Food stealing sparrows

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by gdhp, Aug 18, 2011.

  1. gdhp

    gdhp Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 15, 2011
    Scilly
    I'm aware that in comparison to stories of bears and snakes my predicament seems a little minor, but this did seem like the most logical forum to put this in.

    Where we live we have more sparrows/thrushes/other small birds than anywhere else in the UK. It's like a bird paradise. Lovely and beautiful.

    Downside is that they keep stealing seed off the chicken and ducks.

    We currently have a large feeder in each pen with a large lid that keeps rain off and stops big birds (seagulls and things) reaching under and getting the seed. However everytime I go out currently I'm faced with at least 40 sparrows the entire length of the garden helping themselves to the seed.

    None of my chickens or ducks are exactly going hungry, but when you get through 20kg (44 pound) of duck feed between 4 ducks in under a week it gets a little costly.

    I was wondering if anyone has any great tips to stop the sparrows going for the poultry feed. My mother has a nice theory that by putting up actual feeders for the sparrows they will go for them instead. I personally think it's more likely we'll just get even more sparrows and they'll eat both.

    Unfortunately my animals are all far too tame to chase them away. Occasionally one of my adolescent bantams will chase them away, but most don't seem to care about the hordes of sparrows eating their feed.
     
  2. mishellez

    mishellez Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 4, 2009
    Northwest New Jersey
    Is it possible that you can put up netting over their pens? I have the same problem here; we had strung fishing line over the top of the pen to deter hawks but the sparrows, starlings, grackles and grey squirrels pop right through it and go through feed like crazy. I told DH that we need to get some kind of finer netting to deter them.
     
  3. gdhp

    gdhp Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 15, 2011
    Scilly
    There is fine netting across the top of the cages. However the side is a metal fence where the holes are big enough for them to get through. Occasionally I'll go down and find and rescue a couple trapped in the smaller netting, but most fly in and out with ease.
     
  4. kevs-chickadees

    kevs-chickadees Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 8, 2011
    Mesa AZ
    I'm not really picturing your feeder in my head but is it open so anything that gets to it can eat? I had the same problem till i bought a (trigger) off ebay from a person in the UK. There is a video on you tube that shows how it works. you basically hang the feed and trigger high enough that only the chickens/ducks can use it. There are also these boxes called treadle feeders (spelling?) those would probably help too.
     
  5. Gallo del Cielo

    Gallo del Cielo La Gallina Resort & Spa

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    May 6, 2010
    Tucson
    My Coop
    Yeah, what kevs-chickadees said. Here is a link to the original thread for the UK auto-feeder: https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?pid=6814832#p6814832 I also had a terrible problem with sparrows and I made a treadle feeder (plans in my sig. line). That stopped my sparrow problem almost immediately. The auto feeder in the first link would be far easier and quicker though. Good luck!
     
  6. patman75

    patman75 Chillin' With My Peeps

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