1. Come check out hundreds of awesome coop pages (and a few that need suggestions) in our 2018 Coop Rating Project!

My son sprinkled feed all over the ground in the run! Mold??

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by spacecowgirl, Dec 19, 2011.

  1. spacecowgirl

    spacecowgirl Songster

    Jul 30, 2011
    This may be the wrong place to post this, but I couldn't decide on a more suitable catagory...

    Anyway, my youngest son took several handfuls of layer crumbles and sprinkled it all over the floor of the run. He meant well, he just thought it would give them something to do and something to peck and scratch at. ( they get tons of treats as is, but he's young and didn't know better )..

    This would probably be fine if it were pellets, but it's the crumbled kind, and as you probably know about half of the mix is basically a fine powder. The floor of the run is mostly just dirt and leaves, and now it is covered in this fine powder. I tried to rake it up, take a hoe to it, shovel it, but that powder is stuck fast and I'm afraid if it molds my chickens are done for!

    I can't get rid of it all without getting in there with a roto tiller ( which I don't have ) and turning it all over....no signs of mold yet (even though the ground is damp)....but, any suggestions? Or can someone at least put my mind at ease that it will be ok?

  2. Quote:They're chickens.... They'll be fine. Whatcha gonna do when they fill the run with poop?

    Heck, I have FED my chickens moldy food..... They are still lively and healthy.
  3. spacecowgirl

    spacecowgirl Songster

    Jul 30, 2011
    Thank you! They do fill the run with poo!

    I've never fed them moldy food, though...[​IMG]
  4. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    To the person who has actually fed their birds moldy feed, it's terribly inadvisable to feed chickens moldy feed. That is how sour crop can begin. I've lost birds to crop stasis when they got hold of moldy feed. NEVER, EVER feed chickens anything that has molded.

    As to the feed in the run, if you rake out as much as you can, then till it under so it doesn't sit in piles to grow mold, it should be okay. I'd even add some agricultural lime when you till (not hydrated, just the plain old pulverized limestone). It will dry things out and spread around whatever feed may be left in there.
  5. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
    If it's just a few handfuls, just let the birds eat it. When I feel they've scattered too much on the ground themselves, I just cut back on the amount of feed in the feeder to encourage them to clean up the ground a little better. It'll be fine.
    hlhutchinson likes this.
  6. spacecowgirl

    spacecowgirl Songster

    Jul 30, 2011
    Thank you, Speckledhen...I think I will chop up the ground as much as possible and sprinkle DE everywhere....I don't have access to lime. Do you think the DE will help?
  7. 1muttsfan

    1muttsfan Crowing

    Mar 26, 2011
    Upper Peninsula Michigan
    Quote:X2, add a little sprinkle of scratch and take their food away for an hour or two. They'll clean it up.

  8. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Crowing

    May 8, 2007
    Moldy food can be bad.

    Removing what you can and working the rest into the soil would be great. Is it more difficult to work into the soil because the soil is wet and clumping?

    The other thing you could try, is layering some sand over the top of it, to bury what's left. Sand usually gives nicer drainage in a run, so it has multiple benefits. Or rake out what you can, work in what you can and put in a deeper layer of leaves on top, to bury what's still exposed. If it's mainly the fine stuff and it's mixed in or buried a bit, it should compost in the soil pretty fast. I think clumps of food or chunks of grain are more likely to be eaten than fine powder.

    Maybe your son could start giving the chickens something like sunflower seed as a treat. Any that doesn't get eaten can just sprout and then the sprouts can still be eaten.
  9. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Quote:Sure, that might help. If it's just a small amount of feed and it doesn't just sit out in rain, it will probably be okay, especially if they are scratching around in it. Just watch for areas that are sitting and not getting raked around.
  10. bluecoop

    bluecoop Chirping

    Jul 12, 2011
    I recently threw some feed down onto snow, hoping that it would encourage them to scratch , wrong?

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by