How long can my hens go without eating?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by erika1234us, Jan 20, 2016.

  1. erika1234us

    erika1234us New Egg

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    Apr 29, 2014
    San Diego, CA
    I just installed a new "Grandpa's Feeder" 3 days ago. It has a lid that opens and closes when the hens step on the pedal and is taking some time for the chickens to get used to. As of this morning I've seen two of them figure it out and are using it properly, but the other three don't seem to get it yet. The instructions say to leave them with no other food and they will eventually get used to it. Since it's been three days, should I worry about the 3 I haven't seen use it?
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    You're going to have to camp out there to make sure they all eat. It would be best to observe when they come out in the morning when they're all hungry. If they don't eat then, they're not eating feed.

    They can't go very long without eating. They are voracious eaters and will fill their crop with whatever is available if there is no feed. That could be bedding, feces, or whatever is in front of them.
     
  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    There's a 3 step method to train the birds to the treadle feeders.
    First is lid locked open,
    second is lid partially open so treadle activates and they get used to it's motion
    third is they only use the treadle for access.

    ....did you employ that method?
     
  4. erika1234us

    erika1234us New Egg

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    Apr 29, 2014
    San Diego, CA
    I did and I'm having difficulty with step 2. I actually left it as step 1 for a month, and now step two is proving to be scary for them. I hope they catch on soon.
     
  5. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    How long have you been on step 2?
    I've never done it myself but have read multiple stories....some catch on quick, some take much longer.
     
  6. erika1234us

    erika1234us New Egg

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    Apr 29, 2014
    San Diego, CA
    It's been about 6 days on step 2 but I broke down a few days ago and fed them, and let them out today to forage. It's now only two hens that I'm worried about and they happen to be the lowest in the pecking order. Tomorrow i might try to let some of them out and leave the the two that aren't used to the new feeder in their pen to see if they respond with some treats in the feeder. Maybe their being bullied away from the feeder, although I haven't seen this behavior.
     
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Maybe one of these threads will hold some viable advice for you:
    advanced search>titles only>treadle feeder
     

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