Oy.....such a mess!

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by gabby3535, Jun 20, 2009.

  1. gabby3535

    gabby3535 Songster

    I have the standard, open-top, slightly tapered, hanging feeders........the kind that has an attached tray at the bottom
    to dispense the chick starter.
    My small flock of 9 is about 12 weeks old, and it seems that with each passing week, I find more and more and more
    'tossed' feed on the ground! I mean LOTS!!!
    The tray at the bottom of the feeders has 'dividers'.....which I assume is to diminish the amount of 'tossed' feed?
    I am still feeding 'chick starter', and the feeders are suspended, so that the bottom tray is approx 3-4 inches off the ground.

    Does anyone out there in BYC land have any suggestions to prevent all this waste of feed, and mess for me to clean up

    Thanks in advance for any advice...............
  2. tykris99

    tykris99 In the Brooder

    Jun 13, 2008
    I made a chicken feeder out of an upside down garbage can and rubbermaid container cover by screwing them together and drilling holes in the garbage can. It holds about 10lbs of feed and never wastes
  3. Baymen Moe

    Baymen Moe Songster

    Jan 17, 2009
    Pembroke, Ma.
    If your chicks are twelve weeks I think you could raise the feeder up higher than 3-4 inches. Try the height of the birds shoulders and see if that helps. My birds are 5-6 weeks and the feeder tray is higher than 4 inches.


    My birds still try to scratch around the feeder but it's high enough to keep their feet out.
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2009
  4. gabby3535

    gabby3535 Songster

    I have observed my chickens do all of the 'tossing' with their beaks......and 'not' their feet.
    In fact, they eventually wear a donut-shaped hole in the ground, below the feeder, by scratching
    the ground with their feet 'while' tossing the feed with their beaks!

    Can't raise the feeders too much more as I have 3 very large birds (Light Sussex), 5 medium-sized
    birds (3 BCMs and 2 Ameraucans), and 1 tiny 'runt' (True Ameraucana).........who all need to have
    the same access!

    Any other thoughts?
    Different type feeders?

    Will things get better when they switch to layer feed?
    Or, am I doomed to a life of daily 'tossed' feed clean-up?
  5. wanda047

    wanda047 Songster

    Mar 26, 2009
    Hardy, Arkansas
    I have observed my chickens do all of the 'tossing' with their beaks......and 'not' their feet.

    I watched mine do the very same thing yesterday. They were using their beaks... swinging their heads back and forth, throwing the feed all over the floor. I'm tired of the waste. Hope someone comes up with an answer for us.​
  6. waibel zoo

    waibel zoo Songster

    Mar 23, 2009
    Sandy, UT
    A lot of people won't agree with me here but, let the feeder go empty for half the day. They WILL eat what has been dropped. I never fill the feeder. I put a couple of scoops in when it has been empty for the better part of a day. They waste out of boredom. They don't waste when they are hungry. The feeder also needs to be at shoulder height for the smallest bird. This will limit flicking too. My smaller bidrs have to reach to eat. They can't flick it if they can barely reach it. All the chkens here are fat and happy. They actually prefer to eat the grass. Plus I bring out scratch once a day. They live for that stuff.
  7. ranchhand

    ranchhand Rest in Peace 1956-2011

    Aug 25, 2008
    The corn in scratch is a "heat generating" food and not a good treat for summer.
    Great in the winter, though.

    I have a similar hanging feeder, and I ended up putting a plant saucer underneath. The smaller chicks eat from there, and the bigger ones eat from higher up, which is about 6".
  8. Sugar Sand Farm

    Sugar Sand Farm Songster

    Apr 24, 2007
    North Florida
    I stopped filling the f eeders as well. I put so much out in the morning and again in the evening. I tried the plate under the feeder, hanging the feeders but nothing has worked. I'm still using alot of scratch but then I have alot of babies.lol
  9. sjh

    sjh Songster

    Apr 23, 2009
    Quote:Once again lets disspell this old wifes tale. Corn does not creat heat in a animal. When digested it proveds a large amount of usable caleries. I have not seen a chicken spontaneously burst into flame yet and most comercial feeds are around 50% corn.
  10. terri9630

    terri9630 Songster

    Mar 22, 2009
    New Mexico
    Once the feeder is empty I won't refill it until they eat what was spilled on the ground.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: