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Audacity of native birds

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by Roogirl, Jan 14, 2013.

  1. Roogirl

    Roogirl Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 21, 2011
    Here in Tasmania we have Native Hens (a protected species) they are about the size of a chicken and usually hang in large family groups. They can be a pest to farmers as they like to eat grain. They are an incredibly nervous bird and run like the wind, we often refer to them as turbo chooks.

    I brought my chickens a new treadle feeder on the weekend. After 4 days they are just starting to get used it although still very nervous and the Roo wont even come close to eating out of there yet. I still have the hatch propped open to try to encourage them to use it.

    This morning while outside I noticed a group of Native Hens coming towards the pen - they often do this to try to get in on the left over food hence the purchase of the treadle feeder.

    So, I hid and watched. I couldnt believe it when I watched one walk straight over to the treadle feeder, stand on the treadle and proceed to eat, quickly followed by 6 others! They were not in the least nervous and took to it like a pro. [​IMG]

    So here I am with chickens who are still too scared to use it and the very birds Im trying not to feed seemingly overjoyed by the new feeder! [​IMG]

    They are protected so I cant dispatch of them (wouldnt want to anyway) but now have to come up with some other solution to my rid myself of the unwanted guests!
     
  2. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Have you considered feeding in the coop? Is there much probability the native birds would go into the coop to use the treadle feeder? (I don't know how large your coop is...)
     
  3. Roogirl

    Roogirl Out Of The Brooder

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    Yes I thought of that but I have seen them in there before, its fairly large. For nervous birds they sure are gutsy!
    I think I will get hubby to build something small to put it in....thinking maybe they wont like the feeling of being confined?
     
  4. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    Can you post a picture of these Native Hens?


    Just did a search Other than the color difference they look very similar to our American Gallinule.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2013
  5. Roogirl

    Roogirl Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 21, 2011
    [​IMG]

    As requested Sourland here is a pic of the pesky little problem I have! Have decided to keep the chickens all locked in the pen today without letting them free range, this will hopefully at least keep the native hens out and force the girls to use the treadle feeder
     
  6. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Overrun With Chickens

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    Chickens do not need food 24 hours a day. Weigh their food out and feed them just what they will clean up in 10-15 minutes. Do that twice a day and your birds will get enough to eat and there won't be any leftovers for the wild (and very cute) turbo chooks.

    That's the only way I've found to deal with the wild sparrows. They seem to be able to get into the smallest crack in the fence and will go inside the coop to eat. They have huge appetites, so all I can do is to not have any food that they can access.
     
  7. Roogirl

    Roogirl Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks, we were starting to wonder if we should give up on the treadle feeder (reluctant to waste the money we spent on it) however as least with your idea we can control it somewhat.
    You say to weigh the food.....can you give me a guide on the weight per chicken?

    Thanks everyone....appreciate your feedback!
     
  8. Oregon Blues

    Oregon Blues Overrun With Chickens

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    I don't have chickens. My ducks get 1/3 pound of 20% protein feed every day, split into 2 feedings. The geese each get 1/2 pound a food every day. The turkeys each get 1/2 pound of food daily.

    You have to adjust the amount by how much they will clean up and you must pay attention to their body condition. You want to put out enough food so that every bird gets all they want, but that there are only a few crumbs left in the feeder when the last bird walks away. That way, your birds get enough but there is nothing left in the feeder for the wild birds.
     

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