Large Flock Feeder / Feed

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Toothpick, Sep 18, 2019.

  1. Toothpick

    Toothpick Songster

    409
    563
    156
    Aug 15, 2016
    TN
    Hello all!

    After hatching a few batches of chicks I now have roughly 40. I will be getting rid of some of the roosters but I don’t anticipate many being roosters. I intend to keep 2 roosters. All said and done I will have 30 - 40 chickens.

    As of now I’m feeding them twice a day. Morning and evening. I’m tossing the food in the run on the ground. I don’t see a lot of food waste between feedings but that might mean I’m not feeding enough. So with so many chickens now I want to fix my feeding problem.

    My questions are:

    1. For those with a large flock - how do you feed them? Do you have something you put the food in? What is it? Ideally I would like something I can purchase that doesn’t waste food.

    2. I plan on doing Flock Raiser, Calcium, Grit. Is this sufficient? 3 separate feeders.

    Thanks for your time and answers!
    -Jason
     
    KLO and sealer39 like this.
  2. Gray Farms

    Gray Farms Conserve Heritage Breed Livestock

    10,719
    13,179
    510
    Apr 11, 2016
    NW Missouri
    Hanging feeders work well or a feeder that mounts to the wall. Hang/mount the "feed access point" of the feeder roughly the same level as the chickens backs. This will allow them easy access to the feed yet they won't be able to scratch it out. Ideally you want to feed only as much as they will eat in a 24 hour period. Excess feed around will attract mice. I recommend feed once per day in the coolest part of the day. Typically adult chickens should get about 1/4 of a pound of feed per day. They may eat a little less in the very hot months and a little more in the very cold months.
     
    Sequel and azygous like this.
  3. azygous

    azygous Crossing the Road

    16,589
    17,314
    832
    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    First of all, tossing the feed onto the ground isn't a good practice. The chickens will be ingesting bacteria at a much higher rate than if they were eating out of a feeder, increasing the risk of infection that could increase the cost of your little endeavor.

    There are lots of options for feeders, depending on whether you feed dry or fermented, the latter being the best option to eliminate waste.

    PVC feeders are a slick way to provide a steady supply of dry feed with very little waste.https://www.instructables.com/id/PVC-Chicken-Feeder/

    For fermented feed, some folks have fashioned rain gutters into wet feeders. By the way, fermenting feed is also a good way to provide additional probiotics and increased nutrients, and there is zero waste. I use dog bowls on raised holders, nine of them for twenty-one chickens.
     
  4. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Crossing the Road

    28,079
    15,424
    837
    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    30-40 chickens isn't that large of a flock. A couple 10 lb. capacity feeders should be sufficient for a couple days or so. Or you can get a range feeder.
    I usually keep between 30 and 100 birds and they are in flocks/buildings of from pairs to 20 birds so I use either 7 or 10 lb. feeders or homemade PVC feeders in each building. Some of them hold up to a week's supply of feed.
    For grit and oyster shell I use pint cage cups that hold enough for a couple weeks.

    Feeders with fin like baffles prevent billing out of feed.
    The Little Giant brand has the ability to adjust the height but I much prefer the Harris Farms brand. It is super easy to clean and doesn't have so many parts which will eventually be lost.
    https://www.qcsupply.com/420300-plastic-poultry-feeder.html
    https://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/product/harris-farms-chicken-feeder-7-lb
    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01LX5KO0X/?tag=backy-20
    https://www.qcsupply.com/farm-livestock/feed-equipment-systems/feeders.html?p=4
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2019
    sealer39 and azygous like this.
  5. sealer39

    sealer39 Crowing

    427
    1,144
    272
    Aug 3, 2013
    Pineville, Louisiana
    I use gravity feeders made from 4” pvc stepped up to 6”. It would be much easier to build if you just use 4” all the way. I get zero waste. If you use them, the chickens will need to be almost fully grown to reach the feed or you can provide a step for them. I also use the horizontal nipple waterers. I have three feeders and waters in use.
    I use Purina Flock Raiser for my mixed flock with calcium and grit one the side. After they all start laying, if you have a problem with soft shells, you can always mix in some layer feed.



    A2D2B086-EB09-4A38-9DE9-DD4FFCC22120.jpeg E1A2A9BB-6CC2-4117-A3EE-6E470496BEB1.jpeg
     
    Sequel and azygous like this.
  6. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Crossing the Road

    28,079
    15,424
    837
    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    I wonder if large combed Mediterranean breed roosters could get their heads into that feeder. Any experience with that?
    Like these
    http://www.feathersite.com/Poultry/CGP/Spanish/BRKWFBS.html
    http://www.feathersite.com/Poultry/CGK/Leghorns/BRKLeghorns.html
    My roosters' combs and wattles are so big they scrape on regular feeders and sometimes the sides are covered in blood.
     
    azygous and sealer39 like this.
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    66,977
    61,917
    1,477
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Sequel likes this.
  8. sealer39

    sealer39 Crowing

    427
    1,144
    272
    Aug 3, 2013
    Pineville, Louisiana
    Your right. Good point. That’s why I went with 4”. My Avatar does not like sticking his head into the feeder. You can see in the pic of the feeder that I cut out the entire center of the cap. I also sanded the cut edges very well. He can still get food but the cap prevents him or the pullets from billing it out. His comb and wattles look fine.
     
    Sequel and azygous like this.
  9. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Free Ranging

    Hi there. :frow

    Unless you have some magic potion... you should plan on close to HALF of your hatchlings being roosters. :oops: :confused:

    I have used rain gutters and they work quite well for both wet and dry feed. I best like the little giant one linked by chicken canoe as I use crumbles. But will have to consider the Harris farms as I need to add another.
     
  10. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Crossing the Road

    28,079
    15,424
    837
    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    The Harris Farms feeder is just a quick spin and the two pieces come apart and a shot from the hose cleans them out in most cases. The LG is a hassle to take apart and the parts are easily lost. The spring shoots the washers and then you're lost. I have one in the basement missing parts useless and I won't be buying another.

    I used plastic gutters for feeding fermented feed. The rooster's wattles get scraped up and bleed on the gutters. I have switched to the Fortex black rubber feed bowls in both gallon (11" diameter) and 2 gallon (14" across) sizes. They have a tendency to stand in the larger ones.

    Maybe the OP is using the egg shape method of sexing. :oops::idunno
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2019
    azygous and EggSighted4Life like this.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: