Not Eating from Hanging Feeder

JohnHenry

In the Brooder
8 Years
Mar 3, 2011
98
0
39
Somerville
First off, I love BackYardChickens WEB site! I have been reading, reading, reading for a month! I recently built a coop and run from my kids old playhouse, now I have 5 new babies, well 2-3 year old hens I bought for $10 each that I treat like babies.

I started off by hanging a feeder in the coop and throwing some feed into the run twice a day. They never touched the feed in the house and I read that feed on the ground in the run gets contaminated by poop causing intestinal worms so I moved the feeder into the run. I still never see them eating from the feeder, I throw a little scratch on the ground every day along with crushed egg shells, dandelions or other greens and they gobble them up. I put some scratch in the feeder and they gobbled it up by seem to ignore the pellets in the feeder by themselves.

Any ideas why?

I have had them 2 weeks, they started off laying 3 eggs a day and now they are closer to 4=5 eggs a day and look much healthier than when I got them.

Thanks!
 

ChickensAreSweet

Heavenly Grains for Hens
9 Years
Jun 8, 2010
15,100
699
398
Pacific NW- where the Douglas Firs grow
If they are hungry enough, they should eat the feed. If it were me, I would experiment and cut all treats for just a few days to see how much feed they ate.

That's just me, though!!!
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Scratch is really yummy to them, and many people have noticed that if they give too much scratch they don't eat enough layer feed.
 

JohnHenry

In the Brooder
8 Years
Mar 3, 2011
98
0
39
Somerville
Thanks,

I'll try to resist spoiling them. The funny thing is they seem to eat the pellets off the ground just fine.
 

sonew123

Poultry Snuggie
11 Years
Mar 16, 2009
25,016
110
421
onchiota NY
Quote:
totally agree....hungry=search out food no matter where it is to eat:) no treats as hard as that is for a few days until they figure out where to real food source is...
 

Neil Grassbaugh

Songster
11 Years
Sep 1, 2008
741
20
151
Quote:
Foot level is the most natural elevation for chickens to feed from. Much above, or below, that is out of their comfort range. Is your feeder to high above foot level?
 

JohnHenry

In the Brooder
8 Years
Mar 3, 2011
98
0
39
Somerville
Foot level is the most natural elevation for chickens to feed from. Much above, or below, that is out of their comfort range. Is your feeder to high above foot level?

I'd say the feeder is about 5" above ground level. I was thinking it would be OK just below shoulder level and thought it would keep out the mice. I notice the same thing with water, they dont drink a lot from the hanging water but love water from the dog bowl.

Is 5" above grade too high?​
 
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sonew123

Poultry Snuggie
11 Years
Mar 16, 2009
25,016
110
421
onchiota NY
Quote:
I'd say the feeder is about 5" above ground level. I was thinking it would be OK just below shoulder level and thought it would keep out the mice. I notice the same thing with water, they dont drink a lot from the hanging water but love water from the dog bowl.

Is 5" above grade too high?

No... thats about how high mine is -trust me they will drink and eat if they know thats their only source-If you keep leaving water bowls out for them they wont go to the waterer..LOL
 

helloroe

Songster
10 Years
Jul 16, 2009
215
5
111
Cetral FL
My girls were spooked by the swaying of the feeder and waterer when I tried to hang them. I put all my feeders and waterers on 1/2 cement blocks. Block fits entirely under the base. I clean them daily and my feed bill can prove they sure do eat.
 

iamsara

In the Brooder
8 Years
Feb 22, 2011
57
0
29
Sonoma, Ca
Hi!
I too at first tried the long metal feeder but they didnt like it. much preferred naturally eating off the ground.
BUT now its nuddy out there and poopy. so its not making me feel good. i put some hay on the paths to saok up the poops, and it worked for a coulple of days! lol
i will try the feeder again hearing from u all w no problem w it.
thanks:frow
 

JohnHenry

In the Brooder
8 Years
Mar 3, 2011
98
0
39
Somerville
The girls are starting to use the feeder more but we had a huge rain day today with flash flooding so I moved the feeder into the coop. I couldn't resist treats and gave the 4 hard boiled/crushed eggs and some scratch today. They really prefer the dog bowl more than the hanging waterer, I do spoil them but it has only been two weeks
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