Messy Chicks Spread Feed Everywhere!

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by cluckylisa, Apr 18, 2009.

  1. cluckylisa

    cluckylisa In the Brooder

    Mar 2, 2009
    Central Minnesota
    Do you guys have this problem too? I have 8 one-week-old chicks, and we're using one of those metal feeders with the mason jar up turned. I will turn the bedding (pine shavings) and fill the jar up in the morning and by noon they have spread the feed all around the feeder. I see them eating the feed and everyone seems happy, but is there a way to keep the feed from ending up in the bedding? I know they will spill some of it but come on!

    If this is normal and I just have to deal with it, fine, but I have the feeder up at neck level to keep out bedding and poo and if there are any other ideas out there I'm happy to hear them.
  2. hlyndes

    hlyndes In the Brooder

    May 12, 2008
    H-Town Texas
    Tape something over the holes/openings so they don't dispense as much food as quickly or easily. They like to swish it around and knock it out of those big holes!

    Good luck!
  3. Dr.Doorlock

    Dr.Doorlock Songster

    Oct 21, 2008
    Garland, Texas
    For immediate relief, put the feeder you have into a glass 9" pie plate. This catches most of the food and they have a hard time perching on the edge of the pie plate.

    For perminate relief, make a feeder out of 4" PVC pipe with a 90 degree at the bottom and then a 45 degree open for them to feed. As the food is eaten, more will slide down. They have to put their head into the tube to eat, so when they shake their head as they peck, it hits the inside walls of the tube. I have one showing at both websites below. I loose almost no food and I have 8 hens eating from the same spot.

    I do still serve them treats in the run scatered accross the ground.
  4. MTChick2009

    MTChick2009 In the Brooder

    Apr 14, 2009
    I have the same feeder and had the same problem, the pie plate works great for me!
  5. Tala

    Tala Flock Mistress

    It helped a lot just putting my feeder up on a piece of board.
  6. CityGirlintheCountry

    CityGirlintheCountry Green Eggs and Hamlet

    Jul 7, 2007
    Middle TN
    I use a shoe box lid. It keeps most of the food contained and they love to scratch in what they fling out of the feeder. They're still messy little boogers though! [​IMG]
  7. ZooMummzy

    ZooMummzy Queen of the Zoo

    Mar 31, 2008
    Philomath, Oregon
    Yes I have this problem and yes, no matter what I put under the feeder they just make a mess. They will dig it out of the pie pan too. It seems like it is their mission to get food everywhere everyday. I can't wait till they are big enough to go outside where I don't care how big a mess they make!
  8. Judy

    Judy Crowing

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Mine are 8 weeks and in a coop. They bill out food regularly, but they also eat the food off the ground that they have billed out. They keep the pine shavings scratched away from under where the feeder hangs. I think they actually eat almost all the feed, from one place or another.

    I used paper plates in their brooder.
  9. SpeckledHills

    SpeckledHills Songster

    May 25, 2008
    My chicks seem to scoop out the feed the most when the feeder is full to the top of the holes. I do fill it to the top like that, but I don't have a jar replenishing from the middle, so the feed level goes down and it is harder for the chicks to scoop the food onto the floor. I just refill the feeder myselt 2-3 times a day, and the chicks don't scoop very much feed onto the floor.
    p.s. A HUGELY BENEFICIAL blessing I discovered that reduces spillage when feeding older chickens--PELLET FEEDERS! The kind you use for rabbits, mink, etc. You can feed mash through them, too--you just have to tap the sides sometimes to help the mash flow down. The rim around the edge prevents chickens from scooping feed out. This reduces disease problems (because chickens aren't eating pooped-in, contaminated feed off the floor), mice problems (because there isn't always wasted feed lying around for mouse-snacks), and feed loss from waste & spoilage/contamination. Plus I don't worry about whether the chickens may have played in their food too much & be out before next feeding time. [​IMG]
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2009
  10. mylilchix

    mylilchix Songster

    The pie plate trick worked great! I put one under our feeder this morning. They're not making as big of a mess, and having fun picking it out of the plate.


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