Are Crumbles Or Mash Better For Chicks?

Are Crumbles Or Mash Better For Chicks?

Main Takeaways & Extra Info:

  • Crumbles and mash are just different ways to feed starter to chicks. One isn’t necessarily better than the other.
  • It’s important that whichever you feed, the chick starter has at least 18% protein.
  • I feed a mash because I want to make sure my chicks can eat it (particle sizes are small enough)
  • Grinding the food into a mash might preserve some of the nutrients better.
  • Crumbles have gone through an extra step of grinding, and then heating and compressing the ingredients, so some nutrients might be lost. (You can always ask the manufacturer about this)
  • Our chick starter has not been heated – just ground so baby chicks can eat it. (View our chick starter here)
  • With any chick feed be careful about getting it wet and leaving it to mold. Always change the feed out daily!

 

Additional reading:

What do chickens eat

High protein treats for chickens

Watch all the Baby Chick Series Videos here

Medicated Vs. Unmedicated Chick Starter

Medicated Vs. Unmedicated Chick Starter

The debate about medicated vs. unmedicated chick starter has been raging for decades.

 

Controversies are often unavoidable, especially when it comes to the well-being of our families. Discussions about what is best for both our human families and our animal families are inevitable. 

 

 

With increasingly available means of preventative medicine for all aspects of our families comes discussions of the relative value of such medication.   

 

There is lots of bickering back and forth on social media about whether it’s better to feed your chicks medicated chick starter or unmedicated chick starter. 

 

Today, I’m going into some facts about this controversial topic. Specifically, we’ll explore the differences between them, dispel some of the myths out there, and give you information that can help you figure out whether medicated or unmedicated is right for you.

 

Main Takeaways:

  • Medicated chick starter has an added medication called Amprolium, which “used to prevent and treat intestinal coccidiosis”. It’s not an antibiotic.
  • Coccidiosis is a parasite infestation that can occur both in adult chickens and baby chicks. It can be deadly.
  • Unmedicated chick starter does not have Amprolium or any other medicine in it.
  • The chick starter Pampered Chicken Mama produces is non-medicated. (View here)
  • Which is best for chicks? There’s no right or wrong answer. You decide what’s best for your flock.
  • I don’t personally feed medicated chick starter.
  • You can add herbs such as garlic, lemon balm, and oregano to support healthy immune system functions. Our chick starter includes these herbs.

 

The Bottom Line

The bottom line is that there really isn’t a right or a wrong choice when it comes to these two different types of chick starter. One has some extra medication in it to help with parasite control, while the other doesn’t. 

 

In terms of their nutritional value, I personally think that they’re the same. It is fine that some people out there disagree with me on that, but my opinion is based on my own observations and experiences. 

 

Medicated Chick Starter

To look at what medicated chick starter is, it’s important to distinguish what it is not. I’m not sure who started this or why there is a misunderstanding about this product, but medicated chick starter does not have antibiotics in it. 

 

Medicated chick starter does have amprolium in it. Amprolium is a medication that prevents the growth of parasites that are naturally found in the soil.

 

Coccidiosis

Coccidiosis is an infestation of parasites in a chick or chicken’s gut or intestines. In baby chicks and adults too, this can be deadly. 

 

Will it kill every chick if you don’t use medicated chick starter? No. 

 

Might it a kill a chick? Possibly. 

 

Unfortunately, the veterinary medical care surrounding baby chicks, in particular, and chickens in general, isn’t very advanced. It’s really hard to acquire accurate figures surrounding Coccidiosis. 

 

I don’t know how many statistics out there show how many chicks actually die of parasite infestation. Medicated chick starter, however, was designed to directly combat both Coccidiosis and parasite infestation. 

 

In terms of the nutrient value, medicated chick starter has 18% protein in it. If it doesn’t, I would find a chick starter that does have at least 18% protein. If it’s produced by a commercial manufacturer, it’s gonna have all the nutrients your baby chicks need to grow into healthy adults. 

 

Unmedicated Chick Starter

Unmedicated chick starter doesn’t have this extra medication that helps prevent the growth of parasites. 

 

Unfortunately, these parasites are everywhere, and they’re going to be in the soil, on grass, wherever, so your chicks are going to be exposed to them. It’s up to the chick to build up an immunity against them. 

