Raising chicken feeders is something you must have come across but maybe not the hidden benefits of raising feeders. Interestingly, people advise to do this but many farmers still can’t figure exactly why. So, today I stumbled on a post on one of the poultry groups I belong and here’s the question from a member:
As simple and practical as this question is, did you know that someone in the group said it has no effect? Not until I saw this person’s comment did I decide to write this post on the benefits of raising chicken feeders.
Benefits of Raising Chicken Feeders
- For Exercise and Leg Strength
- Stimulates Vertical Growth – Height
- For Hygiene / Disease Prevention
- To Reduce Feed Wastage
So let’s take each of the benefits and I will show you exactly why it is important to raise chicken feeders as they grow.
For Exercise and Leg Strength
What does this have to do with the benefits of raising chicken feeders? I know you may be wondering that local/indigenous chickens are strong and yet they don’t necessarily raise their feeders. That would be a right thing to say but did you also know that these chickens don’t live in confinement. There is little or no room for chickens raised in confinement to engage in healthy exercises. For this reason, putting their feeders on the floor level would add to their laziness. You will agree that if permitted, broiler chickens will prefer to lay on their breast and eat from the floor. If you allow this, your broilers will most likely develop leg problems because of low activity of their legs.
Stimulates Vertical Growth – Height
This is another benefit of raising chicken feeders but I know you want to ask me how. Did you know that stretching is one of the established ways of growing taller? Even in humans. There is that tendency that chickens that stretch a little while feeding will grow taller than the ones that don’t. To make things worse, if a chicken is not standing tall to eat, then it is bending. Such chickens have no reason to grow taller, at least from the environment.
Also, feeding is attached to survival, and if a chicken has to always stand tall to eat, then the brain tells it that if it doesn’t grow taller, there may be no food someday. That’s what I believe.
This however does not mean that you stress your chickens by raising the feeder above the normal level.
Raising Chicken Feeder for Hygiene / Disease prevention
This is almost the simplest and most understood reason for raising chicken feeders. The closer your chicken feeders are to the ground, the more likely the feed will get contaminated. Contamination here is through chicken poop, which might be carrying some infections from a sick chicken and can easily spread to healthy chickens.
Chickens raised in deep litter often play with their bedding/litter material as well. The litter material easily gets into the feeder when place on the floor. If your raise your feeders, you will not find much of the litter material in their feed.
To Reduce Feed Wastage
Talking of the benefits of raising chicken feeders, I think you will not want to joke with this one. This is because it has a direct economic impact on your poultry business. If permitted, your chickens will do all manner of things on their feed – which is also yours.
I often get pissed when I have done my best to get a very expensive feed to the best performance, only to see my chickens scattering everything on the floor like its some cheap food. But not again, I don’t joke with raising my chickens’ feeders anymore.
How To Raise Chicken Feeders
The rule of thumb when raising chicken feeders is to use their present height. You need to raise the feeders to the level of their back. Please note that this method is most applicable for hanging feeders. For feeding troughs that you cannot hang, you need to place them on a platform.
It is one thing to know, but it’s more rewarding to do. I do hope that you will put this knowledge into practice and take advantage of the benefits of raising your chicken feeders.