I am surprised that the sparrows at our house can fly. Their tummies are so full of my chick’s grower pellets.
The sparrows can’t get to my big girls chicken food. They have a sparrow proof chicken feeder (a Chooketaria).
This is the Chooketaria open. The big girls stand on the little step, which opens the lid for them to gain access to their delicious treats.
This is what the teenage chicks eat from. As you can see, the food is very accessible to all, including the sparrows. The feeder is kept in the chick’s coop through the day while I am at work and the chicks can go in and out of the coop to eat. But of course, so can the sparrows.
I used to fill this feeder right to the top every day and by the time I got home, it was completely empty and the sparrows would be still pecking away at the remaining dust as our car pulled into the drive. The chicks spend most of their day free ranging out and about and only a few times do they go back to their run to eat their pellets and corn so I have come to the conclusion that the sparrows are eating most of the food from the feeder each day.
During the weekend I think I have it under control. I shut the coop so the sparrows can’t get in and I bring the feeder out every couple of hours to put in front of the chicks and then I put it back. The sparrows are very cross with this and they sit outside the coop chirping indignantly at having their food source taken from them.
A friend who keeps backyard chickens told me that he has a bird feeder in the garden so that the birds eat their own feed and leave the chicken’s feed alone. So I tried that. I bought them their own feeder with their own wild bird feed to go in it. It took the birds a few days to notice the feeder and they loved the wild bird seed. But it definitely doesn’t stop the birds from eating the chick’s food. They just eat both.
So now that the sparrows have eaten all of the chick’s grower pellets, I have decided that the chicks can go onto a mixture of crushed corn and adult. (The adult pellets that my fussy adult birds won’t eat.) I know you are not supposed to feed chicks on adult food until they are about 16 weeks but mine are almost 14 weeks and I am not going to buy a big sack of grower pellets for 2 weeks. I checked with the man in the feed store and he said they will be fine. He added that the chicks might start laying in a few weeks as some start laying at 16 to 18 weeks! Arrgh. These are my babies I’m not ready for that. (I wonder when partridge wyandotte bantams start laying. I must try to find out.)