Throwing food onto the ground - good or bad??

ErnieBerley

Chirping
Aug 28, 2019
151
294
97
Marshall NC (western NC mountains)
my chickens prefer the food just thrown out on the ground (in certain areas) where they can scratch and peck on it during the day. However, when it rains, yuk, and in the sun mold can occur, so all the food has to be turned into the soil or shoveled away and I have to move the feeding spot. Do any of you have positive experience with long-term feeding chickens on the ground?

thanks
 

Chicken Heel

Songster
Jun 8, 2019
269
811
121
I use to feed my chickens outside during periods of calmer weather but stopped it years ago. I have found that feeding them inside coops has resulted in less odors from soured feed if an unexpected rain shower came up. I also don't have nearly as many rodent issues since I shut the coops up at night. Also, there are many predators that are attracted to the smell of feed and once they are around they can become more curious about the chickens themselves.
 

ErnieBerley

Chirping
Aug 28, 2019
151
294
97
Marshall NC (western NC mountains)
I use to feed my chickens outside during periods of calmer weather but stopped it years ago. I have found that feeding them inside coops has resulted in less odors from soured feed if an unexpected rain shower came up. I also don't have nearly as many rodent issues since I shut the coops up at night. Also, there are many predators that are attracted to the smell of feed and once they are around they can become more curious about the chickens themselves.
My coop is one of those "prefab" for 12 chickens or so...it's really not much but sleeping quarters and laying areas - so putting food in there isn't really an alternative
 

Peppercorngal

Crowing
Feb 5, 2018
1,865
4,236
301
Feather Falls, CA
I throw out food for my chickens, but never more than they will eat in a 5 minute period. I give them cabbage, sunflower seeds, some kitchen scraps, etc. I never give them more than they will consume in a short period of time. I don't think its healthy to throw down so much that it sits for days and rots. That's not good for the chickens. . . .
 

Henry&Friends

Songster
May 6, 2018
638
1,414
196
West Virginia (mountain momma)
My boss puts her chickens food into aluminum tray, and my mom does with our chickens when she feeds them. I toss the feed onto the ground, because if i keep it in a tray they knock it over, get all the food out, and let the wind take the tray away. I had a cool feeder (for my chicks) once, but I left it outside for one night and coons stole the bottom. So now I have the top part of a feeder. What the chickens don't eat, dogs, cats, coons, possums and probably others finish up for them. They get a big scoop of layer crumbles and scraps from last night's dinner every morning, and sometimes a snack when i come home after school
 
Nov 28, 2017
1,824
2,865
346
UK
I wouldn’t personally throw food on the ground. Scratch and treats yes, but formulated feed no. Obviously chickens are prone to worms being foragers but you can help to prevent them by using feeders and pans for main feeds. There’s the issue with other animals coming when they’re eating and taking food. If you use expensive feeds, like organic ones, why would you want waste when you can prevent it? Plus, if there’s any waste feed, it just gets left out where slugs and snails can go over it. There’s a feeder for every situation, bell feeders, anti rodent feeders, something like this which will also keep food dry and keep some pests away. Just my opinion though.
 

Peppercorngal

Crowing
Feb 5, 2018
1,865
4,236
301
Feather Falls, CA
My boss puts her chickens food into aluminum tray, and my mom does with our chickens when she feeds them. I toss the feed onto the ground, because if i keep it in a tray they knock it over, get all the food out, and let the wind take the tray away. I had a cool feeder (for my chicks) once, but I left it outside for one night and coons stole the bottom. So now I have the top part of a feeder. What the chickens don't eat, dogs, cats, coons, possums and probably others finish up for them. They get a big scoop of layer crumbles and scraps from last night's dinner every morning, and sometimes a snack when i come home after school
The only food that my chickens get in feeders or pans is their layer feed and something like yogurt, which obviously you don't want to throw on the ground for them. Every other "treat" gets thrown down on the ground. A try doesn't work for the reasons you explained! Chickens are scratching and pecking the ground all day anyway!
 

EggSighted4Life

Crossing the Road
Apr 9, 2016
12,262
15,427
762
California's Redwood Coast
my chickens prefer the food just thrown out on the ground (in certain areas) where they can scratch and peck on it during the day. However, when it rains, yuk, and in the sun mold can occur, so all the food has to be turned into the soil or shoveled away and I have to move the feeding spot. Do any of you have positive experience with long-term feeding chickens on the ground?

thanks
Hi there. :frow

Chickens (and most animals really) are creatures of habit. Teach them something new INSTEAD of letting them train you. Let them protest, if they're hungry they'll eat. ;)

Aside from the concern mentioned already... There can be issues with bacteria... and botulism or moldy feed can be deadly fast.

Using the tray gets knocked over as an excuse to feed on the ground is laziness pure and simple... All feeders can be fixed to NOT knock over IF you put the effort in. :) (not meant as attack to the poster who wrote that, we all have different ways and I'm just sharing my opinion and experience with the original poster or whoever).

Even when it isn't raining and ruining whatever may be left on the ground, guaranteed it IS attracting rodents and others... who if they don't prey on your birds MAY well be spreading parasites or other disease like leptosperosis or others.

Good luck whatever you try... you WON'T regret the savings! :thumbsup
 

Henry&Friends

Songster
May 6, 2018
638
1,414
196
West Virginia (mountain momma)
All feeders can be fixed to NOT knock over IF you put the effort in. :) (not meant as attack to the poster who wrote that, we all have different ways and I'm just sharing my opinion and experience with the original poster or whoever).
I’m personally offended and telling my mom. Ooooooo youre gonna be grounded :eek:

if I buried a tray about an inch into the ground, it would probably stay put, but you’ve definitely hit the mark on me being lazy. my mom complains about the yard being too “unsightly“ with trash (wheelchair that they use as a perch and wind blown trays) so this particular laziness of mine stems from too many Easter Egg tray hunts. I try not to bring anything outside that the wind can pick up, even ditching open aluminum trays for a cool glass container with a lid. that also cut my kitchens fly population down considerably

guaranteed it IS attracting rodents and others... who if they don't prey on your birds MAY well be spreading parasites or other disease like leptosperosis or others.
This is a really important point. When my chickens lived (and were fed) near the house, we ended up getting a rat infestation in the basement. Moving the chickens near the woods and killing the rats (which was a pain in the arse) has cleared up the issue, and the rats have stayed at bay since.
 
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