1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login, otherwise join BYC here!

What waste? Small rant.

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by G Wiz Ranch, Sep 2, 2009.

  1. G Wiz Ranch

    G Wiz Ranch Chillin' With My Peeps

    350
    5
    131
    Jan 20, 2009
    Lompoc, CA
    I don't understand what people are referring to when they say that their chickens "waste" food from scratching it out of the feeder? Where does it go?

    I mean, mine will get a little on the ground but they eventually eat that too. I don't refill the feeders until they eat what they spilled. No waste. Are you filling the feeder constantly so they never "need" to eat what they spill? I have 150 pullets in one run and I have 3 30lb feeders. I have to fill them every 2-3 days. If there is still a little food in the feeder and some on the ground in the morning, I don't fill them until the evening, giving them all day to finish off the feed and pick up their mess. By the time I fill the feeder, there is nothing on the ground. In my main layers coop, the feed troughs are wood and they waste little due to the way I built them, but if I overfill the feeder, it will spill out onto the ground bellow the coop. When they are outside they still eat what was spilled, so no waste.

    So, why do people say they have waste? Why don't the chickens eat what they spill? Am I missing something?
     
  2. Sunny Side Up

    Sunny Side Up Count your many blessings...

    4,726
    128
    281
    Mar 12, 2008
    Loxahatchee, Florida
    Certainly my chickens will eat most of what they spill. But I find that pellets are easier than tiny crumbles for them to retrieve from the ground. Therefore it seems to me that there is less food gone to waste.
     
  3. sillybirds

    sillybirds Chillin' With My Peeps

    555
    7
    143
    Aug 5, 2008
    California
    Maybe this "feed waste" issue applies to individuals who keep their feeder in the coop and use the DLM. I found, before I made my current feeder, that the chickens would beak out crumbles into the deep litter. I know they weren't finding and eating all of the spilled feed, as I'd find uneaten crumbles in the litter when I cleaned the coop. (I understand that pellets are supposed to be less wasteful in that regard, but with my current feeder it's a nonissue.)
     
  4. sonew123

    sonew123 Poultry Snuggie

    25,007
    68
    388
    Mar 16, 2009
    onchiota NY
    hmmm..I guess I will make them eat what they spill-I use medicated chick food which is very powdery and little crumbles they spill it everywhere! The feeder empties out and theres a ton all over aorund the feeder. So I refill the feeder 2-3 x a day-not anymore. Thats where the waste was coming from-I do feed grower pellets and grower layer pellets when they are of age but Im kinda picky about giving medicated food-I never have had Cocci-and never want it!
     
  5. Wifezilla

    Wifezilla Positively Ducky

    11,199
    42
    311
    Oct 2, 2008
    Colorado
    I have deep litter in my duck pen. The ducks root around in the litter and get whatever gets spilled.
     
  6. ebonyann

    ebonyann Chillin' With My Peeps

    371
    1
    111
    Jun 27, 2009
    Fruita, CO
    My feeder is a 3 gallon bucket with 4 holes drilled in it about halfway up using a door knob drill attachment. They have to stick their heads in the holes to get their food, but there is no possible way for them to get their feet in there to scratch it out. The only time a little gets spilled is when they decide to bring there head out and head for the waterer with food still in their mouth, but that is cleaned up by the time I fill again.
     
  7. funkychicken

    funkychicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    148
    0
    119
    Jun 9, 2008
    East Texas
    What a beautiful little angel!! Congrats!!
     
  8. sparkles2307

    sparkles2307 Terd of Hurtles

    We use DLM and crumbles. My pullets are a month old and I let the feeder go empty because they spill SO much. But even with DLM you can see where they move the litter around and get the the floor to pick up all the leftovers. They are always happy and busy scratching away in there. We have very little waste. The ducks waste more than the chooks.
     
  9. G Wiz Ranch

    G Wiz Ranch Chillin' With My Peeps

    350
    5
    131
    Jan 20, 2009
    Lompoc, CA
    So, it looks like when people say they have waist, it may be because they are re-filling the feeder and not "forcing" the birds to eat what is spilled. I personally use the crumbles because they are always in stock at the feed store, where the pellets are SO only. For the chickens, I try to keep the feeders full unless I see some on the ground, then I wait a couple hours. For my 20 ducks, I feed them only enough that the food is gone in 15-20 minutes, this makes it easier to get them back into their run at night.
     
  10. exop

    exop Chillin' With My Peeps

    467
    17
    146
    Jan 10, 2009
    NW Indiana
    Quote:Ebonyann, that is brilliant. It took me a minute to picture how it would work, wow, very ingenious. I may make one of my own. What do you put on the top to keep the rain out?

    Best - exop
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by