PVC Feeder misteriously emptying

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by frogman, Jan 31, 2016.

  1. frogman

    frogman Chirping

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    I use 2 PVC feeders in my run. Straight down 3ft with a Y connector on the bottom so it gravity feeds as they eat out of the bottom opening. I have found (3-4x) an entire tube emptied around the bottom of the feeder all over the ground. I cannot figure out how they are doing this. They would have to pull off the bottom until the entire tube is empty. Any ideas how or what is doing this???

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    Last edited: Jan 31, 2016
  2. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Songster

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    They really shouldn't be able to do that easily. Maybe one of them is O/C. More likely is that some other critter is doing it. A rodent of some kind, like a squirrel.
     
  3. frogman

    frogman Chirping

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    I thought that but it is completely enclosed with hardware cloth (sides top and bottom) and now wrapped in plastic for the cold.
     
  4. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Crossing the Road

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    1/2" hardware cloth? What about the door opening? Any way for a small rodent to squeeze between the door and the frame?
     
  5. frogman

    frogman Chirping

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    Yes 1/2in and no room from the door - snug and tight! It seems the only way this can be happening is if one of the hens stands there an scratches out the entire hole until its empty. I don't understand how he can get a foot in there!!
     
  6. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Crossing the Road

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    They will bill it out. Some chickens are notorious for doing this. Why? Ask the chicken! If you want to eliminate all feed waste, and make the feed they do eat provide even better nutrition, you might consider switching to fermented feed.
     
  7. DanEP

    DanEP Songster

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    I would suspect mice, they can get in almost anywhere. You might try and raise your feeder as high as you can while still allow you birds to still reach their food.
     
  8. sparrow.star

    sparrow.star In the Brooder

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    From what I understand, mice can squeeze through an opening of a 1/4" crack! I don't know if they could squeeze through 1/2" hardware cloth or not but I wouldn't be surprised.
    I like your tube feeders and plan to use the same. Idea though: why not pop a cap on the feeding end to keep out vermin or naughty chickens?
     
  9. pintail_drake2004

    pintail_drake2004 Chirping

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    sounds like a mouse to me. I'd cap the ends at night and take them off in the morning.
     
    sparrow.star and kwhites634 like this.
  10. SueT

    SueT Crowing

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    Is it a single ingredient feed, like crumbles or pellets? If not, they will bill it out to get to the better morsels. I learned that the hard way w a 7 lb hanging feeder, they emptied it entirely.
    I eventually switched to Purina Flock Raiser. All my chickens like it so much they don't waste it. Any that gets spilled, they clean it up off the floor......
    if you feed a non layer feed, supplement w oyster shell.
     

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