Too much food wastage!!

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Suburban Sprouts, Feb 8, 2011.

  1. Suburban Sprouts

    Suburban Sprouts Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 29, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    I have a typical 5-gallon galvanized feeder... For the longest time, I would fill it up and the chickens would eat out of it normally and it would last a good week to two weeks. Starting a few months ago, the chickens starting throwing all the feed around everywhere! I fill it up and it's down to empty in a few days but there is feed scattered around and in piles in the mud of their chicken yard! It's so frustrating because I feel like I'm throwing money in the dirt!

    Does anyone have a suggestion for a different type of feeder or something? Or a way to keep my girls from playing with their food like this?
  2. aubreynoramarie

    aubreynoramarie designated lawn flamingo

    May 27, 2010
    Reno, Nevada
    Are you able to hang your feeder? Surely they will not be able to scratch all of the deed out of a hanger. It's what I use and have never had a problem...
  3. AnnainMD

    AnnainMD Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 1, 2010
    Eldersburg, MD
    You could make it higher (level with their backs). You could get a wall mounted feeder that has the slider that controls feed dispension or you could switch to pellets. Having it low on the ground definitely encourages them to scratch it out.
  4. dottysfarm

    dottysfarm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 22, 2010
    Eau Claire, WI
    I have the same problem! Grr. My feeder is up in the air level with their backs... and they still do that. I usually just have one day where I take the feeder out and make them scratch up what they have dumped all over the coop floor. This sort of works but any other ways to conserve on the feed being tossed out onto the floor would be great...
  5. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    They get bored. That's all I can figure. I've tried it all. Higher mounting or hanging works best, but once in awhile, one or more the hens just gets to flinging the food out.

    When that happens, delay the next feeding for 8 hours and they'll usually clean up everything.
  6. Moabite

    Moabite Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 24, 2010
    I had the same or similar problem too, even after I hung the feeder. Reason being is that I mixed the scratch with the pellets and they were digging for seeds. I made a J tube out of plumbing parts to feed scratch now and just throw BOSS and treats in the run. Now I'm working on fixing another feed problem: wild birds.

    The back wall of my run is chain link with an old trumpet vine growing through out it. The birds have got fat perching in the branches and flying down into the run to grab a few scrumptious bites of Layena. I just cleaned off better then an inch deep of wild bird guano off the top of my coop. I don't mind the fertilizer, but I am worried about the bio-hazard of that much poop accumulating near my coop. And the little scavengers are getting fat. I'm running 3/4 inch hardware cloth all around the run. Haven't had a loss yet, but I decided it has been long enough relying on Chicken Wire anyway. I may make a bird feeder and move it out over the garden compost. I'm sure my cat will be thrilled.
  7. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    I used to have one of the large galvanized feeders too (I think it held 40 lb.). I sold it.

    I now use 12 lb feeders with the narrow lip and a black rubber feed pan under it. They are available at the feed store and online. The trick is, to not hang it so high that the feed spills out. There is still a small amount of spillage, but not too bad at all. Sometimes I don't even hang it- just set it inside the pan. Here is a photo:
  8. ginormous chicken

    ginormous chicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 18, 2011
    Elverta, California
    I try to switch it up. I have a 5 dollar horizontal feeder ( I think it is meant for chicks.) I will put that in place of a round feeder once in a while. They can't scratch at it and make a mess. I find it is usually 1 particular hen that does most of it. And like what was said before. There are days when there is no feeder and they have to pick up what they spilled. I don't think there is a sure fire 100% way of stopping the waste.
  9. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

    May 8, 2007
    Elevating a feeder keeps them from scratching it out with their feet. The other problem is billing it out, where they use a swiping motion with their beaks, to shove the food out of the tray. We have a style of plastic feeder that has spokes all around the tray, to keep them from doing this. It's more often a problem if you use a mixed feed, where they only want to eat their favorite parts. It's less of a problem with plain crumbles or pellets.

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