These chicks eat SOOOO much!

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by cestial225, Nov 1, 2013.

  1. cestial225

    cestial225 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My flock of 9 chickens and a duck were going through about 50 lbs of feed every six weeks or so. Then I hatched out 8 chicks. Lady I bought the eggs from said they were Australorp eggs but the birds are barred so they are probably crossed with a barred rock or something. Anyways the chicks are about 8 weeks old and now we are going through a 50 pound bag of feed in 2 weeks! That is crazyness right? is it cause winter is upon us? The big girls leave the coop every day to forage but the chicks are reluctant to leave, they stay pretty close to the coop and they are the ones eating up all my feed. What can I do to stretch out the feed cause the feed bill is going to kill me.
     
  2. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

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    Quote: Quote: If I'm reading this correctly, you now have 18 birds (although some are young)

    18 birds, eating (or SPILLING) just 1/4 lb each per day will go through 63 lbs in 14 days, or 50 lbs in 11 days

    I suspect your youngest birds are wasting a lot, so a better feeder may help, or simply RAISING the feeder you use now could prevent some of that.

    Reality is though, their rate of consumption is pretty much normal
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2013
  3. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    You could try moving the food away from the coop to force the chicks out to range more, is the area safe for that age chick predator wise? Are you sure nothing else is eating the food, depending where you are, there are a lot of migrating wild birds this time of year, and the mice etc all seem to be moving around looking for winter homes. Your older girls are possibly are not finding as much to eat outside this time of year either, so they may be eating more than they were earlier.
     
  4. joan1708

    joan1708 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Are you sure your not feeding varmints also? Put the food up at night and see if it is still disappearing as fast.
     
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  5. Pathfinders

    Pathfinders Overrun With Chickens

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    I agree with Bear and Joan - the rate of feed seems to be about right, but in case you're dealing with mice/rats etc., it won't hurt to put the feed away at night either.

    The other thing you can do to reduce waste is to try to switch from a crumble/mash to a pellet. Pelleted feed, if you can find it, causes much less waste, in my experience. See if you can find some and give it a try.
     
  6. cestial225

    cestial225 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Is it safe to use pellets with a mixed age flock? The youngest right now are 8 weeks but I have chicks due in two weeks
     
  7. Pathfinders

    Pathfinders Overrun With Chickens

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    It will, of course, depend on the size of the pellets (some are larger, some are smaller.) Eight weeks might be a little young for them. And chicks definitely need a mash or crumble.
     
  8. cestial225

    cestial225 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Can I find starter grower in a pellet? What if I get a second feeder and hand it higher with layer feed, then have the crumbles closer to the floor for the chicks? Will the younger birds still eat the layer pellets and get sick?
     
  9. Pathfinders

    Pathfinders Overrun With Chickens

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    1- Probably not. Starter is meant for chicks, who need smaller pieces to swallow and digest.
    2- That will ensure the chicks are only eating the crumbles, but won't prevent the older birds from eating them too.
    3- It's not that they'd get sick, it's that they can't swallow and/or digest them.

    What it sounds like you need is a thing called a creep feeder. Let me look for some links here on the BYC for one for you. Stand by...
     
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  10. Pathfinders

    Pathfinders Overrun With Chickens

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