Is it safe to let my chickens eat layer feed off the ground in the run?

Kalina96

In the Brooder
Apr 1, 2020
11
4
13
Hello everyone, happy holidays!
Today I was in such a rush, it was a busy day for me and I was forced to throw mash/crumbled layer feed in the run on the ground and feed my girls that way instead of filling up their feeders as usual. I'm curious whether if my move was safe. I know chicken run is the place where they poop during the day. Are there any potential diseases they could've contracted that way, by eating off the ground in the run?
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
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Your chickens are pecking at the ground in the run anyway. You'll see that if you watch them for a while. They are eating small rocks for grit, dirt for nutrients like certain minerals, and looking for other bits of things to eat. Whether you put that feed there or not they are eating the stuff in the run.

I would not be tossing feed on the run floor. It is a waste of feed, they will not eat a lot of it. If you do that for a while the feed can build up enough that it might mold. That would not be good.

I don't see any big issues with doing it once. I would not make a habit of it. Not because they are pecking at the ground where they poop, they are going to do that anyway.
 

TheOddOneOut

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Feb 15, 2020
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Hello everyone, happy holidays!
Today I was in such a rush, it was a busy day for me and I was forced to throw mash/crumbled layer feed in the run on the ground and feed my girls that way instead of filling up their feeders as usual. I'm curious whether if my move was safe. I know chicken run is the place where they poop during the day. Are there any potential diseases they could've contracted that way, by eating off the ground in the run?
That’s what I do every day.
As long as they eat it in that day, yes, it’s fine.
 

Kalina96

In the Brooder
Apr 1, 2020
11
4
13
Your chickens are pecking at the ground in the run anyway. You'll see that if you watch them for a while. They are eating small rocks for grit, dirt for nutrients like certain minerals, and looking for other bits of things to eat. Whether you put that feed there or not they are eating the stuff in the run.

I would not be tossing feed on the run floor. It is a waste of feed, they will not eat a lot of it. If you do that for a while the feed can build up enough that it might mold. That would not be good.

I don't see any big issues with doing it once. I would not make a habit of it. Not because they are pecking at the ground where they poop, they are going to do that anyway.
Thank you so much for replying! I'm kind of a newbie heh but I'm trying my best in keeping my flock as healthy as possible. I see the only concern here would be a waste of feed and not potential diseases right?
 

Shadrach

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Jul 31, 2018
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Thank you so much for replying! I'm kind of a newbie heh but I'm trying my best in keeping my flock as healthy as possible. I see the only concern here would be a waste of feed and bot potential diseases right?
Erm, no, not really.
I know it's not something you make a habit of, but feed on the ground encourages rodents and they can bring diseases.
 

Ridgerunner

Crossing the Road
12 Years
Feb 2, 2009
28,048
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Southeast Louisiana
I see the only concern here would be a waste of feed right?

Pretty much from my perspective. A lot of us feed in the run and the chickens waste feed on the ground. With mine that is in a dry area so I don't worry about mold or anything like that. Even if it stays wet a few days it's not a big issue. If a lot of powdered mash were constantly tossed on the ground I could see it build up enough to cause a problem but that would take a while.

I understand where Shadrach is coming from. Feed can attract pests, he is exactly right. Some people feed in the run to avoid attracting rodents into the coop. Some people feed in the coop to avoid wild birds from eating a lot of fee if it were in the run. We all do our thing for our own reasons. There are a lot of different reasons for either way. Life is full of tradeoffs.

I feed in both, coop and run for my own reasons. Neither rodents nor wild birds factor into my reasons that much.
 

Red-Stars-in-RI

Crowing
7 Years
Mar 24, 2014
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I sometimes throw a pile of pellets on top of the compost pile to encourage “exploration and excavation”. Folks are right to suggest not more than they’ll eat in one day.

I also throw a little grain on the coop floor too from time to encourage a little “scratch and fluff” of the bedding.

Putting the flock to work from time to time is a good thing...saves labor and keeps them active and entertained. The best part? They work for chicken feed! :gig
 

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