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VM

Spilling food

Our new-ish hens seem to spill even more food than did the hens we used to keep a few years ago. It is driving me a bit round the bend - originally thought it was because I was giving them a mixed food and they were picking out the maize and other nice bits - but just as bad on just layers pellets (perhaps they are still looking for the maize!).

Any suggestions for feeders that will reduce this problem. Have just seen DIY ones in using downpipe and other plumbing bits. Or the ones where chickens have to step on plate to open it - seems good but pricey for just a handful of hens.

Feel a bit cheeky asking questions when have not been on here for ages (life been turned upside down by taking on care of small grandchildren) - but thought would just ask....
sean

I don't know the answer. I do know that you're always welcome to ask questions.
tahir

I do know that you're always welcome to ask questions.


Yup, it's what we're here for (I'm no use either)
VM

I think I must have looked at FB too much - was looking for the 'Like' button!
VM

Now I remember.... Very Happy
tahir

VM, you may want to remove the link in your posts, it appears to show scantily clad ladies, I'm sure taht's not what you intended
VM

Thank you! I was just updating profile as you were posting. I stopped paying for the domain name a while ago as I have stopped writing the blog for now - but it was a surprise earlier today to find that it a version of my domain name now features scantily clad ones - is this how the internet punishes people who stop paying money for a domain name??
dpack

the treadle ones are good ,as you probably buy a big bag of food even for a few hens a treadle /hopper type would give rat proof storage and controlled portions ,i think the one i got was about fifty squids but as an investment it probably payed for itself fairly quickly by reducing waste.

it does need a bit of fiddling to get the treadle set and you need to clean under the mesh now and again but apart from that ace kit

ps a few hens wont empty the thing in under a week like my dirty 4 dozen did. Rolling Eyes
Cathryn

I use a pheasant feeder , it looks like a spring in the bottom of a barrel. It does spill (and I need to get a new tighter one soon) but we just don't fill it up until it's all eaten. Does the food get spoilt or are you concerned about rats?
VM

I'm concerned about rats and also the hens don't seem to eat the pellets once on the ground so there is quite a bit of waste.

Thanks for suggestions.
Cathryn

I was looking on ebay for a new spring. There are some interesting feeders on there.

Wild birds scatter seed from feeders a lot as well don't they. You would have thought that would be less messy and more concerned with getting all the food into themselves. It doesn't appear to be anything to do with the type of food available either.
Ty Gwyn

I'm concerned about rats and also the hens don't seem to eat the pellets once on the ground so there is quite a bit of waste.

Thanks for suggestions.


Feeding to much and they`ve become fussy,

Try cutting down on feed or feed less more frequent,they`ll soon learn to clear up.
Lorrainelovesplants

Gutter with ends fixed to fence about 8 inches off ground, slightly sloped with a drainage hole drilled in lowest end to release any rainwater.
Only feed as much as they can clear in 20 mins. there will be much less waste & spills.
Nicky Colour it green

we put the feeders away at night. if you let the hens out for a bit before you put their food out, then maybe they will clear up the spillage?

Also you mentioned elsewhere that you are adding oyster shell to the pellets - this will encourage them to scatter food looking for the bits they want. you can offer the shell in a bowl all the time, separate from the pellets
alison

We have a 15k feeder (I think it is) and give food on demand. It is in the house, and we just fill up when needed. Our hens are no fatter than any others. They free range away from the house all day, although they have access, and come back and eat mainly before bed.

When it is empty we wait until they have cleared the slippage on the ground before the next filling happens.
Spruengli

Solway feeders do one which stops this - it's called 'Blenheim' and it sorted this problem out with my ladies - very little if any scattering of feed now and they were dreadful previously.

https://www.solwayfeeders.com/poultry-game-feeders/outdoor-feeders/solway-blenheim-feeder-with-outdoor-rain-cover-6kg/


Apologies for long link Embarassed
VM

Thank you for all suggestions. Will try some of them at least!

I take the feeder in at night but in the mornings currently don't have much time to let them hoover up and then go out again - have to get out to hens and back to house within duration of one short cartoon on telly so small grandchildren don't notice I have gone! When they only came on visits it was a treat to come out to see the chickens but now they are living with us full-time, and especially in cold weather, an early trip to the hens involves a lot of dressing, argument, competition over who carries the feeder etc etc etc.
alison

I only feed inside. It has cut my feed bills down loads, now I am not feeding every seagul and pigeon in North Devon VM

Well I bought the feeder from Solway and almost no more spilled food, so thanks for that suggestion.
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