Questions about wasteful little chicks

lilbirdee

Songster
10 Years
Mar 14, 2009
175
0
119
Ridgefield, WA
My 3 week old chicks peck their food out of the feeder and it all ends up on the floor. They eat some of it, but a lot is getting wasted. Is this just the way it is with messy kids? or is there something I can do to reduce the waste? Should I keep filling the feeder when there is chick food on the floor? or just make them eat the stuff they tossed around?
I tried giving them the staving chicks in Africa talk but they just rolled their beady little eyes at me.
 

silkiechicken

Staff PhD
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
13 Years
Jan 25, 2007
21,494
964
393
Everett WA/Corvallis OR
Welcome!

Put the feeder back high and make them stand up to eat from the dish. Discourage standing in the dish by putting a bar over the top if it doesn't already have one and that's about all you can do. They can be messy, but once they know what food is, they are less messy if you make them stand and reach to eat it. If they are really young, like under 2 weeks, make sure they can all get it and know about it before raising it up on a 2x4 or bricks.
 

lilbirdee

Songster
10 Years
Mar 14, 2009
175
0
119
Ridgefield, WA
Thanks! I will try that. I don't know why I didn't think of it. I put a block under the waterer a long time ago because they filled the tray with shavings in minutes.
 

zewei

Hatching
10 Years
Jan 25, 2009
6
0
7
Salem, OR, USA
I just got some day old chicks last week, and feeding them "Start & grow". I was told it is a crumber instead of mash. I was having the same problem with chicks spread feed outside of the feed, even with the raised feeder, until I notice they seams to want to throw out the larger pieces, so I kind of grinded the feed in a fruit crasher, so they are in samaller pieces but not totally powdery. That seams to help a lot. There is still spilled feed but not as bad as before. I might continual drind the feed for a week or two, until the chicks are little bigger.
 

lilbirdee

Songster
10 Years
Mar 14, 2009
175
0
119
Ridgefield, WA
Well...I tried the brick under the feeder. They still throw tons on the ground. I watched them and noticed that they aren't scratching it out, they are tossing it out when they peck. Especially my Cochin. There is starting to be more feed on the floor than shavings.
After reading about so many problems that others are having, like sick & dying chicks, I really am happy that this is my biggest concern right now.
I just hate to see all this chick feed wasted.
 

silkiechicken

Staff PhD
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
13 Years
Jan 25, 2007
21,494
964
393
Everett WA/Corvallis OR
One thing that may help the billing, becides making the feeder so high they can't bend their necks to flick the food, just be able to reach over the edge to eat it, is to take string and wrap it around as if you were tying a roast for the oven. That way they can stick their heads in but not really get the momentum to flick side to side. But do be careful with strings, and perhaps paper divider slats would work better to deflect the beak and feed movement.
 

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