Saturday, September 18, 2010

Organic Chicken Feed Experiment

Six chickens at the feeders eating organic feed. Six! The other nine checked out the feeders and then lit out for the woods.

I put these feeders out this morning and this is the response to food? I expected the chickens to be hungry and chow down like little pigs.

Last night I locked up the feed so I could keep better track of the feed levels in the feeders. I wanted to find out how much of the organic feed the hens were eating (and perhaps how much the wildlife was eating.) Kristine has seen some cute little mice stuffing their cheeks with chicken feed. We must have very healthy mice around here.

I'm going to continue shutting the feeders up in the feed barrels at night. I'll put them in the pen during the day where the hens have access and can eat as much as they want.

I did manage to put some trim boards on the bottom of the shed, but they don't make the shed look much better. I would love to paint it, but I don't have any exterior paint. I have lots and lots of cans of interior paint.

I painted the shed about eight years ago with the leftover paint my brother left behind and used it all up. Wish there was more. My brother and Dad built this shed in the '70's to hold building supplies when the house was being built. It is holding up pretty well considering the weather and lack of paint.

The chickens sure are messy. They scattered feed all around the feeders. I swept it all up and put it in the pen. I'm not going to put the feeders down here again.

I wonder if they would waste less feed if I moistened some in a bowl and gave it to them? Anybody have any tips on how to get chickens not to be so sloppy and wasteful? They do love the corn and will eat it right up.

It is supposed to rain tomorrow. Maybe Morgan will get a day off and the chickens will have to stay in their pen. Sometimes the predicted rain misses us so it is hard to plan. We'll just have to wait and see.

Peek at the Past
(September 18, 2009)

[3 eggs today]



Wonky Girl said...

Just a comment on how my hens waste feed (no need to reply). Today I watched a black Australorp rake feed out with her beak, no idea why she was doing that, it is all the same crumble. At least the banty chickens will try to clean it up. I left a feeder out over night and the packrats and mice emptied it!

diane said...

I don't think you could train any birds to be neat about eating seed.

Anonymous said...

I certainly have healthy mice and sparrows too for all the food they eat. They are sloppy eaters. I don't know how you'd ever get them to change their instinctive habits.


John Gray said...

Icant see from the photos
but have your feeders got a peck guard on them?
I find that really useful!!!

also alot of my pellets are eaten by wild birds!!!
pesky devils

LindaG said...

If chickens are like birds at a bird feeder, then they are searching for what they like best and tossing the rest. ;)

Have a great week!

Vicki Lane said...

We always put our feeder away at night -- otherwise, the rats and mice empty it.

Good luck on teaching your birds to be tidy!

Nancy K. said...

Please do a special post if you figure out a way to teach your chickens to be less messy and wasteful! I have found that hanging the feeder at about neck level helps some, but they still try to scatter the feed. It is such an ingrained instinct...