 

Some people argue that medicated chick starter doesn’t help chicks build up that immunity or that it’s somehow unnecessary to help build up that immunity. 

 

Unmedicated chick starter, again, has the amount of nutrients that they need to grow up healthy. It has all the beneficial minerals that your chicks need. 

 

Unmedicated chick starter doesn’t have the amprolium in it, and that is ultimately the only difference between the two types of chick starter.

 

Organic Options and Uses for Chickens

When some people want to raise their chickens organically or naturally, they choose to not feed the medicated chick starter. This organic approach keeps pharmaceutical medication from going through their chickens. 

 

This is important particularly for people who choose to raise their chickens for meat, like broilers. This prevents their birds from polluting people with pharmaceuticals when they are consumed. 

 

If you’re raising layers, this is not as large a problem. By the time the chicks are actually layers, you’ve probably taken them off the medicated chick starter. That means that the amprolium is not going to be in their system any longer and cannot be passed to their eggs.

Your Choice

So that’s the deal and I’m not going to tell you which to choose. 

 

What we sell in our stores is unmedicated chick starter. That seems to be more popular with people who follow me and people who buy from me.

 

I don’t think that there’s anything immoral about either one. If you choose to feed medicated chick starter, that’s fine. 

 

If you choose to feed unmedicated chick starter, that’s fine also. It just depends on what your individual goals are and what you feel is best for your flock. 

 

Just remember that the lack or inclusion of amprolium is the main difference between medicated and unmedicated chick starter.

 

What Can Chickens Eat In Your Garden? Planning a Chicken Garden for All Seasons: Spring

What Can Chickens Eat In Your Garden? Planning a Chicken Garden for All Seasons: Spring

What can chickens eat in your garden? Well, plenty. But you have to grow something first! And luckily, this article will show you everything you can grow as treats for your backyard chickens and ducks!

I’ve invited my friend Julia of ReformStead.com to tell us how she transforms her garden into a chicken garden each year! Growing fruits and veggies for your chickens is easy – and it’s a great way to provide fresh produce to your flock!

Planting a Chicken Garden In Spring

Planting a garden is a great way to provide an abundance of fresh, healthy food for your backyard chicken flock. It’s easy to add some of your chicken’s favorites to the garden and grow them alongside your family’s vegetables.  All you have to do is harvest and feed them to your chickens once they are ripe. As a bonus, this can help you save money on your chicken’s feed bill. With a little planning, you can do your best to provide your flock with access to these fresh fruits and vegetables year-round.

What can chickens eat with tomatoes and hens

What Can Chickens Eat In Your Garden?

How to Plan & Grow a Seasonal Garden for Your Chickens

Planning a garden for your chickens doesn’t have to be complicated. It’s a good idea to have something green, or fresh, for them year-round. Pasture grass can serve this purpose during warmer seasons, however extra produce is still good for them in addition to pasture.

It’s also good to keep in mind that your chickens lay more eggs when the weather is nice, and that’s usually when you’ll harvest the most fresh vegetables. Greens high in omega-3’s, herbs, and any fresh garden produce is especially good to feed your chickens during this time (you can find a complete list of alternative feed for chickens here).

If you’re wondering “What can chickens eat from the garden,” in the following lists, I’ve focused on produce that your chickens will love best and that are easy to grow. However, don’t forget “weeds” like purslane, mallow, dandelion, and many more are great for chickens. Make sure to harvest these “weed” greens for them too as you find them in your garden this year.  Before we get to the list though, let’s talk about what chickens can eat, and what they should avoid.  

What Garden Produce Do Chickens Eat?

It is important to know what chickens can and cannot eat before you plan your garden. Chickens can eat practically anything, within reason. For starters, here’s a list of 107 things a chicken can eat. There are a few plants/foods you’ll want to avoid growing for your chickens.

Not advisable for chickens:

  • Rhubarb
  • Tomato & Eggplant Leaves (tomato fruits are fine)
  • Raw Potatoes & Green Potato Skins
  • Uncooked dry Beans & Rice
  • Onions and peppers aren’t going to be their favorites either

However, there is some debate over whether or not some of these are really bad for chickens. You can read more details in my article, 11 Things Not to Feed Chickens, where I go into this subject in more detail.

