How To Stop Food Waste?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by newchickens2009, Apr 17, 2011.

  1. newchickens2009

    newchickens2009 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 18, 2009
    I have a 5gal bucket with holes drilled on the side at the bottom and a tray screwed to the bottom of it for an automatic hanging feeder. I put food into the top of the bucket and it gravity feeds out of the holes at the bottom and into the trough like ring around the bottom of the bucket. I have had this for about 4 months now and it was working fine until about a month ago when my chickens started wasting alot of their food by tossing it out of the trough like ring around the bottom of the bucket which holds the food with their beaks. It ends up all over the ground and because it is a crumble and not a pellet type food they never eat it. (I've read on here before if they do this to get a pellet type food and they will eat it off of the ground but there is only crumble food avaiable here). It's like they are just playing with it. Any suggestions on how to stop all this wasted food would be grealy appreciated! I am even will to build another type of auto feeder for them if that's what it takes.
    P.S. (I have 30 chickens in my coop).
  2. newchickgal

    newchickgal Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 17, 2009
    Republic of Panama
    I've been having the same problem and so in the morning, when I let them out into their fenced area, I wait awhile before putting in their filled feeder so that they will work on the spilled food. Later, after they've had their fill, I remove the feeder until later in the day when I give them another time with their feeder. Seems to be working.
  3. newchickens2009

    newchickens2009 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 18, 2009
    That sounds like a great idea and thank you. Only problem is I leave home for work at 6am mornings and don't get back until 5pm or later, so I am not able to wait for them to eat what is on the ground before I add to their feeder. [​IMG]
  4. sixshooter60

    sixshooter60 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 5, 2011
    Stuart Oklahoma
    One thing you might try is to use a smaller pan under the bucket.i dont know how much space you have between the bucket and the lip of the pan but if its to wide they will do that because they want to get it on the ground so they can scratch at it.. all you need is enough room so they can just get their beak between the bucket and the lip of the pan about an inch is enough for them to eat and i have found it saves on waste... hope this helps
  5. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

    May 8, 2007
    I like to have the feeder and waterer elevated. It keeps them from scratching feed out onto the floor and keeps the water cleaner. To prevent billing feed out of the tray by sweeping it out with their beaks, I use a commercial feeder with what looks like spokes in the tray. That way they can only peck at the food.

    A deeper tray or pan underneath might work to keep the spilled feed collected, so they could still eat it. Otherwise, a feeder style they need to reach down into or put their heads into, to eat, might work better. Unless you want to just buy a feeder.
  6. Arielle

    Arielle Chicken Obsessed

    Feb 19, 2011
    Massachusetts, USA
    I've been wanting to make a feeder exactly as you have OP. But was worried about the birds billing feed out--can't waste expensive feed. So I have been pondering how to put in fins or wheel spokes to prevent this.
  7. houlesranch01

    houlesranch01 New Egg

    Apr 17, 2011
    In the past I have put like small rocks in the tray that they cannot scratch out, Is there anyway that you can do that with your feeder? Just a thought
  8. Dandelionacreslady

    Dandelionacreslady New Egg

    Apr 17, 2011
    Sounds like our feeder is the same as yours, our is elevated, and feed still gets everywhere, its like like they fling it with their beaks. My husband and I just got a roasting pan from the dollar store and attached it to the floor underneath, hoping that the excess food goes in there, so we'll see how that works.
  9. briteday

    briteday Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 16, 2008
    Northern NV
    Instead of having food out 24/7 we have started feeding our hens 2x per day. Since I leave around 5:30 and don't want to make a lot of noise, I throw the previous day's kitchen scraps in the run for them and whatever handful of weeds or greens I can find. Then when I get home around 5:30 PM I give them their bowl of feed. It is plenty light out now to give them plenty of time to finish eating before they go to roost. Besides saving about 50% on my feed bill I have also noticed a drastic reduction in the number of mice around the coop. No scattered food, no mice at night.
  10. bdog

    bdog Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 25, 2010
    Natchez, Ms. 39120
    I put concret pads under my feeder (4 -16" sq. pads) and the wasted feed falls on the concrete and they eat it from thier!

    I also waite untill they have picked up the feed on the concrete before I put out more! They do a good job of picking it up when they get a little hungry!

    The concrete keeps the feed out of the dirt and dosen't let it get burried by them scratching around!


    My feeders are 4" PVC sewer piping in a "U' shaape in a 55 gal drum/with a lid. The 4" piece going across the bottom is cut out likw a trough and the feed is gravity feed down the tubes on both sides.

    It keeps the feed dry when it rains. I cut out about 1/3 of the side about 15-18" high. The chickens go in and get what they want.

    I am feeding 16 chickens with one feeder, but am thinking about adding another.

    Don't cut the opening to the feed to wide or they will really scratch it out. They can't get a lot out with thier beeks if the opening is right.


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