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Limited feeding times. A good idea?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by harrisville chicken, May 6, 2011.

  1. harrisville chicken

    harrisville chicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 2, 2009
    Northern Utah
    After trying every method in the book to stop sparrows from helping themselves to my hen's feed (I give them 20% protein pellets), I'm changing tactics. Instead of scaring the sparrows away, I'm going to limit the time food is available. Does anyone else do this? How often is food available, and how much food? Should this change happen in one day, or be gradual.
    Thanks in advance for your ideas / experience.
     
  2. 6chickens in St. Charles

    6chickens in St. Charles Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 25, 2009
    St. Charles, IL
    I felt the same about feeding a chipmunk the Layena. I suffer kidney stones and I figure that little guy would, too, with all that protein and calcium.

    So, we don't let our chickens out of their coop until they've eaten most of their feed out of sheer boredom. After 9 or 10 am, they forage for their favorites outside. At bedtime, we put another scoop of feed into their little hanging feeder, they pick at it a little, go to roost, then eat it up in the morning before we let them out.

    This is a pic of the feeder, with 13 chickens one evening:
    [​IMG]

    Its not a lot of chicken feed, but ours are bantams. Our vet emailed me the poop report this week, they're healthy. So it must be allright to limit their feed!

    (eventually they ate the chipmunk, but I don't leave feed out anyways. Dont want to attract anything else. We keep our feed in galvanized metal cans with tight lids in the cool, shady garage.)
     
  3. harrisville chicken

    harrisville chicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 2, 2009
    Northern Utah
    Thanks. Anyone else?…
     
  4. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    I would recommend a treadle feeder to avoid sparrow losses. Gallo del Cielo built one (see his BYC page for the pattern).

    I think you can buy metal ones on ebay.

    I like to keep feed available all day, because my chickens have eaten every green living thing out of their large garden run. I have to cut grass for them and give it to them.

    They fill their crops over and over throughout the day.
     
  5. harrisville chicken

    harrisville chicken Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 2, 2009
    Northern Utah
    I've looked at the treadle feeder plans and being a novice carpenter decided to buy one. Then I saw the price tag, ouch. So until my rich uncle gets out of the poor house, I'm exploring other options.
    Just curious though, if you have a feeder like that, how long did it take to train your chickens to use it?
     
  6. WallTenters

    WallTenters Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 16, 2010
    Sweet Home, OR
    After just a few days, our rooster in that pen proudly stands on the treadle so his ladies don't have to do any work. I really don't know if the hens actually would work it without him! They'd probably just say "oh Sundance! Honeeeeyyyy..... Come get the treadle!"

    They are actually pretty easy to build, or find a local person to build you one for materials + $25.
     
  7. Adamps

    Adamps New Egg

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    Apr 11, 2009
    The answer to those wild birds stealing the food is to use an automatic feeder activated by the chickens standing on the feeder platform.[​IMG]
     
  8. Adamps

    Adamps New Egg

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    Apr 11, 2009
    It takes a couple of weeks to train the chickens - you start with the lid fully open then gradually set it lower so the chickens get used to the movement caused by standing on the platform. They can still see the food at this point. Eventually you leave the lid closed and chickens activate it when they want to feed.
     
  9. Adamps

    Adamps New Egg

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    Apr 11, 2009
    Quote:[​IMG]

    Here's the feeder at work!
     

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