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My messy eaters

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by DeniseMace, Mar 3, 2015.

  1. DeniseMace

    DeniseMace Out Of The Brooder

    I've got a round feeder as opposed to a strip feeder for my 5 ladies (one week old) and they're emptying the whole food reservoir every day. They're not eating that much food, they're scratching it out of the feeder and making a huge mess around it with their feed, and then pecking at the spilled feed. I feel like I'm wasting a ton of chick feed because it's getting mixed into their shavings and then I'm scooping it out when I clean the brooder. Any thoughts, other than chicks are messy? I tried only filling it a small amount, but then they empty it and I worry about them getting hungry over night.
     
  2. DeniseMace

    DeniseMace Out Of The Brooder

    [​IMG]

    The mess
     
  3. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    I sometimes put a pie pan under it and catch the spills. There will be poo on it so some waste but you can refill it some and save some of it.

    When they get old enough (or I get tired enough of the pie pan) I quickly switch to a black rubber feed pan but keep the bedding nice and tall around it so they can get in and out. Also I keep the feed pan full. But if they kick the bedding away and you don't notice they might not be able to get into the pan to eat if they are not old enough. I usually put a brick next to the feed pan for this eventuality, but they aren't very sophisticated and still might not figure it out when they are very young.
     
    Last edited: Mar 3, 2015
    1 person likes this.
  4. DeniseMace

    DeniseMace Out Of The Brooder

    Pie pan is a great idea, shallow enough for them to jump over the edge, but deep enough to contain their crazy food flinging. I'll have to try that.
     
  5. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Only thing is it gets poopy and thus it is a good idea to have two, one drying out after hosing off outside, and one in use. Chicks are like songbirds- they love to kick feed everywhere. It is great fun! :)
     
  6. DeniseMace

    DeniseMace Out Of The Brooder


    I just noticed that, lol, this morning I got up to clean and feed/water the girls, and they'd managed to completely empty their water reservoir, and I JUST changed their shavings yesterday. So I got the top piece of a large tupperware container and set the feed and water on that instead of straight on the shavings. They're still scratching feed out, but it's all landing on the tupperware lid and then they're chasing the stray crumbles. It's very entertaining to watch, and hopefully if they spill their water again I can just wipe off the lid instead of changing half the shavings out of their brooder. Lovely little messes.
     
  7. PapaChaz

    PapaChaz Overrun With Chickens

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    normal behavior for chicks, LOL. I had the round one for my first batch of chicks a few years back and it didn't take long at all to switch to the strip feeder.

    As for keeping fresh water, you can't beat a couple of coke bottles hung upside in a bicycle water bottle holder, with the red watering nipples. So much cleaner, no bedding or poo gets in it...

    I found yesterday that my closest TSC carries these now and I picked up a pack and made a small bucket waterer to hand in there as well[​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    edit to add: due to a recent remodel, we had an old shampoo bottle holder from the shower, a couple of 1 1/2 inch holes in the bottom of it and some screws through the sides, voila! I actually have room for one more coke bottle in there. I had taken those nipples out of a busted bucket that had been in the outbuilding for a few years and wasn't sure they were working, so I picked up the new screw in type and made the little bucket.

    In my coop build that is about to get started, I intend on a PVC pipe system with the screw in nipples fed by a food grade plastic barrel
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2015
  8. DeniseMace

    DeniseMace Out Of The Brooder

    And your chicks don't have a hard time drinking from nipple waterers? (I think I just made up a word. )
     
  9. PapaChaz

    PapaChaz Overrun With Chickens

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    NW Georgia
    not at all! their natural curiosity makes them peck at everything! LOL once the first drop of water comes out and they 'get it' no problems at all. I took the gravity bottle out, no more worrying about cleaning the water bottle half a dozen times a day

    oh and of course, if ONE does it EVERYBODY has to do it........but having chicks yourself, you already know that HAHA
     
    Last edited: Mar 4, 2015
    1 person likes this.
  10. PapaChaz

    PapaChaz Overrun With Chickens

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    May 25, 2010
    NW Georgia
    something else I intend to do when I build my coop is to integrate a section for the brooder. When I do this, my feeder will be mounted external with holes in the side of the box for them to stick their heads through. The breeder I got my chicks from had his feed and water set up this way on opposite sides of the brooder
     

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