Old chickens having problem with new feeder.

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by TheRusticRebel, May 22, 2019.

  1. TheRusticRebel

    TheRusticRebel Songster

    105
    249
    106
    Apr 24, 2019
    South Carolina, USA
    Recently made a no spill feeder for my hens. Out of 13 , the 8 that are 12 weeks old picked it up righr away and have no issues moving from trough feeding to the pvc ports. I lefr the troughs close by for a day or 2. Then stopped filling them and put them right under the ports and had all the ports full to the top with a littlw at the edge.

    I have five 1 1/2 year old hens that have cleaned up every bit of dropped feed and scratched all arpund the feeder. One pecked off the food from the edge of the port bu none of them have eaten from them. I finally filled a trough for them today cuz i dont want then to go hungry. They are free range all day and havent seemed to care but should i just stop using the trough and wait it out? 20190519_105220.jpg 20190519_105212.jpg
     
  2. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Enabler

    25,254
    30,725
    1,182
    Sep 20, 2015
    Southern N.C. Mountains
    How big are their combs?
    Chickens don't like change so it may take a while for them to use it.
     
    aart likes this.
  3. TheRusticRebel

    TheRusticRebel Songster

    105
    249
    106
    Apr 24, 2019
    South Carolina, USA
    They are stubborn lol. I'm not sure if these are considered large combs. But when i did see one pack at the port it didnt look like it was rubbing. 20190511_074409.jpg
     
    BirdsBeesTrees likes this.
  4. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Enabler

    25,254
    30,725
    1,182
    Sep 20, 2015
    Southern N.C. Mountains
    Are they getting the hang of it?
    How big are those ports?
    I'm wondering if they are reluctant to stick their head in there if the combs touch?
     
  5. TheRusticRebel

    TheRusticRebel Songster

    105
    249
    106
    Apr 24, 2019
    South Carolina, USA
    Thanks for asking!!
    Ugh no. I don't get it. The 3 month olds eat from it at will and all day they are in and out of the coop yard to eat. I finally started filling a trough with food for the 1 year olds. And they wont eat from the trough now unless I put it out in the pasture. They will come into the yard and drink, and scratch all around the feeder but not eat from it that ive seen. The ports are 3 inch PVC.

    They dont seem hungry though. Like in thr morning they know where their food trough is they eat a little but dont devour it.

    One hen started laying soft shell and a couple eggs with only a membrane. So i put out a dish of oyster shell. But they dont seem to touch it so I started sprinkling a little on top of their food.

    On the food note, since i planned on them all using this feeder i decided to put out oyster shell and feed all of them thr grower feed till the pullets were about 16 weeks and then switching back to layer for all.

    Maybe that's why the girls are picky? They may have preferred the layer. So maybe I'll try getting a bag of that.
     
    Wyorp Rock likes this.
  6. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Enabler

    25,254
    30,725
    1,182
    Sep 20, 2015
    Southern N.C. Mountains
    Could be the change in feed, they are funny about that sometimes.
     
    TheRusticRebel likes this.
  7. TheRusticRebel

    TheRusticRebel Songster

    105
    249
    106
    Apr 24, 2019
    South Carolina, USA
    Do you think I can start feeding the pullets layer or is it too soon?
     
  8. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Enabler

    25,254
    30,725
    1,182
    Sep 20, 2015
    Southern N.C. Mountains
    They are around 12wks or so? It's too soon to start layer feed imho, they still have growing to do and don't need all the extra calcium.

    Could the adults be finding more bugs, weeds, grass this time of year and are just not eating as much feed?
     
  9. TheRusticRebel

    TheRusticRebel Songster

    105
    249
    106
    Apr 24, 2019
    South Carolina, USA
    Hopefully thats it. They dont seem to be starving at all. They have a huge area to roam. About 3k sq ft for 13 chickens.

    Previously I was filling a trough with layer in the coop yard, letting the 1 year olds out they would eat a little and head out. Meanwhile, id be in the coop with the pullets and filling another trough of grower. They would usually devour it. Then id let them out.

    I guess I was trying to make my job easier somewhat ,But I will go back to the old way for now.

    Do you think hunger would make my older girls more aggresive? Ive noticed at night the 3 month olds go in first they all get on a roost and settle in. Then the 1 year olds come in about 15 minutes latee and chase all the pullets off the roost. Even though its not the roost those chickens roost on. They roost in the back on a different roost. ( they are in an L shape. ) so then they all settle into the back roost. Then as the 3 month olds try to get on the side roost one or 2 of the 1 year olds will hip over to the side roost and chase them off again. The last 2 nights ive had to go into the coop and pick up the 2 big ones and put them on the back roost then pick up each pullet and put them on the side roost. Then everyone finally settles down. They were all getting along fine I thought. Ugh. Chickens.
     
  10. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Enabler

    25,254
    30,725
    1,182
    Sep 20, 2015
    Southern N.C. Mountains
    LOL Yep, chickens!
    That roosting behavior sounds perfectly normal to me. The adults always seem to harass the youngsters during that time. (and during the day too!) Things will eventually settle down.
     
    TheRusticRebel likes this.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: