When we first got our chickens a few months ago, we were so excited. But after a while we noticed we weren’t getting nearly as much eggs as you would expect from seven chickens. We were getting just over a dozen a week. In the beginning I thought that maybe the stress of being moved temporarily affected their laying, until I caught Remus eating up all of their feed. So began our months long journey to set up a chicken feeding system that the goats wouldn’t be able to get into.
First we set up a chicken feeder made up of 4 inch pvc pipe, thinking the the opening would be too narrow for the goats to fit their mouths into.. wrong! So after seeing the goats ability to get into the feeder, we just kept it closed during the day and open it at night when it was time to lock them into the coop. But since it was right before bed, I feared they weren’t getting enough food.
So step two, I removed the 4 inch pvc pipe and replaced it with a 3 inch pvc pipe, the smallest they had at Home Depot.
Unfortunately 3 inches still didn’t cut it.
At this point, I wasn’t quite sure what to do. No matter what I did, the goats could gobble up their food way faster than the chickens could.
Then I realized I could utilize the chicken run that Matt started building last year and never finished. It was just a wood frame, but I put the feeder inside the run and covered the run in wire. I cut a couple of 5 in x 9 in holes which I figured would be just big enough for the chickens to fit through.
Except, Remus, ever the escape artist managed to fit through the tiny holes.
At this point, I wasn’t sure that there was any hole big enough for a chicken but too small for a goat! I tried a slightly smaller hole at 5 in x 8 in and that seemed to do the trick. Remus was able stick his head through pretty far, but not able to completely climb in like before.
Now the chickens have access to their feed more consistently and we’re getting about 6 eggs a day. Unfortunately I have caught feral cats eating their feed, but there’s nothing I could do to keep cats out, and at least they’re not going after the chickens!