So I've got these chicks I'm raising, and they came with a big 50lb bag of "chick crumble", which is nice. However, the crumble is just that: crumbled up something that chicks like and that's good for them. The point is there's lots of dust and lots of chunks too big for the chicks to peck and eat. If I just give them the crumble like that nearly 2/3rds of it gets wasted!
Instead, I pass the crumble through a colander and then a strainer to separate the dust and big chunks from the portion that is "just right" for the birds. I use the dust to feed mealworms or put some on a dish and sprinkle some water on it as a treat for the chicks, and the big chunks go in an airtight container for when the birds get bigger, or I can crumble them smaller if need be.
It takes a little extra work but it extends the feed, so to speak.
I'm glad you have been able to figure out a good way to extend the use of the feed. I have not run into that issue with crumble in my area so far. Do you mind if I ask what brand you got?
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If 2/3 of the bag is too big for the chicks, that sounds like it's not crumbles, but pellets. At least pellets at one time, which may explain the dust.
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Here are the photos. I put the food in the colander with the strainer below it and the dust falls into the large container, then I pour the large crumble chunks into the right container and the "just right" bits into the left. It only takes a few minutes to sift a couple of cups of food.
Great advices from Simon and Greg, thanks!
I just acquired 35 chicks and sifted the starter feed reduced a lot of waste.
I bought two types of starter/grower feeds and they are quite different in the ratio of powder/small crumble/big crumble. The 18% protein Purina feed has the number of nearly 1/4 VS 1/4 vs1/2 while the 20% protein demur feed has it a 5% VS 15% VS 80%. I sifted the whole 25 lbs and 50 lbs bags with strainers. My chicks are within 1 week old so now they prefer the paste made from powders and tiny specks (they will eat about 10 lbs in the first week). Next couple weeks they will move on to the small crumbles. I am glad there is very little waste and the room is less dusty or smelly.
Nifty idea, especially as my hens are brooding overtime right now and I still have a mail order of chicks to come.
I started feeding soaked/lightly fermented over a year ago to the adults to avoid this same problem - I was seeing a lot of wastage of bagged feed due to dust or too big/small sizes. Soaking lets me feed the whole mess as a porridge and I can set tomorrow's feed up the night before.
I hadn't thought about doing the same for the chicks, but you're right in that it would be just as easy for the small ones, and still be interesting for the larger. My teenagers are leaving their pen to hang out with the adults and nom their food, so it would probably work just as well - it's the portions that would be a problem.
Chick appetites are so variable!
Ah. well. If the little ones don't eat it, the bigger ones will!
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