1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Poop question.

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by johnsonfam, Jan 7, 2010.

  1. johnsonfam

    johnsonfam New Egg

    2
    0
    7
    Jan 7, 2010
    Hi, we have four ladies and alot of times while we're gone during the day they poop in their feed and water. We clean it out in the evening but are they in danger if they're eating/drinking before we get to it? thanks!
     
  2. possumqueen

    possumqueen Chillin' With My Peeps

    601
    2
    121
    Aug 17, 2009
    Monroe, North Carolina
    Probably no danger if they eat poops -- lord knows they eat a lot of icky stuff.

    You might want to look at your feed/water set up and see how you could fix it so they can eat and drink and NOT get above their feed/water area.

    [​IMG]
     
  3. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

    19,950
    3,110
    476
    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    Welcome to the forum. Glad you are here.

    Like most things chicken, the answer is, maybe but probably no danger. Chickens eat a lot of poop. One of their favorite past times if they can is to scratch through cow manure. All kinds of undigested goodies and creepy crawlies in there. All kinds of animals eat poop. Even baby elephants eat their mother's poop to get the right microbes growing in their digestive system. Chickens even need to eat some of their own poop to help get certain immunities. It may seem gross to you but it is not unusual in the animal kingdom. Chickens are going to do it, no matter what you do.

    The problem comes in if the poop is stays wet or damp. Certain things can grow in the poop in numbers high enough to cause damage if it is wet. I'm thinking specifically of coccidiosis but there can be others like mold. You need to try to keep the feed and water as clean as you can to avoid these problems. If you put the feed and water up to the height of their backs, they can reach it and it will stay cleaner. You also need to work it out so they cannot perch on top of the feeder or waterer and poop down into them. There are several different ways of doing this. I'll how a couple of photos of how I manage. If you do hang something over them, it needs to be heavy enough so the wind cannot blow it out of the way.

    [​IMG]
    Above is the feeder. The plastic helps keep them off. Many people hang inverted cones or gallon plastic milk jugs above to keep them off.


    [​IMG]
    And this is the waterer. The pyramid hanging above keeps them off. My feed and water stay very clean.
     
  4. johnsonfam

    johnsonfam New Egg

    2
    0
    7
    Jan 7, 2010
    Thanks alot! it's about 15 out and snowy so as soon as the weather eases a bit I'll head out and see what we can do to poop-proof the feeder/water. We have four young children and one on the way and my wife was worried about feeding the kids the eggs if the chickens were eating poop. thanks again!
     
  5. Renee'

    Renee' Chillin' With My Peeps

    337
    2
    131
    Feb 8, 2009
    Yucaipa, CA
    Don't forget that you can probably get buckets for free from the bakery at the grocery store. [​IMG]
     
  6. AmyBella

    AmyBella Chillin' With My Peeps

    626
    2
    149
    May 26, 2009
    Western MA
    I'm thinking of making a 5 gallon bucket feeder like yours, Ridgerunner. I don't have a problem with poo in the food, but my birds scatter SO much of their mash! Thanks for the idea!
     
  7. Warthog

    Warthog Chillin' With My Peeps

    119
    0
    99
    Jul 7, 2009
    Belize
    I too am going to make a feeder like your Ridgerunner, my birds waste more than they eat I'm sure.

    I will also try your waterer idea.

    Thanks.
     
  8. GwenDellAnno

    GwenDellAnno Chillin' With My Peeps

    231
    0
    99
    Jul 18, 2009
    Water Valley, AB
    My waterer is along the lines of the feeder. It is currently sitting on a tin fixed with a ceramic light fixture in it (so it doesn't freeze). During the summer it simply sat on an upside down pail. I like it because it doesn't get all the shavings/bedding/poop in it that my other one did. Here's the pic [​IMG] Oh, and I don't have to be constantly supplying water as this lasts for a few days.
     
  9. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

    19,950
    3,110
    476
    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    Of course, I stole my ideas from others on here. Isn't this a great site with great people.

    There are a lot of different ways to make feeders and waterers. Mine still bill out feed onto the ground, but since mine is outdoors and I use pellets, they clean it up, especially when I let the feed run out in the bucket for a little bit. I purposely let the feed run out occasionally for them to clean it up and to keep fresh feed in the bucket. I don't want old feed to stay long enough to get moldy. This does keep it cleaner.

    Like Renee said, you can usually get your food grade plastic buckets free from a grocery with a bakery or deli, or a bakery or deli without the grocery store attached. Better for you to use them than for them to go straight to a land fill.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by