Building a creep feeder--help!

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by iamcuriositycat, Aug 1, 2010.

  1. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 30, 2009
    Charlotte, NC
    My project for today is to build a creep feeder. I've raised so many batches of ducklings this year and I want to be able to let the range around the yard during the day after the first couple weeks. The older ducks have gotten used to seeing younger ducks and leave them alone, but the problem I have is that the big ducks eat all the duckling food.

    I want to take a little portable poultry tractor, and convert it into a creep feeder by cutting a door in one side that is large enough for ducklings up to eight weeks to go through, but too small for full-grown ducks. I'm not sure how big that would be, and I want to get it right the first time so I can convert the leftover bit of wood into a hinged door, so the tractor can be closed and still used for its original purpose sometimes (for instance, letting younger ducklings in the yard but still contained). So I opened up my trusty Holderread to the section on creep feeders, and this is what he says:

    "A space 4 inches square is satisfactory when breeds weighing 7 to 9 pounds are kept. For smaller breeds, such as Mallards, the passageway needs to be approximately 3 inches square to keep the old birds from entering."

    So, two questions: Are Runners 7 to 9 pounds? Or are they "Mallard"-sized?

    And, perhaps more importantly, does "A space 4 inches square" mean the dimensions are 2" by 2", or 4" by 4"? And is 3 inches square 3" by 3" or is he talking about the total area of the opening?

    Help! Thanks!
     
  2. mamaKate

    mamaKate Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 9, 2008
    SE MO
    Not sure about the runner size but 4" square is 4"x4".
     
  3. katharinad

    katharinad Overrun with chickens

    Why don't you do it the other way around. Measure how wide the big guys are and work it from there. Be aware that some of them still squeeze themselves through holes, if they want it really bad. I have a boy that is the squeeze Houdini. He puts his wings out flat behind him and just slips through. He can get himself out of areas like you wont believe, and he is a big guy. 4x4" is nothing for him. The girls, even the smaller ones, wont follow him so he has to get himself back all the time. Now he gave up, but will do it occasionally. He is making clear to us that he is in control. Quite funny.
     
  4. iamcuriositycat

    iamcuriositycat Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 30, 2009
    Charlotte, NC
    That's funny!

    Well, I got impatient and decided to go ahead and see what was what. I cut a hole 4" by 4", which is pretty small really. I'll have to cut another piece for the hinged door anyway because of the way I had to cut the opening. Anyway--it looks about right, but I'll wait and see how it works. I can always make the door narrower by gluing pieces in place, or wider by cutting it larger and cutting a new door to close it with.

    I can't truly test it right now because the only ducklings I have out there are very very skittish and not familiar with the tractor as a place to get food, so they would probably completely ignore it. With my new batch, when it's warm and dry enough, I'll start keeping them in the tractor part of the day and when they're a couple weeks old, I'll open the creep door and let them gradually explore the outdoors. Then they'll know to go back inside the tractor for food, and I'll gradually find out whether the door is the right size, and adjust accordingly.

    A little frustrated because I can't work in our workshop at the moment, so I can't actually create the door and finish the job. My husband is refinishing some doors (people doors, lol) in there and we can't be kicking up dust while he's staining, so I'll have to wait. Anyway--thanks for the tips--I'll update everyone when I have a chance to test it.
     

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