What am I doing wrong? All the feed is gone...


12 Years
We have a Henspa coop and the feeder holds 50lbs. of food at a time. It's a tall, rectangular feeder with an opening at the bottom and the bottom of the feeder extends out to create a little tray for them to eat from.

With the mash feed, we had this buildup that made "bridges" and they were easy enough to break up with a broom handle. I don't remember a problem with the pellets.

But now we went to crumbles and it's like they FLOOD out of the feeder. Not when we put it in, but within a day or two, it's half-gone and gone. I'm not sure if it's the feed or something about the hens being pretty well cooped up (no pun intended) due to winter. There's easily an inch high of food on the ground in front of the feeder and it extends out a good 1' x 1'. I'm worried about them eating it off the ground where they're also pooping on it (we don't use medicated feed--so I need to be careful).

Anyone got any insight as to the problem? If we go back to mash or pellets in the feeder, is there any disadvantage feeding-wise?

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In the Brooder
13 Years
Jan 11, 2007
Commonwealth Of Virginia
I normally feed just pellets, but last month when I went to the feed store, they were out of pellets so I opted to try crumbles.
The chickens did not favor one over the other, in fact they ate both very well. But waste with the crumbles was evident. I took the lid off a 33 gallon trash can and placed under my feeder. You would not believe how much landed in the lid.
I think with crumbles, the chickens liked to get in it and "play". I caught several of the hens standing by the feeder not eating, but billing out the feed. I was not happy with the fact, but it was all falling in the trash can lid under the feeder, so eventually they ate that too.
Personally, I prefer the pellets and my bantams have no problems with eating the pellets either. If it hits the ground, it does get cleaned up and honestly I've seen no ill effects of them eating off the ground what has fallen, but the pellets are easier to pick up rather than the crumbles.
You didn't meantion, or I do not recall if you did, if you had standards or bantams. JHMO...but I'd feed the pellets, it's easier to pick up and eat and I've never heard my hens stand around the feeder and cough like I did when I purchased the crumbles that one time.
I'm just a pellet lover!


12 Years
Oct 11, 2007
Lewisburg, WV
I agree about the pellets. I have been using the crumbles and they waste as much as the eat! It turns to powdered and then forget it. Today I went back to pellets! My pocketbook ought to feel better. I hope

edited for spelling
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Staff PhD
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
13 Years
Jan 25, 2007
Everett WA/Corvallis OR
I find mash and crumble wasteful. Mash is probably building because it soaks up moisture and so get stuck, crumble is just big enough that it flows though and they bill it all out and don't want to eat it off the floor. Save some monies and get those pellets back if your birds will eat them.

Oh, and medicated feeds, most are just amprolium and will help prevent cocci as chicks because it prevents repilcation of the cocci in the birds guts. Won't protect from mold, spoilage, bacteria, or diseases. It's just a cocciodistant. The biggest problem of eating feed off the floor is the floor is moist and feed molds very fast.

Sugar Sand Farm

12 Years
Apr 24, 2007
North Florida
We feed pellets to our chickens as we have found there is alot of waste with crumbles. Our ducks and geese however will not eat pellets and i can tell you the eight geese,eight ducks go through a 50# bag of crumble long before the 25 chickens do. There is so much crumble on the ground that I would have a forrest if it would grow. LOL

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