What to Grow & When for Your Chickens: Spring

Chicken Gardening by Month: Zones 3-4

Last frost date (average): May 15th

April

Start Indoors:

Start Outside:

  • Beets (chickens will eat leaves & root if you cook it for them.)
  • Radishes (chickens will eat leaves & root)
  • Lettuce
  • Kale
  • Plant fruit trees/shrubs

(Chickens love fallen mulberries and they drop tons of fruit–good for the chickens, but make sure to plant away from walkways and living areas. Figs, elderberries, and blackberries are also good options.)

Find out what else to plant in April here.

May

Start Indoors:

  • Squash
  • Melons
  • Tomatoes
  • Corn
  • Basil
  • Dill

Start Outside:

  • Beets (chickens will eat leaves & root if you cook it for them.)
  • Carrots
  • Radishes (chickens will eat leaves & root)
  • Lettuce
  • Kale

After the last frost, you can transplant seedlings out (after hardening them off) and plant squash, melons, tomatoes, basil, dill, etc., from seed.

Find out what else to plant in May here.

If you want to buy produce at the farmers market, here’s what’s in season.

June

Transplant seedlings

  • Squash
  • Melons
  • Tomatoes
  • Basil
  • Dill
  • Pretty much all herbs

Find out what else to plant in June here

Find a list of what’s in season at the farmer’s market here.

Chicken Gardening by Month: Zones 5-7

Last frost date (average): April 15th

April

Start Indoors:

  • Squash
  • Melons
  • Tomatoes
  • Corn
  • Basil
  • Dill
  • Rosemary (potted)

Start Outside:

  • Basil
  • Beets (chickens will eat leaves & root if you cook it for them.)
  • Carrots (Plant early in the month. chickens will eat leaves & root)
  • Lettuce
  • Radishes (chickens will eat leaves & root)
  • Plant fruit trees/shrubs (Chickens love fallen mulberries, figs, elderberries, blackberries and more.)
  • After last frost set out transplants, and continue to plant warm loving crops from seed (squash, melons, corn, etc.)
  • Rosemary (potted)

Find out what else to plant in April here.

May

Start Outside:

  • Beets (chickens will eat leaves & root if you cook it for them.)
  • Carrots
  • Lettuce
  • Squash
  • Radishes
  • Rosemary (Potted)
  • Tomatoes
  • Melons
  • Squash
  • Corn
  • Basil
  • Pretty much all herbs

Find out what else to plant in May here.

If you want to buy produce at the farmers market, here’s what’s in season.

June

Start Outside:

  • Tomatoes (potted)
  • Squash
  • Melons
  • Herbs

Find out what else to plant in June here

Find a list of what’s in season at the farmer’s market here.

Chicken Gardening by Month: Zone 8

Last frost date (average): March 15th

April

Plant outdoors:

  • Corn
  • Melons
  • Tomatoes (learn to grow tomatoes here)
  • Squash
  • Basil
  • Dill
  • Pretty much all herbs
  • Rosemary 

Find out what else to plant in April here.

May

  • Basil
  • Dill
  • Squash
  • Corn
  • Tomatoes

Find out what else to plant in May here.

If you want to buy produce at the farmers market, here’s what’s in season.

June

Find out what else to plant in June here

Find a list of what’s in season at the farmer’s market here.

Chicken Gardening by Month: Zone 9

Last frost date (average): February 15th

(These are some of the slowest months for planting in zone 9–things are just too hot out. However, even these few plants will help your chickens a lot as we wait until the cooler months come again.)

April

  • Basil
  • Corn
  • Muskmelons
  • Radishes
  • Rosemary (Potted. I like to plant it by their coop, protect it the first few years until established and then let them eat it and enjoy the shade–they love the plant!)
  • Squash

Find out what else to plant in April here.

May

  • Basil
  • Mint
  • Moringa (I have this planted behind our chicken coop. I imagine they eat the leaves, but I know they love to hang out back there in the shade. This is a more tropical plant are requires warmth with little to no frost. It grows great in our zone 9, and it would do well in zone 10. Very easy to grow from seed.)
  • Muskmelons

Find out what else to plant in May here.

If you want to buy produce at the farmers market, here’s what’s in season.

June

  • Basil
  • Muskmelons
  • Start tomato seeds indoors for fall
  • Moringa

Find out what else to plant in June here

Find a list of what’s in season at the farmer’s market here.

