I first started by placing chicken feed on the floor. Then I realized that in no time there would be no signs of feed on the ground. My chickens would still be hungry. They would scatter the feed all around. Turn around and look at me, expecting more feed.
Then I started using flat containers for the feed. My thinking was that they would notice the difference and keep the feed on the plate. They did not. They would get on top of the containers, scatter the feed and poop on it. I would quickly get rid of it, thinking that soiled feed would make them sick. I had heard horrors of the devastation caused by chicken diseases and I was taking no chances.
I finally solved my issue of wasted and soiled feed when I got a hanging feeder. Hanging the feeder off the ground made it impossible for the chickens to scratch the feed. They were not able to get on top of the feeder. The only feed exposed at a time was the feed they would be feeding on.
Table of Contents
- 1 Should I Hang My Chicken Feeder? Why Hang a Chicken feeder.
- 2 What to Hang the Chicken Feeder With.
- 3 How High Should a Chicken Feeder Be off the Ground?
- 4 Final thoughts
Should I Hang My Chicken Feeder? Why Hang a Chicken feeder.
The reasons why you should hang your chicken feeders make it an important thing to do if you are keeping chickens. Hanging chicken feeders is a simple way to achieve the benefits below.
- Reduce feed waste.
- Keep the feed clean.
- Keep feed away from rodents.
- Keep the feed dry.
- Make feed easily accessible to chickens
Hang Feeders to Reduce Feed Waste.
Chickens by nature scratch the ground and anything beneath their feet. They will scratch by instinct in order to forage for feed, prepare duct baths and nesting areas. This has been instrumental in their survival in the wild. However, scratching feed provided in their coop and run spreads it all over the ground, leading to wastage.
Feed costs amount to 70 percent of the costs of raising chickens. Whether keeping chickens for commercial purposes or as a hobby, wastage of feed will be an extra expense which can be utilized elsewhere.
Hanging feeders will prevent chickens from scratching and wasting feed that is provided for them. This ensures that they consume the most of the feed, leading to improved production and value for money spent on chicken feed.
Hang Feeders to Keep Feed Clean.
When chickens scratch, they throw litter and any other debris on the ground anywhere. One of the places that the dirt will land is the chicken feeder. They also do not have specific places to poop. They poop as they go. Sometimes this poop will land on the chicken feeder.
Hygienic chicken feed is important to chickens. Dirt and chicken dropping on feed can be a breeding ground for germs that can make chicken sick. The moisture in chicken droppings can be passed on the feed, leading to growth of mold. Mold in feed can produce dangerous fungal toxins that can be fatal to chickens. Other toxins can cause the chickens to lose appetite and suppress their immunity, leading to exposure to other diseases. Hanging a chicken feeder is a good measure to avoid contaminated feed.
Hanging chicken feeders ensures your chickens eat clean feed that is not contaminated with germs, dirts and toxins. This keeps them healthy and productive.
Hang Feeders to Keep Feed Away from Rodents.
Mice, rats and other rodents will always be attracted to feed in the coop and run. One way to make their foray bear not fruits is hanging your chicken feeders. Chicken feeder hands at the right height will make it hard for rats and mice to reach the feed. Rats and mice are able to climb, but will not be able to move through thin wires, strings or chains that are used to hand chicken feeders.
Hang Feeders to Keep Chicken Feed Dry.
Chicken feed can get wet from sippled water or chicken droppings. This can lead to growth of pathogens and mold, which can make the chicken sick. Hanging chicken feeders reduces the chances of the feed getting wet from water spills on the floor of the chicken run or coop. It is less likely with hanging chicken feeders, thefeed will mix with chicken droppings which make it wet.
Hang Feeders to make Feed easily Accessible to Chickens
While chickens are used to feed from ground level, hanging chicken feeders at the age appropriate height makes it easier and comfortable for them to feed. This means they will use less energy while feeding. This conserved energy can be channelled towards other productive functions such as egg development and weight gain for meat birds.
What to Hang the Chicken Feeder With.
You can hang chicken feeders with any safe material that is strong enough to hold its weight. The hanging materials for chicken feeders include steel harness chains with hooks, paracords and nylon ropes.
Steel harness chains are the strongest and most durable when it comes to hanging a chicken feeder. The cost of steel harness chains with s hooks that can hold up to 30 pound feeders is $10 for 40 inch long chains.
The second material used to hang chicken feeders is paracords. They are strong and have been tested to have a breaking point of 550 pounds. The cost of a 100 feet paracord is about $12.
The third and cheapest material used to hang chicken feeders is ¼ inch nylon ropes. Made of nylon ropes. Nylon ropes cost about 4 cents a foot and can be used to tie other items in the backyard or homestead. If using a nylon rope to hang chicken feeder, make sure you do not get the smooth type. Smooth nylon ropes, when used to hand feeders may slide. Nylon ropes will also degrade when exposed to UV light. Make sure you test their strength once in a while. You do not want your feeder falling on your young chickens.
How High Should a Chicken Feeder Be off the Ground?
The basic rule for hanging chicken feeders is hanging them at the height equal to the height at the back of your chickens, where the neck meets the back. This is the most comfortable height to hang a chicken feeder. Chickens will not struggle to access feed if it is hung this way. If you are keeping a flock of different ages or different breeds that have different heights, hang the feeder at the height of the back of the smallest chickens. Having multiple feeders hang at different heights to accommodate the different heights of the birds is highly recommended. This way the taller chickens will not have to stoop low when feeding and the shorter chickens will not have to tiptoe in order to reach the feed.
One of the questions that most poultry keepers ask at the beginning is if chicken feeders have to be off the ground. Most chicken feeder types have great advantages if they are hand on the ground. They should be hanged at the right height and with the right chicken feeder hanging harness. This way feeding time will be a great time for your chickens and save you some cash.