Warning about metal feeders

ruth

Life is a Journey
12 Years
Jul 8, 2007
4,273
121
271
Woodville, MS
I wanted to warn others about the dangers of using the long metal feeders.

I was using a new metal feeder, the kind with the holes in it, for a mixed batch of chicks and ducklings. Then one day I discovered a little duckling that had cut its beak completely off, top and bottom. At first I couldn't figure out what happened to the poor little guy (I had to put him down, he had no beak left at all, top or bottom) and thought someone must have picked on him. Then the next day another duckling had cut half of its top beak off (he is still alive and well and the biggest of the freeranging bunch now.) That's when I realized the only thing it could have been was the metal feeder. Sure enough, after feeling inside the rounded slots, which are smooth on outside, I could feel the sharp edges on the inside. The chicks in the same brooder didn't have a problem with the inside edge being sharp becuause they peck at the food and have a different type of beak. But the ducks, with their always wet beaks/bills which are also larger, were scraping them on the inside edge of the holes in the feeder and getting their beaks cut off. So I switched feeders.

Just recently, I was using the same feeder in a brooder pen with chicks that are about 3 weeks old. They were aggressively going at the food and one ended up with a scraped head and one a scraped neck. Needless to say, I've tossed that feeder out and won't use it anymore and caution everyone against them.
 

TennesseeTruly

Songster
10 Years
Mar 5, 2009
3,288
22
213
Church Hill, TN
I have a problem with metal feeders and waterers....period. Metal poisoning is a very real disease. I've seen it in parrots and I certainly wouldn't put chickens or ducks through it either.

I think I heard someone refer to it as metal overload disease with chickens. Regardless of what its called, its a nasty disease that's very painful for any kind of bird and I would want anyone to suffer through it.

I'll stick with the plastic.

Laurie
 

annek

Songster
11 Years
Mar 12, 2009
570
3
154
I used the red plastic long feeder but only because that is what the feed store gave me when I bought my chicks. I am glad I did because I have seen them stick their head in one hole go underneath and come through the other side and act like they didn't know how to get their head out. If it would have been sharp, my goodness I don't know how badly they would have been hurt. I have one of the mason jar metal feeders but I think that one has rolled metal. I will double check it today to be sure it isn't sharp.
 

ruth

Life is a Journey
12 Years
Jul 8, 2007
4,273
121
271
Woodville, MS
The other thing about those long metal ones is that they are so hard to put together in the first place and so hard to slide the top off that I fill them through the holes and never try to open the thing again once I've gotten it put together because I'm always worried I'm going to slice my hands open on the thing. But it never occurred to me till now that the inside of the cutouts is just as sharp.

I only recently switched to that type of feeder because I figured more chicks could get around one and eat at the same time.
 

rancher hicks

Crowing
11 Years
Feb 28, 2009
17,682
894
436
Syracuse, NY
I used the round metal feeders and had one of the long. I wasn't thrilled with the long one because of the sharp edges on the end. I didn't buy it until the chicks were 2-3 months old though. I don't know what I'll do w/ it now. I can't in good conscience give it away. Thanks for the warning.
 

ruth

Life is a Journey
12 Years
Jul 8, 2007
4,273
121
271
Woodville, MS
Quote:I think for older birds it may be fine. They can't get their whole heads or bodies in them like the chicks and ducklings can.

By the way, I haven't had a problem with the round metal kind - I have several of those.
 
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