Issue with my feeder, any suggestions?

FloorCandy

Crowing
Apr 15, 2020
2,896
5,764
351
I converted my feeder into the no waste feeder, 4 in pvc pipe into a 4-2 in converter into the bowl.

https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/diy-no-waste-quail-feeder.1232052/

Inside the house it worked perfectly, but everyday outside I go out and the quail are hungry and begging and the bowl is empty, a tap on the feeder makes more fall.

Here’s what I’ve done so far, I cut the two inch extension shorter, about 1.5 in length now, still wouldn’t feed properly, so I cut triangle slots at the cardinal directions to help flow:
EA92421D-A991-4B8C-B7F5-FF11530B018F.jpeg


That still didn’t help, so I removed the two inch pvc extension that limits the flow, now the funnel piece pours directly into the bowl, but it still got stuck!

I’m assuming it’s the humidity, I have the feeder inside the coop house which is under a tarp as well, so it isn’t wet. What should I do?

I have thought of adding a handful of uncooked rice to the food to keep it dry, I add about a gallon of feed at a time, so maybe a handful of rice, lightly spun in the food processor to break it up smaller mixed into the feed, maybe that will prevent clumping?

The feed is very dusty, but inside the house, even when I put it in the food processor and made it all powder for the chicks, it still worked fine. I know uncooked rice isn’t good, but I mean maybe 6 grains of rice per day would come out if it works at all.
 

MrFluffyandGirls

Songster
Dec 30, 2018
931
2,669
191
SC, Low Country
I live in the humid SC Low Country and have issues with feeders. I just came to the conclusion that a hopper style feeder is a no go for me. I'd rather put fresh feed out everyday when I go check on them or gather eggs then to have them potentially eating moldy food. I trough style works best so the girls don't fight over it. I even have to keep my big bags inside where the temp is regulated because it will get moldy before the bag is half way done if I leave it in the shed. One good thing about feeding them myself everyday is that they come a running and happy to see me. I also have less waste and can detect if one of them is off their feed so I can check for health issues.
Also a no go with automatic water bowls where I am because it gets algae if it stays past the second day. I just use a stainless steel pan and put clean fresh water in everyday. I also use a scrub brush and clean the bowl everyday or the algae will slowly build up, no to mention its just a good sanitary practice.
 

FloorCandy

Crowing
Apr 15, 2020
2,896
5,764
351
Is the inslde of the feeder conical? It needs to be to allow the feed to be directed straight out. I used a chick feeder tray for mine. View attachment 2181674
Quail are inherently messy but the amount of feed that was lost or wasted was negligible.

It is conical. There’s plenty of space for feed to pass, I think it must be too humid, but I’ll keep working on a solution haha, I’ve seen some other styles. Thank you for the photo.
 

FloorCandy

Crowing
Apr 15, 2020
2,896
5,764
351
I live in the humid SC Low Country and have issues with feeders. I just came to the conclusion that a hopper style feeder is a no go for me. I'd rather put fresh feed out everyday when I go check on them or gather eggs then to have them potentially eating moldy food. I trough style works best so the girls don't fight over it. I even have to keep my big bags inside where the temp is regulated because it will get moldy before the bag is half way done if I leave it in the shed. One good thing about feeding them myself everyday is that they come a running and happy to see me. I also have less waste and can detect if one of them is off their feed so I can check for health issues.
Also a no go with automatic water bowls where I am because it gets algae if it stays past the second day. I just use a stainless steel pan and put clean fresh water in everyday. I also use a scrub brush and clean the bowl everyday or the algae will slowly build up, no to mention its just a good sanitary practice.

Perhaps I should have led with my property borders a very small strip of swampland haha. So I will need to find a different solution, but I haven’t given up on a hopper style feeder. I did make my pvc tube much smaller than the tutorial because I didn’t want to put too much in. My aim was for it to hold 2-3 days if I go away for a while. Generally I was putting half of a gallon freezer bag worth in at a time, and I’ve had some loss from them being hungry and so I throw a bunch down for them while I try to fix it, today I dropped it in the coop, so they are literally bathing in it lol. It started pouring on me last week and I left half a bag out on the picnic table by mistake and the squirrels got it. I’m just dumping feed away and I want to get in a good groove. I’m considering putting pvc t’s thru a small food container like a mini chicken feeder, I’ll see how that goes.
 

mdees88

Crowing
Mar 15, 2018
928
1,939
251
Lower Alabama
My Coop
My Coop
It sounds like the feed got wet. That's my feeder design and I've been using it in south AL (very humid) for several years. My 4" pvc tubes are around 2ft long and I fill them up every 2 or 3 days. It takes about 5 days for my quail to eat all the feed.

