Is food that the chicks throw out of the feeder wasted?

smudgetool

In the Brooder
Mar 23, 2015
18
2
26
Where in the heck is Felton, CA?
Hi,

I have six girls, four and six weeks old. I learned quickly to NOT fill the feeders because they just love to spill it out onto the ground. Is this food considered "wasted"? Or, will they eventually peck at the food they've spilled out of the feeder and eventually eat it? Does this mean that I'll never truly get to fill a feeder without expecting them to make a huge mess on the coop floor with the food?

Thanks!
 

Ol Grey Mare

One egg shy of a full carton. .....
7 Years
Mar 9, 2014
20,622
15,037
821
Oregon
My Coop
My Coop
They will scratch and peck some up - but a lot will become lost in the bedding and/or mixed up with waste, etc. There are a lot of ways to cut down on feed waste. One of the easiest/quickest is to raise the feeder up. In the brooder I use paver stones - in my main coop it is a hanging feeder. As long as the lip of the feeder is at chest height, they can reach into the feeder and get the feed. Having to reach up a bit helps to cut down on them 'billing' the feed out with their beak and it eliminate the issue of them getting their feet in there digging it out. One of the most popular feeder styles now is the "no waste" feeder - these are easy DIY projects (you can find tons of examples, step-by-steps and photos here on BYC alone by using the "search" feature) that change how the birds reach the feed and, again, eliminate their ability to bill or kick feed out. The location of your feeder can also help to cut down on waste. If the feeder is over bedding, any feed that does get taken out of the feeder is more likely to be lost than be picked up by the birds. Having the feeder located over a bare area with no bedding means that feed that does get out of the feeder is readily exposed to the bird and more easily found to be picked up and eaten vs. being lost.
 

yyz0yyz0

Songster
8 Years
May 2, 2012
616
113
184
I had this problem with my chicks and their feeder. I have the type of feeder that has the feed ports all around the hopper and they would just shovel it out.

I modified the feeder with masking tape, I used it to close off the holes somewhat so they were onlly about 1/3 or their normal size. This cut way down on the waste. The other thing I did was to hang the feeder and between the two mods I lost almost no food after that.
 

smudgetool

In the Brooder
Mar 23, 2015
18
2
26
Where in the heck is Felton, CA?
I had this problem with my chicks and their feeder. I have the type of feeder that has the feed ports all around the hopper and they would just shovel it out.

I modified the feeder with masking tape, I used it to close off the holes somewhat so they were onlly about 1/3 or their normal size. This cut way down on the waste. The other thing I did was to hang the feeder and between the two mods I lost almost no food after that.
awesome tips. thanks!
 

tsmith91

Chirping
Mar 17, 2015
109
6
53
Woodlawn Virginia
My feeder has the feed ports also I put chicken wire over the bottom tray put the top back on and trimmed the excess off around the edges they can't rake it out with their beak anymore I've had zero waste this way
 

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