Over the years I’ve tried several different types of chicken feeders with mixed results. The problem has always been the amount of feed the chickens seem to waste by tossing the feed out of the feeder. We usually have over 40 laying hens so I wanted a feeder that held enough feed for all day, was easy to fill and most of all didn’t waste feed. I’ve found that for me the best feeder is the hanging feeder and the secret to stopping the chickens from wasting the feed is how high you hang the feeder. You have to hang the feeder high, at beak level as this causes the chickens to have to reach up a bit to get the feed and they can’t toss the feed from side to side and all over the coop floor. If the chickens can bend down to get the feed they tend to use their beaks like a shovel and throw the feed out looking for the bigger pieces of grain.
I have two brands of chicken feeders that I currently use. “This post contains affiliate links” In our large coop I use a Little Giant metal feeder that holds 30 pounds of feed. The tray on it has three holes for adjusting the height of the feed pan which is nice. If you feed pellets you may need to use the middle or widest setting to enable the pellets to filter down. I feed a layer mash so I have mine set on the narrowest setting. Occasionally the feed will stop up a bit depending on how finely it is ground but it’s really not a problem as it just makes the chickens work a little harder for the feed and in doing so they waste less. When I first purchased this feeder I had it sitting on a cement block. The chickens would toss the feed everywhere and they would also jump up on top of the feeder. I purchased a lid to stop them from sitting on top of the feeder but I still hated the way they would throw the feed all over the place. By hanging the feeder at beak height I have taken care of both problems.
In our two smaller coops I use Harris chicken feeders; both are two piece plastic feeders and they hold seven and ten pounds of feed respectively. They don’t adjust to accommodate different types of feed, they just have large enough holes for the feed to come out. I also have these feeders set to beak height and while the hens still lose a little feed it’s nothing compared to what they used to.
So, after trying other feeder designs I have found that these round hanging feeders work out the best if they are hung at the proper height. Hang them from a chain and it’s easy to adjust them to the correct height. Hanging the feeder also uses less floor space and if you use the bigger ones you can fill them up and not have to worry about feeding again right away. They’ll also be eating the feed instead of wasting it.
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