how long can crumbles last on the ground ?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by lemenu, Sep 26, 2011.

  1. lemenu

    lemenu Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 26, 2011

    i'm helping care for a flock of 25 assorted full size chickens in my community garden. we had a feeder issue where their organic crumbles have accumulated on the ground (straw & dirt) plus the girls are messy eaters. there is probably approximately 1" of food in 3ft diameter on the ground.
    the chickens eat some of the food off the ground and some from the feeder.

    is it safe for them to only eat food that is on the ground for a couple of days ? more ?
    i don't know how fresh the crumbles are how long they've been on the ground and and have been trampled on.
    i'm concerned about food wastage, health/safety and attracting rodents.

    how much food can you leave on the ground before it becomes a health hazard ?

    thank you !

  2. BrattishTaz

    BrattishTaz Roo Magnet

    Jan 8, 2011
    Tampa Area, Florida
    I finally had to switch to pellets due to the same problem. My birds will not eat the crumble if it sit out overnight. [​IMG] I do have a one that hates the pellets and one that chokes on them (she is tiny) so I grind up a little for them. Perhaps you could try switching to pellets and only put down what they will eat in one feeding.
  3. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 31, 2008
    Grifton NC
    how much food can you leave on the ground before it becomes a health hazard

    If it gets wet it can start to mold almost immediately.

    If there is already that much build up, you're refilling the feeder too often.

    Clean up what's there now, and then don't refill the feeder until they clean up themselves​
  4. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    It is unsafe for them to eat food that is moldy. Stale is ok, but not moldy. So I recommend a catch pan if possible or some other change in the way the feeder is set up. I personally would excavate that ground and bury all that old food so they don't get to eat it. Then the fresh dirt will be on top.

  5. BeetleChick

    BeetleChick Out Of The Brooder

    May 19, 2011
    East of Raleigh, NC
    I would definitely switch to pellets as soon as you are through with what you have now. We don't let our 12 keep feed on their feeder for more than a day or so, I would get rid of that old food.
  6. Haywire

    Haywire Out Of The Brooder

    Sep 25, 2011
    I also have a similar problem. I have 3 pullets that are too young to join the flock, and they throw more food than they eat. It builds up under the cage and the birds in the run scratch around and eat it. Guess I'll be cleaning it up this evening after work.

  7. lemenu

    lemenu Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 26, 2011
    thanks all for the responses !

    the food was never wet so i don't think it got moldy. i ended up scooping up most of what's was on the ground and switching to a narrower diameter tray with higher lip.
    so there's less room to flick food to the ground.

    we will probably be switching to pellets soon. i've heard that often when fed pellets chix eat too quickly, then get bored and potentially peck each other. anyone have experiences with that ?suggestions ?

  8. wolftracks

    wolftracks Spam Hunter

    Nov 6, 2009
    Never heard that before and have never had a problem with it at all.

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