Julia Hubler lives in Arizona on two and a half acres, with HOT summers, lots of cacti and amazing sunsets! A sinner saved by grace first and foremost, she is also a homeschool graduate living with her family at home and serving the King, Jesus Christ, above all. She blogs at ReformStead.com about everything homesteading. You can also follow her on Pinterest https://www.pinterest.com/reformstead/ , Instagram https://www.instagram.com/reformstead/ or Facebook https://www.facebook.com/reformstead/ .

Still wonder “what can chickens eat in your garden?” Probably not – there’s so many options! Have fun planting your chicken garden this spring!

Alternative Feed For Chickens: Best Ideas!

Alternative Feed For Chickens: Best Ideas!

If you’re looking for an alternative feed for chickens that won’t break the bank and will help support your healthy flock, then you’re in luck – there’s an abundance of surprising alternatives!

 

While your hens should always have a high-quality layer feed, you might find yourself without a bag one day (and the feed store might be closed) OR you might have table scraps you don’t want to toss.

 

You also might want to make your own chicken feed.

 

Nutritious feed doesn’t need to come with a golden price tag, but it does need to satisfy the hunger cravings of your beloved flock and provide much-needed nutrients and vitamins.

 

Whether you want to craft your own chicken feed or just want to give your flock some treats, it’s always good to know what chickens eat!

 

In this article, we’ll discuss the possible alternatives to your usual feed – and you might be surprised at our list of ingredients!

 

What Is The Best Food For Chickens?

The best chicken feed for laying hens is a high-quality 16% protein layer feed with a calcium supplement. For chicks (under 16 weeks), a high-quality 18% chick starter is best. The feed should have the required nutrition and vitamins for them to stay healthy and become consistent egg layers. Most commercial feeds make it easy. If you want to make your own layer feed, you can use my organic homemade chicken feed recipe here.

 

How To Feed Chickens Without Buying Feed

While I never really recommend this, there’s plenty you can feed chickens without actually having to buy feed. You can feed them table scraps (there’s a table below of what human food they can eat), grow food for them (we have a leafy green garden for our flock), or raise mealworms or black soldier fly larvae.

 

You can learn how to raise mealworms here and why black soldier fly larvae are healthy for chickens here.

 

 

If you have a “corn hookup” you can feed them dry corn as well. One of our neighbors is a farmer. One year, his crew spilled a LOT of corn on the ground. He didn’t want to clean it up, so he asked if we wanted it, LOL!

 

It’s best to feed a 16% protein layer feed however – you want your chickens to be healthy and lay eggs consistently. Nine times out of ten, when a reader emails me because her hens have stopped laying, diet is the reason why.

 

What Can Chickens Eat?

Chickens can eat so many things – it’s probably easier to talk about what they CAN’T eat! Chickens especially seem to love protein – insects (alive or dead) are HUGE with backyard chickens. They also love seeds such as sunflower, wheat, or hemp seeds. Of course, fruits and vegetables are popular, too (especially corn)! As for leafy greens, it’s best to stick with lettuce, kale, and spinach.

 

Here’s a brief table of suggested treats for your chickens (not comprehensive):

 

Fruit Legumes Vegetables Seeds Proteins Dairy Grains
Berries Peanuts Spinach Sunflower Mealworms Milk Wheat
Cantaloupe Alfalfa Hay Tomatoes Flax Black Soldier Fly Larvae Greek Yogurt

(Plain)

Oats
Watermelon Peas Squash & Pumpkin Pumpkin Dried River Shrimp Cheese Rye
Bananas Clover Kale Hemp Eggs Whey Millet

 

What Can You Feed Chickens If You Run Out Of Feed?

Alternative feed for chickens if you’re out of feed are whole grains like wheat, corn, flax, cooked rice (NOT UNCOOKED!), and raw or cooked oatmeal. Protein-rich foods like cheese, plain greek yogurt, and sunflower seeds are also good choices. Most table scraps you have on hand will also be suitable as an alternative. Bugs like black soldier fly larvae (which are remarkably easy to cultivate), worms, and crickets are options as well. Just be sure to steer clear of beans!

 

What Do Chickens Eat Naturally?

What chickens eat naturally (and that will cost you next to nothing) is food you can produce in your backyard, such as green plants, vegetables, fruits, and seeds. Chickens will also naturally hunt for insects such as earthworms, slugs, grubs, black soldier fly larvae, and other creepy crawlies. This alternative feed for chickens is cost-effective, full of protein, and can be found in their natural habitat.

