What is the leftover dust in layer feed?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by kuntrydazy, Dec 16, 2014.

  1. kuntrydazy

    kuntrydazy Out Of The Brooder

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    I use organic layer feed crumbles, and my chickens appear to pick through it for the big chunks (like sunflower seeds), and leave behind this dust that builds up. I'd guess almost a quarter of the feed is this dust, and it is annoying because it builds up so fast that it blocks their feeder. I have a feeder that holds enough for a few days, but I have to only partially fill it every day because of the dust. I have 25 chickens and they are pastured, though our ground is frozen and snow covered right now, and I throw them vegi/fruit scraps, as well as scratch grains and mealworms sometimes in their coop (I'm doing the deep bedding method of composting so that gets them to turn their bedding often). They are healthy and seem to be healthy weights, but it is such a waste to not have them eat all their crumbles, and they appear absolutely starving when I show up in the morning even though the feeder still has plenty of "food" in the form of dust. It's costing me quite a bit of money I think. Is this just a bad brand (we get it in bulk from Cenex), or is this normal? Thanks!
     
  2. matt44644

    matt44644 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It usually is broken pieces of the food,food that gets broken from the pecking action.Especially if it is in pelleted or crumble version.
     
  3. sdm111

    sdm111 Overrun With Chickens

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    If u have alot of powder in the feed bag change brands you're waisting money.
     
  4. enola

    enola Overrun With Chickens

    Don't throw the dust away, it is perfectly good feed. Leave it in the feeder. The hens will eat it. My hens have pellets all of the time and they still act like they are starving every time they see me!
     
  5. matt44644

    matt44644 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Also you could mix it in with something wet instead of wasting it.Something like Yogurt or a little water and mix it back into their food.
     
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2014
  6. Fly Fisher

    Fly Fisher Out Of The Brooder

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    Almost all feeds will have some amount of dust. The more the bags get handled and compressed the more dust you will get.

    I think that pellets are the best option for reducing waste. I use only pellets once my chicks grow past starter and find very little waste / dust in my coops.

    Ken
     
  7. Percheron chick

    Percheron chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Take the "dust" and mix it with some milk or water. Pop it in the microwave and make them a hot treat for breakfast. It will be gone in a flash.
     
  8. pdirt

    pdirt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Often the dust is the "pre-mix", which are the added minerals and vitamins. Don't toss it! It's lots of good and essential stuff in there, They may not eat it as quickly because the dust is more difficult for them to pick up. Matt's suggestions of mixing it with yogurt or water is one I've had success with.
     
  9. matt44644

    matt44644 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    just medium to fine ground grains
    [​IMG]

    After some water mixed in
    [​IMG]
    Hardly any waste
    [​IMG]
     
    1 person likes this.
  10. kuntrydazy

    kuntrydazy Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks those are all helpful suggestions. I think I will look for new feed, the dust portion makes up a good quarter of the feed, so it isn't practical to constantly mix it with something else to get them to eat it. Even if it is good stuff, it seems like their must be better feed out there that doesn't have such a large portion that they don't eat well. They may eat it as dust eventually but it builds up too fast. However in the meantime, my chickens love yogurt so I will save it and mix it with some yogurt. Thanks again!
     

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