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Ugh! So much WASTE!

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by zoelovesmom, Dec 7, 2011.

  1. zoelovesmom

    zoelovesmom In the Brooder

    Jul 22, 2011
    Highlands Ranch, CO
    This is my first year to keep chickens. I am having a heck of a time finding a feeder that works for my 4 girls.

    First, I was given this type of feeder:

    It is awful. I can't figure out how to fill it without poking myself on sharp metal. The chickens stand on it and poop in their food.

    So then I bought one of these:
    It's not great, either, though it's better. It takes up a lot of real estate inside the coop and holds way more food than 4 chickens can eat. And because of that, when I fill it up, we end up with food spoilage. Even if I hang it, they manage to get poop in it, or it gets snow or rain in it and the food gets ruined.

    Finally, I bought one of these:
    It's great except for one problem: they knock all the food out onto the floor.[​IMG] The more food I put in it, the more they spill. And then they poop in their food.

    I e-mailed the maker of the last feeder to ask for suggestions. He said maybe I had it hanging too low. I haven't moved it, but do y'all agree that could be the problem?

    Is there ANY type of feeder that doesn't result in wasted food or chickens pooping on their food? I really don't have time to make something; I'm not at all handy, and neither is my husband. I've spent a lot of money on this problem, and it still isn't working! [​IMG]

    Thanks so much for any tips.

  2. La Casa de Pollo

    La Casa de Pollo Crowing

    Nov 4, 2011
    Northern Utah
    We have the type that you bought first. We took the top off, and nailed it on the inside of our coop door inside about six inches off the ground, and it works great. I did bend it a little, like squished it to make it a bit more narrow, but it works. And I just pour the feed in pretty easy. We have one on each end where we open the door. We have a web cam out there, here is a picture you can see it toward the top of the picture hanging on the insude of the door. They really don't spill much and they cannot poop in it at all.

    Last edited: Dec 7, 2011
  3. mnabity

    mnabity Songster

    Apr 26, 2010
    Eagar, AZ
  4. allpeepedout

    allpeepedout Songster

    Mar 2, 2011
    Southern Indiana
    Goodness! You poor thing. You have invested lot in feeders to be so "underserved' by them. I got a drywall mud pan free with rebate, but they're only about 4 bucks. It's heavy plastic, about 4 in. tall and wide, and 14 in. long. I put it against a coop wall, held by a heavy limestone block. I fill it half full twice a day.

    Since it's a trough and I never fill it full, they can bill the food sideways and keep it in the feeder. Only once has somebody pooped in it, and a couple of times my rooster scratched a good amount of feed out. I clear the bedding around the feeder and they clean up anything that does get spilled on the concrete floor. I have almost no waste.

    This has worked well for me, with only 7 chickens and willing to refill, although using two pans could cut that to once a day. But the chickens get a kick out of thinking they're getting something new with every refill. I also feed scratch, lots of greens, and alfalfa hay, and they have dirt to dig in, so they can direct energy there, rather than toward "feeder as gameboy." For watering, I also find a simple plastic bucket a great improvement over my fancy gravity fed one.
  5. lokua

    lokua In the Brooder

    Jul 25, 2011
    I use the plain old plastic 7 pound feeder from TSC. The trick is you must hang the feeder at back height. Then the feeder spins if the bird try and bill out the feed. Also the feeder needs to be protected from rain because once the feed gets wet it clogs up. 7 pounds lasts my 5 hens a few days. None is ever wasted.
  6. EweSheep

    EweSheep Flock Mistress

    Jan 12, 2007
    Land of Lincoln
    I use the wall pig feeder, similar to the rabbit feeders. never had any issues with them after I put a rubber strip on top to keep them from perching, or pooping, or our bantam getting stuck in there overnight.
  7. Spoof

    Spoof Songster

    May 30, 2011
    Carencro, LA
    Is there ANY type of feeder that doesn't result in wasted food or chickens pooping on their food? I really don't have time to make something; I'm not at all handy, and neither is my husband.

    Yes, but you'll have to get a little handy. I'm not, but I do have a drill and bought some PVC glue. It really is not hard to put pipe together.

    Mine does not waste feed, they can't poop in it, it doesn't get wet and the other critters can't get into it.

    It's pictured on this thread.

    [​IMG] Good luck.​

  8. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio
    That first pic is a chick feeder. Works very well for chicks! Keeps them from scratching out all the food.

    Now, the feeders I like to use are the red and white ones from Tractor Supply. What I do, is I set my feeders up on crates. That puts them right at eye level for the chickens, and so they don't get their feet into it....I have very little spilled feed. Just a little bit on top of the crate usually.

    I used to keep my feed out in the chicken run. That was terrible! I had them hanging out there, at beak level. My run has a roof. Anyhow, they would spill that out, then it would get on the ground and spoil. REALLY STINKY! [​IMG] I had to literally scrape that spoiled food up with a shovel. Now, they only get to eat inside the coop.

    The crates work the best for me....Very easy.

    Take care and Happy Holidays!

  9. bcray

    bcray In the Brooder

    Apr 29, 2011
    I use a metal tray with the spinner on it - as the chickens become adults I
    take the spinner out.I feed 2 times aday on the 2nd feeding, If some is left
    or on the floor, I'll cut back the amt.of feed, you'll get some waste,
    but not near as much.
  10. elmo

    elmo Songster

    May 23, 2009
    I use one of these types of feeders:

    I only put out a little more than a day's rations for our flock in the feeder every morning; the rest I keep indoors in a airtight vittles vault. I think the nutritional value of the feed is better retained that way, and I also don't have to worry about feed going moldy left inside a feeder outdoors for a long time.

    Instead of hanging the feeder, I set it inside a large round plastic pan inside the run. The pan catches any feed that gets billed out and I can dump it back inside the feeder at the end of the day (as long as it hasn't gotten pooped on, which rarely happens).

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