 

However, before attempting to use any of the above as dinner for your flock, you should be aware of what food can harm to your flock if you’re considering an alternative feed for chickens. Bad food such as salt, sugar, coffee, or liquor and any uncooked raw or dried beans, raw green potato skins (which can contain a poison called solanine). Onions also are a poor food to give to chickens.

 

What Scraps Not To Feed Chickens?

What foods are toxic to chickens? Well, plenty. For starters, chickens should never consume anything moldy or rotten because it can make them sick. The chart below lists various foods and scraps that chickens shouldn’t eat:

 

Vegetables Fruit Legumes Grains Other
Potato skins Avocado skins & pits Dried beans Dry rice Salt
Onions Apple seeds Uncooked beans Chocolate
Chards Peach pits Lots of sugar
Rhubarb leaves Coffee

 

What Is The Cheapest Way To Feed Chickens?

The cheapest alternative feed for chickens would be using table scraps that don’t include anything moldy or rotten. Other free chicken feed ideas are insects such as grubs, mealworms, or black soldier fly larvae (or crawfish, if they’re in your region). Mixing your own non-gmo organic chicken feed is another option, especially if you can bulk buy ingredients at a lower cost. We have an article about making your own homemade chicken feed here.

 

Do Chickens Need Food And Water At Night?

Chickens typically only eat food and drink water when they are awake during the day. At night, chickens prefer to roost and get some sleep. However, there’s nothing wrong with leaving food and water in the coop overnight (especially water) if you don’t have a rodent problem. You should always make sure the feed won’t attract predators. A chicken feeder that automatically closes at night is always a good option.

 

What Vitamins Are Good For Chickens?

Like people, chickens need all the vitamins they can get. Vitamin and mineral deficiencies can produce numerous health problems for chickens (including poor egg production), so it’s important to feed them a balanced poultry diet enriched with vitamins A, D, E, K, B12, Biotin, Thiamine (B1), Riboflavin (B2), Niacin, Choline, Folic Acid, and Pantothenic Acid. Also, minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium, copper, iodine, zinc, cobalt, phosphorus, and, manganese are important. Most commercial chicken feeds have all the vitamins and minerals your hens need. To ensure your flock has enough calcium to produce good eggshells, you can offer an additional supplement like oyster shells.

 

What Can I Grow For Chicken Feed?

You can grow garden cover crops such as alfalfa, clover, buckwheat, and annual rye. In your garden, you can grow tomatoes, leafy greens like kale or spinach, wheat (can be sprouted into fodder), bell peppers, sunchokes (boil and mash to feed), corn, and herbs. Just remember that you will need to feed your chickens year round, so if you want to grow feed for your chickens, have a plan to preserve some. Other chicken feed ingredients you can grow are wheat and millet.

 

If you’re wondering what to feed chickens to lay eggs, it’s important to give your flock plenty of protein. So, if you really want to grow your own chicken feed, it’s a good idea to also raise mealworms or other insects so your hens have plenty of protein.

 

How Much Should I Feed My Chickens?

Ideally, you should feed your chickens about 1/4 pound of feed per chicken per day, or, 1.5 pounds of feed per chicken per week. Environmental conditions, such as whether it’s very hot or very cold, can also effect how much you should feed your flock. In the winter, you’ll likely want to increase their rations so they can produce enough body heat. If your flock isn’t laying eggs consistently, you’ll want to increase their diet, as well. Typically, chicken feed 50-pound bags are sold at stores to make it easier.

 

Are Oats Good For Chickens?

Yes! You’ll read varying opinions about this, but oats are perfectly fine to feed your flock. You can feed them dry or made into a mash. Quick oats and instant oats are fine as well – just make sure they’re plain, and without any extra preservatives or ingredients. During very cold nights, many owners make their chickens oatmeal to give them extra energy at night. In the summer, you can mix oatmeal into frozen suet cakes.

 

Will Chickens Eat Roaches?

A great alternative feed for chickens are bugs – chickens love them! While there are many critters hens love to eat, cockroaches are one of them! If you raise cockroaches, then you’re in for a treat. Chickens love chasing them, and they’re full of protein.

