Originally Posted by mamakat74
After doing some research on these things, having the same concerns many of you do about the top opening treadle feeders, I looked at the two main options available in the US for front/inward opening treadle feeders. My issues with them were that 1- I didn't like the ramp on the more affordable one (not a full ramp, but a small step), and I worry my girls will have a harder time figuring it out, and 2- the other one with the ramp I liked was just too expensive with shipping. I was aggravated that the one I really wanted seemed to only be available in the UK. It has a water-tight plastic top, which the American models don't have, a full ramp, and comes in 3 sizes.
So I went on Amazon and I found a seller who has these UK models, and I ordered the smallest one. Since we have Amazon Prime, we got free shipping, AND we got $20 off the sale price, making it a total of about $120. The link to what I bought is here. I'll let you guys know how it works for us.
Originally Posted by jomoncon
I purchased a large size Feed-O-Matic feeder about 10 weeks ago. I love it!! It took the girls about 2 days to figure out the treadle feeder, but now it's no problem. The biggest benefit is far less wasted food. I had a whole flock of sparrows who had discovered free food. Before this feeder, when I'd go into the run, literally 100 sparrows would fly out. They were always hanging around the yard, with bird droppings everywhere. And you don't know what kind of diseases they can carry. Now, I still see sparrows in the area, but not in my run!! I also had a problem with rats. Now they're gone also. Not only is the food covered, but the design makes it almost impossible for the food to be scratched out.
The unit seems very sturdy with no sharp edges. The design allows the food to flow very smoothly down the chute. The large model holds over 25 pounds of feed. I know it costs more, but I get my feed in 25 pound bags since I can't handle the 50 pound bags. I'm really surprised at how long the feed is lasting.
My only concern is that only 2 hens can feed at time. With 13 chickens, they sometimes are jostling for feed. I wish I had bought one of these sooner!
Got the small Feed-O-Matic to try. Only allows one chicken to feed and I hold the treadle down with a brick so the chickens can see the seed. Only one chicken so far has ventured into the feeder to eat and only for a few seconds. The others are keeping a wide distance from the scary "new" thing.
This might be the treadle feeder I use for the coop run and have the bigger ChickenCondos Chow Hound feeder in the yard. For a small feeder the Feed-O-Matic was very heavy even with the lightweight plastic parts. It's amazing how flimsy tiny screws, nuts, and bolts were used in the assembly. Hope it lasts. I went on Amazon Prime, used my $20 Amazon gift certificates, and got this shipped overnight all for $74. I'm not impressed with the plastic parts on the Feed-O-Matic just as I'm not impressed with the flimsy balsa wood treadle foot on the ChickenCondos feeder but at least we have a way to keep wild birds from eating the feed. Rent-A-Coop on Amazon shipped our Feed-O-Matic and said an assembly "video" would be sent. There was no "video" sent for assembly -- only a poor quality reprint of the same printed instructions that came with the feeder! If the ChickenCondos and Feed-O-Matic feeders fall apart at some point, I will next order Al's Rat-Proof treadle feeder to try. Seems treadle feeders all function well but the weight, assembly instructions, and chicken compatibility will tell us which one is best for us.
WE HAVE TWO OF THESE CHICKEN CONDOS TREADLE FEEDERS THAT COME IN ONLY ONE SIZE (20-LB CAPACITY) BUT HAVE THE ADVANTAGE OF COMING "FULLY" ASSEMBLED WITH NO SCREWS OR BOLTS TO HAVE TO PUT TOGETHER!!! ONE OF THESE TREADLE FEEDERS HAS ALREADY GOT ONE PARTIALLY CHIPPED CLEAT ON THE TREADLE WHICH WE ARE NOT USING AT THE MOMENT. HATE WHEN THINGS FALL APART BEFORE THE CHICKEN HAS EVEN USED IT. AGAIN, THESE HAVE THE ADVANTAGE BEING "FULLY" ASSEMBLED WITH NO ADDED DIY. ANOTHER NICE THING IS THAT THE CHICKEN DOESN'T HAVE TO STICK HER HEAD WAY INSIDE THE FEEDER TO EAT.
A SILKIE USING THE CHICKEN CONDOS TREADLE FEEDER - THE OPENING IS RIGHT UP-FRONT (NOT RECESSED LIKE FEED-O-MATIC).
THE FEED-0-MATIC ARRIVED IN A BOX INSIDE YET ANOTHER AMAZON BOX SO THERE WAS NO DAMAGE TO THE FEED-0-MATIC PKG.
THIS IS HOW THE FEEDER LOOKED ON FIRST OPENING THE BOX.
THE FEEDER IS HEAVY FOR THE SMALLEST SIZE ORDERED AND I STRUGGLED TO GET IT OUT OF THE BOX - THERE WAS NO "THIS END UP" ON THE BOX THAT I COULD FIND AND THE BEST WAY TO GET IT OUT WAS TO STAND THE BOX ON END TO PULL THE FEEDER OUT.
THESE PRINTED INSTRUCTIONS CAME INSIDE THE PACKAGING AND ARE CLEARER TO READ THAN THE BLURRY "VIDEO" OF THE SAME EXACT INSTRUCTION SHEET EMAILED BY RENT-A-COOP.
I LET THIS THING SIT ON THE TABLE FOR A COUPLE DAYS WHILE TRYING TO MAKE SURE I UNDERSTOOD WHAT WENT WHERE IN ASSEMBLY.
THE TOP OF THE FEEDER IS A PLASTIC LID.
USED A BRICK TO HOLD DOWN THE TREADLE. YOU CAN GET AN IDEA HOW SMALL THIS FEEDER IS BY THE WIDTH OF A STANDARD FIREPLACE BRICK.
ONLY ONE CHICKEN STEPPED ON THE TREADLE GRATE. I MAY HAVE TO USE A SOLID FOOTING RATHER THAN THE GRATE TO GET THE OTHER UNSURE CHICKENS TO VENTURE ONTO THE FEED-O-MATIC TREADLE. ONLY ONE CHICKEN AT A TIME CAN USE THIS SMALL FEEDER AND THE CHICKENS DON'T LIKE STICKING THEIR HEADS WAY INTO THE FEEDER BIN. THE FEED-O-MATIC OPENING IS RECESSED FARTHER THAN ON THE CHICKEN CONDOS MODEL. THIS IS ONLY THE FIRST AFTERNOON OUTSIDE SO WE'LL SEE IF THE HUNGRY MORNING CHICKENS USE IT. I DO LIKE THE LOCKING LID BUTTON TO KEEP HEAVY WINDS FROM FLIPPING THE LIGHTWEIGHT LID OPEN. THERE ARE 4 COMPARTMENT DIVIDERS IN THE FEEDER WHICH IS SUPPOSED TO KEEP CHICKENS FROM SPILLING SEED - WE'LL SEE. WILL POST MORE IF THE CHICKENS GET USE OUT OF IT.