Chickens won't learn how to use feeder

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by mamabokbok, Feb 27, 2017.

  1. mamabokbok

    mamabokbok Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 28, 2015
    Australia
    I purchased one of those metal feeders that open when the chickens stand on the platform and close when they step off about 3-4 weeks ago. I started by putting the food in with the lid held open and then my 5 12 week old chicks figured out how to use it within 48 hours, but the 4 adult hens still don't seem to understand?! They will only go and eat from the sides of the feeder when the youngsters are standing on the lever, which worries me a bit that one day they are gonna get their head stuck if the chicks jump off and they don't get their head out in time [​IMG] does anyone have any suggestions of why the adults won't learn? I'd assume they were scared of it if they wouldn't approach it at all, but they will hang around it and wait to eat when it's opened by someone else, I have tried keeping it open for them for longer but they absolutely refuse to stand on the lever even if it's fully open they only will eat from the sides! Also my largest hen is usually very bossy and full of herself really, but suddenly she's behaving like she's ranking underneath the youngsters who are not even half her size yet [​IMG] and sometimes even acting like she's scared of them,the other day I put scratch mix down in their bowl and she was rushing there to grab the bits that fell on the ground then darting away again as if she was worried about getting pecked or something, which I'm fair sure isn't happening to her, she's twice their height and at least 4X their body weight [​IMG] could that be related to their magic feeder opening power at all? I'm unsure, I haven't seen any attempt from them to be bossy or aggressive towards her, she is usually the bossy one that they all avoid, she is a standard wynedotte and the chicks are Auracanas, the other chickens don't seem phased at all by the chicks and they are bantams, although they are also refusing to use the feeder themselves [​IMG] I don't really want to have an open feeder as the pigeons started to come hang around so I'm hoping somehow I can help them to figure it out, I guess I'm baffled as to why they won't just copy the young ones [​IMG] how much easier could it be for them to figure it out than by watching other chickens do it?
     
  2. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    My Coop
    Some of the treadle feeders have side walls so birds cannot stick their head in from the side.
    Might be able to rig something up on yours?
    Any changes can take a good bit of time to be fully acclimated, some birds catch on faster than others.

    Have you tried a search to look for other threads about treadel feeders?
    advanced search>titles only>treadle feeder
     
  3. mamabokbok

    mamabokbok Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 28, 2015
    Australia
    I did google how to teach them how to use it etc it seemed quite straight forward [​IMG] but yeah.. This one isn't the best design it's a cheapy from eBay, I figured if it worked out I could upgrade later, but I never even considered the side part being an issue having never used one before, I usually would just put their food out on a dish every day and they would finish most of it but now that I have many more chickens I thought better they had a lot more food out. I'll have a look at the link thanks..
     

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