I need troubleshooting

Deaux Chicks

In the Brooder
6 Years
Jan 9, 2014
37
5
26
New Orleans



My 5 2 month old chicks are scratching all of their feed out onto the ground. This type of feeder was supposed to minimize lost feed but as you can see they are somehow getting almost all of it on onto the ground. Any ideas?
 

JackE

Crowing
9 Years
Apr 26, 2010
2,325
726
271
North Eastern Md.
Looks like you need to raise it up a bit. They are billing the feed out. It's an annoying and wasteful habit some chickens can get. Raise the feeder, so it's higher than the bird's backs. Make them reach, to get the feed. That's what worked for me.
 

Ridgerunner

Free Ranging
11 Years
Feb 2, 2009
24,557
13,076
707
Southeast Louisiana
Raising them up certainly can help reduce wastage. It also keeps them from scratching bedding or other trash from the run in there. I'm not sure how high that is. It kind of looks high enough.

Another trick is not so much wire mesh but bars across there so the chicken cannot swing its head sideways. That stops the billing out. The head needs to be able to fit between the bars. The spacing for the bars will probably change as they grow.

If they are actually getting in there and scratching, which they will if they can, the bars can stop that too.

As a matter of trivia, in hatcheries where they house hens and roosters together to get fertile eggs but want to feed them a different diet, they put the rooster's tray feeders up pretty high, well above the height of their back, so the hens can't reach up there. To keep the roosters out of the hens feed, the bars are spaced so the hen's head can fit between them but the space is too tight for the rooster's head. The point of that is to watch the bar spacing so the chick's heads can get through and not get stuck.
 
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