 

Is Peanut Butter Good For Chickens?

While peanut butter (natural, no salt, no added ingredients) is okay for chickens to eat, it’s not the best for them. A high-quality layer feed is better. However, there’s nothing in peanut butter that will hurt them, as long as it’s 100% natural with no salt or added ingredients. Honey is also healthy for chickens, so you can mix it with honey if you want!

 

Summary

There’s a lot of alternative feed options for backyard chickens. However, it’s important to make sure your flock has the right amount of protein, vitamins, and minerals in their diet. Otherwise, you might not get as many eggs!

 

What’s your favorite alternative feed for chickens? Leave a comment below!

7 Best Chicken Feeders: Buyer’s Guide To No Waste Feeders

7 Best Chicken Feeders: Buyer’s Guide To No Waste Feeders

For most people, finding the best chicken feeders may seem like a reasonably easy thing to do, and in many ways, it is. But there’s different factors to consider before buying one.

 

In this buyer’s guide, I’ll show you the best chicken feeders, and factors to consider before you make a purchase.

 

 

Best Chicken Feeders: A Buyer’s Guide

 

** Top 7 Feeders We Recommend **

The best feeder for YOUR chickens largely depends on your flock.

 

For example, your chickens may be prone to knocking over water, fighting over feeders, and pooping all over the place. You also might work a lot, and not return home until well after dark.

 

The best, and most appropriate, feeder addresses these quirks, and helps you raise healthy chickens.

 

Where can I buy a chicken feeder?

You can buy chicken feeders from an array of locations near your hometown and even browse through an extensive selection online and have it shipped right at your door.

 

  • Amazon (ships nationally)
  • Your local farm store
  • Tractor Supply (nationwide locations)
  • Orschelns (locations in the midwest)
  • True Value (nationwide locations)

 

Why do you need a chicken feeder?

Chickens aren’t at all fussy when it comes to eating – in fact, most hens couldn’t care less if you dumped their food on the ground.

 

But the mess they create – and the vermin it attracts – means it’s easier to just invest in a reliable way to offer food to your flock.

 

A quality chicken feeder cuts down on food waste (which eases the strain on your wallet), and ensures your flock is properly fed at all times.

 

It’s also more hygienic, and reduces the likelihood that your fluffy butts will pick up bacteria from exposing their food to their own waste.

 

Bear in mind that you also might need multiple chicken feeders, especially if you have a large flock or bullies. One per 6 hens is usually adequate.

 

What to consider when choosing a chicken feeder?

When perusing options on Amazon or at your local farm store, keep the following questions in mind:

 

  • Are your chickens baby chicks or layers?
  • How many chickens do you have?
  • Do you have bullies?
  • Are your hens super messy (or do you hate messes)?
  • Do you work all the time?
  • Or, do you worry they won’t have constant access to feed?

 

This is so you can estimate the size and quantity you’ll need, as well as what features your new feeder should have.

 

Some other things to think about:

 

Strength

How much weight can the feeder hold? How much will you feed at a time. For example, if you’re planning to put 20 pounds of grain into it, make sure that weight won’t be too heavy.

 

Will the your flock’s food stay dry and fresh?

Wet and/or moldy feed can be prevented by buying a weather-proof chicken feeder. This reduces the chance your hens will eat grain full of mold and bacteria that can harm them.

 

** Best Weather-Proof Chicken Feeder **

 

Is it easy to clean?

This is especially important during summer because flies and maggots LOOOOVE old chicken feed. Note that even though metal is sturdier, plastic and PVC are easier to clean.

 

This prevents disease and abnormal eggs from being laid.

 

Are there any sharp edges or anything that can hurt your hens?

I don’t typically recommend chicken feeders that automatically close when your flock is eating. These feeders also have a tendency to tip over, causing waste and attracting rodents.

 

So, check out your potential feeder and make sure it won’t harm your flock.

 

** Safest Chicken Feeder **

 

 

How many feeders do you need?

This will depend primarily on the type of feeder. If you opt to use regular galvanized or plastic hanging feeders, then one per 6 chickens is fine.

 

However, as a precaution always keep an eye out that all your flock members are getting enough food.

 

How much should I spend on a chicken feeder?

You can spend as much or as little as you want. Chicken feeders can even be as basic as a dish or a bowl or as fancy as a golden automatic feeder.

