PVC feeder not feeding

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Nathan, Apr 23, 2009.

  1. Nathan

    Nathan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 10, 2008
    Camas, WA, USA
    I've built a PVC feeder into my chicken tractor.

    [​IMG]

    It is a 4 inch drain pipe with a 45 degree elbow. It has about a one foot 45 degree loader and four foot horizontal section with holes for access for the chicken's heads.

    Unfortunately, I scoop feed into the end and it collects there but doesn't seem to spread horizontally to where it can be reached by the chickens.

    Those of you who have done a PVC feeder - can you suggest what the problem is?

    The horizontal pipe is probably big with respect to the 45 degree section. However, since the feed doesn't even reach the first few holes, I'm not sure it would be fixed by shortening it.

    I used drain pipe which is corrugated and white outside and black inside. Is it not as slippery as regular PVC

    Is my feed not slippery enough? I have Purina start and grow.

    Any other ideas for a waste free feeder?

    They wasted way too much in their brooder feeder and I'd like to put a stop to that.

    Nathan
     
  2. Nathan

    Nathan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 10, 2008
    Camas, WA, USA
    Forgot to mention. ..

    The other PVC Pipe is my water delivery system. It has three nipple drinkers hanging from it. I expect it to work well and hope to do as well.

    One of my design goals is definitely filling the food and water from the outside.
     
  3. riderbecky

    riderbecky Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Its hard to tell from only the one pic but it looks to me like the end of the feeder in the run is higher than the angled piece of pvc. Try lowering the end of the feeder to near ground level to increase the gravitational forces on the feed.

    However I have another question. Why do you have feed in your tractor? I thought the purpose of having a tractor instead of an attached run was so that your chickens could forage from the safety of the tractor instead of ranging. Not trying to be rude, just curious to your reasoning.

    I free range my hens and there is no way I'd put feed outside for them as I want them to go eat fresh bugs, grasses etc and decrease my feed costs. I've also heard and read alot about how feeding outside increases your chances of vermin and other opportunists.
     
  4. Nathan

    Nathan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 10, 2008
    Camas, WA, USA
    Quote:I'll see about lowering that end before I try anything else.

    A tractor is meant to be a safe place for forage. Most things I've read do not suggest that tractored chickens will get their full range of nutrition from grass and weeds. (Maybe if I have just the right mix of plants.) However, if your experience suggest they can, then maybe I don't need to fix the feeder. [​IMG]

    You say you don't put feed outside for them. Does that mean you put food inside or somewhere else? This tractor is a day and night shelter - it has an upper story for roosting.

    It is suggested that after you move the tractor, you give them plenty of time to pick the area clean before refilling the feed. I guess I'm doing that now since the feeder doesn't work.

    I'm new to the tractor things, so I don't have experience with how fast they pick an area clean or how much feed I can save.

    Nathan
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2009
  5. AHappychick

    AHappychick Wanna-be Farmer

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    where are the nipples at the bottom? cause it may be hard for them to drink so low it is better if they dont have to crouch shoulder hight is better
     
  6. Nathan

    Nathan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The nipples are at the right height. They are on the pipe you can't see much of, above the feeder pipe. They were trained on nipple drinkers on thier brooder box. They had grown enough that they did have to crouch for water in the brooder - so I'm glad to move them outside.

    Its the feeder pipe I'm worried about. It is about 9 inches high on center although I hope to move it lower on the left.
     
  7. rbar

    rbar Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 17, 2009
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    Too shallow an angle for a good gravity feed.
    Not enough Gravity.
    Run it from the other side with a 90 degree, or better, two 45s, then about a foot to 18 inches final run with holes or slot in the top.
    If your area is humid, you may need to insert a long wire, extended coathanger, etc, kinked up a bit with a turn handle, bent in the side to shake it lose once in a while.
    If you make a screw crank system with your current system, it might feed better...but it would require some attention, though.
    Just some ideas... Roy
     
  8. AK-Bird-brain

    AK-Bird-brain I gots Duckies!

    May 7, 2007
    Sterling, Alaska
    I would try turning it around. That way when you lift up the end to wheel it to a new spot it feeds down. That would solve your gravity problem.
     
  9. Nathan

    Nathan Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 10, 2008
    Camas, WA, USA
    Quote:Yes, that probably would help. I've noticed that the direction of lift is opposite to what would shake it down.

    I'll try to do some rearranging.
     
  10. riderbecky

    riderbecky Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ottawa Valley
    Quote:I have a PVC feeder inside my coop. But honestly, I never see them eating from it once they are let out in the morning. They will usually eat from it right before they roost for the night. I didn't realize that you had a roosting area for them inside your tractor. I now understand your concerns. As to the nutrional challenges of tractoring...I can't comment. As I previously mentioned...I free range with lots of table scraps. I've included a pic of my pvc feeder for your perusal.
    [​IMG]

    Something else you may want to consider is the weather (read rain) getting into your feed and possibly spoiling it. [​IMG]
     

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