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