I've only had issues with the feed getting stuck twice and that was shortly after two different really bad rain storms (50 + mph winds) and the feed got wet, not just the feed in the red feeder but water got into the top of the pvc because I don't use caps. It was several days after the rain before the wet feed made it's way down the 4" pvc to the tube where it got stuck and the feeder quit emptying. I had to remove the red base and jamb a stick into the bottom of the pvc to break up the feed.

So you said you removed the 1.5" piece of pvc and the food was still stuck? Are you getting clumps of food at the bottom? Did you use a 45 degree elbow or is your pvc tube vertical above the red base? Can you post a pic of the entire feeder?
 
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mdees88

Crowing
Mar 15, 2018
928
1,939
251
Lower Alabama
My Coop
My Coop
I had 1 feeder that wouldn't empty feed because the 2" diameter piece was slightly too long After cutting it 1/8" shorter it started working right.

I just measured my feeders and the 2" diameter pieces extend between 1/2" and 5/8" from the lip of the 4x2 reducer. (You can see how all the feed dumped freely from the pipe when I pulled it out of the red base.)

20200607_165454.jpg


Since we're dealing with the tropical storm today I filled all the feeders up last night and covered the pipe with duct tape to try and keep the feed dry.

20200607_165310.jpg


Even with all the rain we've had the red feeder bases haven't got wet and are the feeders are still working properly.

20200607_165253.jpg


How many quail are using the feeder? I guess if you put a ton of feed in it and you don't have too many quail using maybe the humidity could be a factor, but I really haven't had many problems with mine. Hopefully with some tweaking you'll get it working right....
 
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FloorCandy

Crowing
Apr 15, 2020
2,896
5,764
351
It sounds like the feed got wet. That's my feeder design and I've been using it in south AL (very humid) for several years. I've only had issues with the feed getting stuck twice and that was shortly after two different really bad storms (50 + mph winds) and the feed got wet, not just the feed in the red feeder but water got into the top of the pvc because I don't use caps. It was several days after the rain before the wet feed made it's way down the 4" pvc to the tube where it got stuck and the feeder quit emptying. I had to remove the red base and jamb a stick into the bottom of the pvc to break up the feed.

So you said you removed the 1.5" piece of pvc and the food was still stuck? Are you getting clumps of food at the bottom? Did you use a 45 degree elbow or is your pvc tube vertical above the red base?

There are no clumps, but if I tap it lightly, it’ll spill out. The tube is straight up vertically, and I have a cap on top, it doesn’t seem wet or damp. When I initially pour it in, it goes thru fine and leaves the right amount at the bottom.
 

FloorCandy

Crowing
Apr 15, 2020
2,896
5,764
351
I had 1 feeder that wouldn't empty feed because the 2" diameter piece was slightly too long After cutting it 1/8" shorter it started working right.

I just measured my feeders and the 2" diameter pieces extend between 1/2" and 5/8" from the lip of the 4x2 reducer. (You can see how all the feed dumped freely from the pipe when I pulled it out of the red base.)

View attachment 2182222

Since we're dealing with the tropical storm today I filled all the feeders up last night and covered the pipe with duct tape to try and keep the feed dry.

View attachment 2182223

Even with all the rain we've had the red feeder bases haven't got wet and are the feeders are still working properly.

View attachment 2182218

How many quail are using the feeder? I guess if you put a ton of feed in it and you don't have too many quail using maybe the humidity could be a factor, but I really haven't had many problems with mine. Hopefully with some tweaking you'll get it working right....

19 quail use it. I took the small pvc at the bottom of the funnel pvc piece totally out and it still was empty in the bowl this morning, but the feed was in the tube. Slight tap, avalanche. I used this for a couple weeks inside and it worked perfectly. I’m at a loss, my humidity is definitely not as bad as AL.
 

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