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Scratching feed out

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by hockeygirl56, May 1, 2011.

  1. hockeygirl56

    hockeygirl56 Chirping

    Apr 21, 2011
    Allenton, MI
    I currently have 6 chicks in a brooder, and they have their food in the typical small round feeder. I've seen them starting to try to scratch at the food, which they weren't too successful at getting out of the feeder that way. However, today I filled the feeder up completely, and when I came back less than 12 hrs later they had it almost completely empty from flinging it out into the brooder. I don't have a way to hang this feeder up. Is it ok to leave it empty and let them pick the food up from in the pine shavings? I will still fill it every day, but I don't want to keep filling it up constantly if they can just eat from the mess they created.

  2. emvickrey

    emvickrey ChowDown Silkie Farm

    Mar 5, 2009
    Hornbeak, Tennessee
    There are a couple of things I do to make less waste. You can put a strip of duct tape over the top of the holes on the feeder so they can just get their face in and not feet too.

    You can cut the bottom of one of those gallon ice cream buckets and put it under the feeder. It catched what they scratch out and they eat that instead of it getting wasted.

    You can let them eat the feed they tossed out on the floor but they will end up with alot of poop in it too. I'd rather they didn't eat pooped in food or damp food.

    I have made feeders for the quail that are out of bleach jugs. Of course they are washed out very well and I let them air for about a week after I cut them but I cut the top off where there is a ring and trim the spout down. Cut holes in the side of the bottom part that they can get their heads in to reach the food. Then I invert the top part where the spout is inside the bottom part and duct tape them to each other. The spout needs not to be in front where the holes are. Then you just fill the feeder from the top. You can use the bottom of a gallon ice cream bucket to make a lid for it but I usually don't.

    If the holes are just right there will be no waste. They need to be able to get their heads in and reach the feed but not aboe to toss it out with their heads or feet. Hard to explain but with a little experimenting you'll get it. I got tired of shoveling up the feed off the floor from the quail. They are very wasteful little birds.
  3. mdbokc

    mdbokc Songster

    Jun 22, 2009
    Oklahoma County, OK
    I place my feeder for the little chicks at first on a serving trap and that cut wast by 50% as they ate it off the tray and easy to keep clean periodically. Also, I raise the feeder asap so they have to reach into it. Start with 1x4, 2x4, then bricks as the feeder base riser. Feeder the same height as their backs so they are not pecking "down" too much.
    Last edited: May 2, 2011
  4. Snegurochka

    Snegurochka In the Brooder

    Apr 7, 2011
    Southern Indiana
    Yeah, you should try to raise it up so they can't get their feet in it. I'm using a crab-meat can as a base for mine right now.
  5. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Crowing

    May 8, 2007
    I raise mine to the height of the shortest chick's back, also. I set it on different things, to get different heights as they grow. Turned over plant saucers, blocks of wood, bricks, upside down plastic containers, whatever works.

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