Baby Chick Feeders Are Different Than Those Used for Your Adult Flock.
The brooder is going to be your baby chickens home for approximately the first 6 to 8 weeks so there are a couple of things to keep in mind.
New born chicks love to stomp in their feed, tip things over and generally make a mess as they eat, so we highly recommend that you buy a feeder specifically designed for chicks.
Even with a feeder, chicks will occasionally perch on the feeder and poop in it so make sure to keep it clean and filled with fresh food.
If you don’t have a baby chick feeder right away, that’s OK.
You can use the bottom of the brooder as a feeder until you get one.
Start by Covering the Surface of the Brooder Box Bedding Material.
Newly hatched chicks will peck at whatever is at their feet so it is very important to cover the brooder box bedding material for the first few days or your chicks may eat the bedding and become ill or even die!
For the first 7 days, cover the bedding material in your brooder box with paper towels, old household towels, old sheets or pieces of cloth, hardware cloth, cheesecloth, new puppy pads or other non-slick material.
Newspaper isn't a good choice because it tends to be slick and the ink can rub off on your chicks.
Scatter baby chick feed over the top of the bedding cover making certain the newborns continually have plenty of food. Replace the bedding cover, as needed, to keep the brooder box floor dry and clean for your new chicks.
Within a week or so baby chicks will have learned what is feed and what is not so you can safely remove the bedding covering, leaving the clean bedding underneath.
Some Commercial Feeders Are Designed Especially for Baby Chicks and Are Reasonably Priced.
After the first week, life will be a lot easier for your family if you use a baby chick feeder. These feeders are specifically designed for feeding baby chicks and they work very well.
Use a RED Plastic Feeder if Possible.
This should help the chicks to be able to find their feed more easily because they're attracted to the color red. If you don’t have a red one, don’t worry. Any color, as well as the metal feeders will work just fine.
Some advantages to the feeders are the chicks can't tip the feeders over, they can't roost on them as easily and poop in them due to the narrow lip (although some chicks will manage to), and they're at the right height when placed on the brooder floor.
Some chick feeders may have other unique design features as well.
Some are designed with a hinged lid. Some also have a control in the center which allows you to raise or lower the body of the feeder which in turn will regulate the height of feed in the feeder pan.
This helps to save feed.
The cover is typically pointed making it difficult and therefore unlikely for the baby chicks to roost on it and poop in the feed, again though not impossible...
On some designs the feeder pan is typically one and a half inches high and has a twelve inch diameter.
The feed capacity ranges from 6 to as much as 16 pounds. This capacity reduces the frequency of adding feed for your young birds.
This is convenient for your family.
Such a feeder has a flip top allowing you to fill from the top and is normally gravity fed allowing the feed to flow to the feeding pan without manual help.
This reduces waste.
These chick feeders have a small eating area that stops the the chicks from scratching out their feed which also reduces feed waste.
This design feature usually provides a narrow space for just the little beaks and the lip curves inward to prevent the baby chicks from foraging and flinging food.
This type of feeder can be used longer than tray style systems so it reduces the amount of feeders you will need in their first weeks of life.
These feeders work great because they are specifically designed for baby chicks.
A chick feeder will keep your chicks food cleaner than using a bowl as well as eliminating waste.
With these feeders, you will be keeping fresh, clean feed continually available to maintain healthy chicks while avoiding feed waste and contamination. This saves you money!