 

If you’re on a budget, you can even fashion your own homemade chicken feeders, and there are many resources online.

 

Typically, you won’t need to spend more than a few dollars on a gravity or galvanized feeder, but automatic feeders can run a couple hundred dollars.

 

** Best Budget Feeder **

How often should I clean my chicken feeder?

A weekly clean up with warm soapy water is ideal. Grove Collaborative has wonderful all-natural cleaners that are economically priced and delivered to your door (on my first order, we got about $80 worth of free stuff).

 

You can use these in your feeders, waterers, and your chicken coop.

 

Plastic and PVC are easier to clean than metal, especially in the crevices.

 

Take note that if you buy a PVC feeder, thoroughly check that it is indeed easy to clean. Even though it’s convenient to have a chicken feeder PVC, some of the pipe feeders can be tricky to clean.

 

Should I hang my chicken feeder?

It’s entirely up to you. Hanging it keeps it cleaner because the chickens can’t poop in their dinner, and it keeps insects and rodents out of it.

 

Just remember that storing a lot of food in it will make it harder to hang well because of the weight. Always secure it to a stud or some other structural element that can support the weight.

 

How high off the ground should a chicken feeder be?

Your chickens should easily be able to reach their dinner. The point of hanging the feeder is to reduce waste, keep the feed clean, and provide a clean living environment for the flock.

 

You can also place the feeder on a cinder block to raise it off the ground.

 

However, if you have baby chicks, the feeder shouldn’t be off the ground at all as they won’t be tall enough to reach it.

 

Silkie chickens can’t fly well, so if you keep this breed, make sure they can reach the feeder, too.

 

Can it keep rodents out of my coop?

There is a possibility that it can prevent rodents from entering the coop because no-waste feeders mean that the feed doesn’t fall on the ground, and there’s no reason for them to enter the coop.

 

How do I keep rats out of my chicken feeder?

If you struggle with vermin, it’s best to use a feeder that closes right after the hens eat. Always make sure that the coop door is closed at night to stop rats and mice from entering and getting a free meal.

You can also spread herbs like PestsBGone to ward them off.

 

Do I need an automatic chicken feeder?

Like an automatic chicken coop door, having an automatic chicken feeder can make your life easier, especially if you work a lot and don’t have much time to visit your chickens, or worry that they won’t have constant access to their grain during the day.

 

Just check that it’s properly working every day, and remember that if they break, you will either have to fix it or buy a new one.

 

** Top 7 Feeders On Amazon We Recommend & Why **

 

Grandpa’s Feeders Automatic Chicken Feeder

Considered one of the best chicken feeders. Boasts a grill that stops chickens from throwing out food. Made from galvanized steel that’s built to last even during the toughest outdoor conditions. Keeps rats, birds, and mice away from feed. Can hold 20lbs of feed & can approximately feed 6 chickens for 10 days.

 

LITTLE GIANT Little Giant 17 inch Galvanized Hanging Poultry Feeder

A well-priced budget feeder that makes grain easy accessible.

 

Chicken Feeder Rainproof Outdoor -Metallic (25 LBS)

Rain proof and can hold up to 25 pounds of feed. Waterproof design, and can screwed into a wall or placed on a stand. Saves money by preventing costly feed from spilling.

 

Duncan’s Poultry 55 LB Chicken Feeder

Can hold up to 55 lbs of feed. Suitable for pellets, mash, and crumbles. Prevents roosting with a hinged gable-style lid. Made from heavy gauge galvanized metal.

 

Muddy Hill Farm Poultry Bucket Feeder for Chickens, Ducks Holds 20lbs of Crumbles, Pellet, Dry Feed.

Holds 20 pounds of feed. Includes a weather shield. Reduces feed waste. Easy assembly. Made from rubber & watertight.

 

Right Farm Products 20 lb Chicken Feeder

Can hold 20 lbs of feed. Good budget feeder. Made of heavy-duty plastic. Easy to refill.

 

Rent-a-Coop 20 lb Chicken Feeder

For chickens 12 weeks and older. (Younger/smaller chickens can crawl in the port). Weather-proof. Keeps out rats, mice, squirrels, and wild birds. 99% of feed stays in feeder. Holds 20 pounds of feed. Refill once every week for 8 hens.

 

Which is the best chicken feeder in your opinion? Leave a comment below!




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