What is happening to our chicken feed?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by ChickenMama18, Dec 21, 2010.

  1. ChickenMama18

    ChickenMama18 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 31, 2009
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    We have hanging buckets for our chicken feed. We feed crumble. There are two buckets for our eight chickens. I filled the buckets on Sunday and the food is nearly all gone! There is some on the ground...but it's mashed and kind of broken up like dirt. I'm not sure what is going on. I thought maybe rodents...but if we had that many rodents to eat all that food I think we'd know it in terms of numbers. I thought maybe they were pulling it out somehow to scratch?? I dunno. Kind of worried. We are going out of town tomorrow and I want to make sure they have enough food! Usually two buckets last at least a week! Help please and thanks so much! Any ideas or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. HorseFeatherz NV

    HorseFeatherz NV Eggink Chickens

    Wild birds?


    Formula for the crumbles has changed and the chickens are digging thru looking for the "good" stuff?






    For me, wild birds are my largest stealer of chicken feed - the second is our own dogs. I wish I could get the chickens to chase the dogs and wild birds away [​IMG]
     
  3. smarsh

    smarsh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 19, 2009
    lexington, KY
    you didn't really give any indication of how much food this is.
     
  4. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

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    My Coop
    Hmmmm....that does sound like a lot of food is missing. They will eat more in the winter time but two buckets in 2 days still seems like a lot for only 8 birds. Rodents can make themselves surprisingly scarce. I didn't know I had a mouse problem for quite awhile. Do other scavengers have access as well? In my area we get a lot of grackles (small black birds) and last winter they stole the chicken feed constantly. I switched from crumbles to pellets and that solved that problem - I think the pellets were too big for the grackles. You might try taking the buckets in at night to see if feed consumption slows. That might tell you if there is something stealing it at night.....
     
  5. CARS

    CARS Chillin' With My Peeps

    I noticed last week that I am feeding ALOT of barn swallows. They are just lining up on the rim of the feeder and eating along side my Turkeys [​IMG]

    I suppose that I could look at the bright side. My feed is cheaper than what my wife puts out for the "wild birds" [​IMG]
     
  6. Uzuri

    Uzuri Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 25, 2009
    If you have rodents, you WILL see droppings. The little buggers leave them absolutely everywhere. Look for little tiny blackish bits, like lint almost. I had mouse trouble around Thanksgiving; solved it by setting traps outside the coop at night (luckily for me they hadn't figured out how to get *in* the coop, just up in my storage area under the roof).
     
  7. Chris09

    Chris09 Circle (M) Ranch

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    Quote:Are you sure there Barn Swallows? Barn Swallows like most Swallows are Insectivores.

    Chris
     
  8. CARS

    CARS Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:Are you sure there Barn Swallows? Barn Swallows like most Swallows are Insectivores.

    Chris

    I guess I was assuming they are barn swallows. They make mud nests in my rafters, swoop at me and the cats, and look like a bird [​IMG]
    I suppose I could find out tonight. Since they scatter when I turn the lights on, I will just have to sit in the barn for a while with my BB gun and get one to identify it [​IMG] I better stop and pick up a 6 pack. This is starting to sound like fun!
     
  9. coltssuperbowl83

    coltssuperbowl83 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    During the winter i feed my hens a mix of cracked corn and layer crumbles and i noticed that they are throwing the crumbles on the floor and leaving and eating the cracked corn. Mayber they are just eating more because of the cold to build up energy to stay warm. How much are you putting in the buckets? What do insectivores eat during the winter?
     
  10. Chris09

    Chris09 Circle (M) Ranch

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    Quote:Are you sure there Barn Swallows? Barn Swallows like most Swallows are Insectivores.

    Chris

    I guess I was assuming they are barn swallows. They make mud nests in my rafters, swoop at me and the cats, and look like a bird [​IMG]
    I suppose I could find out tonight. Since they scatter when I turn the lights on, I will just have to sit in the barn for a while with my BB gun and get one to identify it [​IMG] I better stop and pick up a 6 pack. This is starting to sound like fun!

    If you have them in the barn know (in the winter) I don't think the Barn Swallows.
    Barn Swallows migrate south (mostly to South America) in the winter.

    Chris
     

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