Possible rodent and or other feed eating monsters ?.

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by 8flocksMocked, Sep 5, 2016.

  1. 8flocksMocked

    8flocksMocked Just Hatched

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    I have 8 hens all eating out of the same continuous feeder and the feed runs out pretty fast . I only have 2 hens laying right now but it seems every week I have to put in more feed . Maybe they're eating a lot of feed or something is eating it in the middle of the night . Any possible answers or am I just a little paranoid ? Haha [​IMG][​IMG]
     
  2. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

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    Why wonder were the food goes? Sit up and see if there are any rats and mice helping themselves to a free food bar on your dime.

    Anywhere on Planet Earth that man can live there are and will be rats. Rats IMHO are not a poultry pest but rather a human pest of epic proportions.
     
  3. 8flocksMocked

    8flocksMocked Just Hatched

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    @chickengeorgeto ah! good choices of words . Hmm I guess my hens just eat a lot and considering my entire neighbor is a stray cat refuge id rarely think to see any rodents. Apologize for the wrong topic selection I just signed up today :p
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2016
  4. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

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    Chickengeroreto's Natural Law Number 4.0 reads: "Anywhere that zebras live in great numbers, there you will find lions."

    So just because there are numerous feral tabbies hanging around your neighborhood could very well mean that there are quite a few rats there.

    Much as a hawk moves on without the reward of a chicken dinner, a colony of stray cats will disperse from a lack of food. And If the cats are fed by miss guided humans it only makes the rat problem worse, not better..
     
  5. chickens really

    chickens really Overrun With Chickens

    If your pen is safe from all seed eating varmints? I am sure your hens have been eating the food...?

    Cheers!
     
  6. Ole and Lena

    Ole and Lena Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You say only 2 hens are laying, does that mean yours are younger and not there yet, or older or just not laying for other reasons. If they are younger and haven't reached laying age yet, their appetites are enormous relative to their size. We have 12 hens and a rooster. A few old bitties, the rest were started 2 years ago. Before they started laying regularly, they would empty our 2 gallon feeder bi-weekly. Now it will last most of a week.

    I've also noticed pelletized feed will last longer than textured. We once got some textured feed that had some sunflower seed mixed in. They would shovel all the rest out into the bedding to get at the sunflower. Perhaps yours have some special morsels in the feed also. Observe their feeding behavior.

    As for rodents, etc, look for sign in close proximity to your birds. They don't like to travel far, if they are using your feed source, there will be sign nearby. Holes or burrows, gnawed areas at small openings, nests under wood or other clutter. Leave a paper towel smeared with peanut butter overnight near the coop. If it's shredded within 1 or 2 days you have a significant rodent problem. Other potential feed theifs include opossum, chipmunk, squirrel and raccoon. The O and R will also take eggs and occasionally birds.
     
  7. carlf

    carlf Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feral cats around doesn't mean you don't have mice or rats. Or even squirrels helping themselves to your feed.

    Exactly how much feed (volume) are you going through in a week? 1 gallon? 2 gallons?

    I have a hanging 1 gallon feeder for 5 hens. Rarely do they finish the whole thing in a week.
     
  8. 8flocksMocked

    8flocksMocked Just Hatched

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    I have a 5 pound continuous feeder and I fill it up about 3/4s of the way and it almost completely runs out . As for my hens, I have them all at different ages . Only 2 is laying but 3 can possibly lay at any time . So I'm assuming they're just eating a lot now. Thanks for the tips
     
  9. carlf

    carlf Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If that is per week, it sounds about right.
     
  10. PingoBags

    PingoBags Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think my 7 go through about 5lb a week. They free range and get treats too.
    None of them are laying yet.
    I use a diy no spill feeder so almost no wastage.

    Your 8 go through 4lb a week, sound about right to me.
     

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