Worried a little

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Cope2013, Dec 17, 2014.

  1. Cope2013

    Cope2013 New Egg

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    Dec 17, 2014
    Tennessee
    I'm new to posting on BYC so excuse me if this is in the wrong place. I've had my ten hens for 6months now and I've noticed a change. I started feeding with starter, then moved to starter/grower, grower, crumble and now feeding pellets. I fed crumble feed but it seemed like they were killing each other trying to get a bite, I then moved to feeding pellet so they couldn't gobble it down as quick where the others wouldn't have any. I was feeding in a metal chick feeder two times a day overflowing it and each time I'd add food they seemed to be starving, I went to tractor supply two days ago and bought a 10lb plastic hanger feeder and added it in my coop, I put the normal amount in each time to see if they gobbled it down but each time I went in it looks like they've only took a small amount out, do they eat less when food is constantly in the coop? When I was feeding in the chick feeder the bowl would be empty each time to fill up? They recently started laying eggs about a week and a half ago also, does anyone else have this problem? I watched a guys chickens while they were on vacation one weekend they had the same feeder I bought except they had 6 full grown hens but each time I checked on them the feeder still looked to be full? Do they eat less with food constantly there because they know they don't have to wait until the next feed?
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    A chick feeder is only for a few weeks or at most 2 months. It just doesn't hold enough feed nor are older birds able to access it properly. Hence the name, 'chick feeder'.
    I have a friend that had been using chick feeders for his 2 flocks of adult birds and I finally convinced him it wasn't the right equipment. In fact, I don't recommend people even buy a chick feeder if they're only going to have chicks once or twice since they outgrow them so fast.

    They won't overeat chicken feed but if they run out, they'll gorge on it.
    When the crop is empty, that sends a signal that they're hungry and will immediately try to fill the crop if they can. If you're restricting feed, like with a chick feeder, they're likely to always have a less than full crop.
     
  3. Cope2013

    Cope2013 New Egg

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    Dec 17, 2014
    Tennessee
    I knew it was smaller than what was needed just never got around to buying a bigger feeder, they had no trouble getting food from it especially being overflown, is the reason the food hasn't moved much from the hanging feeder that they only nibble to keep their crop full or are they not eating, I also throw corn, bread and other supplements on the ground every now and then
     
  4. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    They may be waiting for treats.
    For a few days, limit their intake to chicken feed in their new feeder. That will solve many issues.
     
  5. Cope2013

    Cope2013 New Egg

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    Dec 17, 2014
    Tennessee
    I was putting a cup in the morning and a cup before they went for roost, I put two cups in this new feeder and I haven't added anymore in about a day due to them not eating it
     
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    My Coop
    Every morning at the same time I like to put in the feeder about what they will eat in 24 hours.
    I use a quart milk jug with the bottom cut out as a scoop, just to eye ball the amount for consistency.

    If it's empty the next the next morning I put more in, if there's some left I put the same amount as the day before.

    After a week(with no other treats or foods) you should know about how much they will eat in 24 hours.
    This way you can put enough in each day for them to get their fill and will know about how much they are consuming each day. Then if there's big change in consumption, it will give you heads up that something might be wrong.

    If I give other foods, I'll know they won't finish up the feed. They will eat more in winter as they burn more calories to stay warm and there's fewer bugs to eat outside.
     

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