You need to start off with the right kind of Chicken Feeders. For our chickens, we got a Little Giant 12lb. Galvanized Hanging Poultry Feeder. It holds 12 pounds of food & has a 12-inch pan made out of metal. The chicken feeder is open at the top, so it is easy to pour the feed into the container. Since our chickens have perches that are above the feeder, we chose to place a 1 gallon Breyer’s Ice cream lid on top so that their food won’t be contaminated by chicken droppings. The Breyer’s lid also is helpful when it rains because it prevents all of the feed from getting soaked if you have it hanging outdoors.
It is important to make sure that your chickens know how to use your new feeder before you leave. My chickens had no problem figuring out what to do. Yours probably won’t either, but knowing that they can use it will allow you and any children to enjoy your vacation instead of worrying about the chickens.
We used a similar feeder for our chicks, who are known to stand on their feeders and mix their feed with their bedding and chick poop.
We got a Little Giant 11 Lbs Plastic Hanging Poultry Feeder that they will be able to use as they grow older. Some of the key features we looked for was the red base. Chicks (as well as chickens) are drawn to the color red. Right away, our chicks went over to investigate and started eating, as you can see in the picture taken right after we placed it in the brooder.
We set it on the ground because our chicks are young. As they get older, we plan to raise it up higher by hanging it. Our chicken run has chain link fencing for a ceiling. We got a key chain grade carabiner , and old swings from our kids’ beat up swing set and use them to adjust the height of the feeder.
This feeder also has adjustable feed levels and “Anti-scratch vanes” that prevent crowding and feed waste due to chicks sitting on the feeder. There is a spring under the nut at the top of the chick feeder. When you tighten the nut, the vanes go lower, and the feed level is lower. When you loosen the nut, being careful not to loosen it enough to make it come completely off of the feeder, it raises the vanes and increases the amount of feed.
Even though it prevents the chicks from getting their bedding in the feeder, you may still need to remove some bedding material from the feeder. To do this, I simply held onto two of the white supports near the nut and spun it. The vanes removed the unwanted wood chips from the feed.
For our 6 grown chickens, we got a Little Giant 5-gallon double wall fount made out of galvanized steel. This works out great because it holds a lot of water and lasts about a week for 6 chickens, depending on the weather. Prior to going on vacation, I changed their water every morning. I am so glad we switched to this for regular, everyday use because I’m spending less time watering the chickens.
The way it works is you take off the outer shell (casing) that you see in the picture on the left by turning it counter clockwise until the locking pin is unlocked. Then, use the inner handle to carry it (unless you use a hose to fill your fount) to your source of water. Carry the fount back to the chicken coop, replace the outer shell, and turn the shell clockwise using the outer handle (the handle on the shell) to lock it.
As soon as you lock it, a vacuum is created, and water fills the pan.
The fount has rolled edges to keep your flock safe.
For our chicks, we used 2 one gallon poultry waterers. Our chicks had already used one of poultry waterer before going on our vacation. So they didn’t need to get used to it. However, if they weren’t familiar with the poultry waterer, it would have been prudent to make sure they knew how to use it before taking off.
As the chicks get older, we place them on stable blocks of wood to prevent chicken poop, wood chips or other bedding from contaminating the water. For more guides on how to raise chickens such as this, head over to petnailexpert.com and browse our articles for more.