I have tried things like hanging cd’s from chicken coop to stop birds from getting to feed but they got used to it and dozens keep coming back. What’s the best way to prevent wild birds getting to the food???
A roof and chicken wire all the way up is the absolute best way.
A less invasive way is to cover with a bird net. They come in both plastic material and fabric. (I prefer the fabric, as it's more solid.) and in various lengths up to 20 meters.
Make sure you make a *really* tight fit, like a bouncy trampoline, otherwise the birds can get tangled.
I have a relatively large chicken coop and keep my feed and water in the coop itself. I have yet to see a wild bird find its way through the pop door and into the coop to eat chicken feed. Other than than, smaller wire or netting should prevent the wild birds from getting into your chicken run and/or coop.
If we are talking about english sparrows or starlings, consider them to be similar to rats......aka, flying rats.
That being the case, the same rat proof feeder that works so well on actual rats will also defeat the flying rats. Search BYC for rat proof chicken feeder.
BTW, neighbors have a sturdy covered run made of chain link fence.....but wild birds coming in for the open feed didn't even slow down going through that. So they added chicken wire......and wild birds still get in......then for some reason, can't find their way out. Now functions more or less like a colony trap.
I'd love to get rid of those 'flying rats' too! I don't mind so much that they eat some feed, but they bring in the poultry mites!
Rat proof feeders do help, but here we have bantams, bantam chicks, standard sized chicks, and those feeders can't be used with these smaller birds.
My flying rats have no problems entering the coop, either!
Yup, a treadle feeder will put an end to the birds coming around. These folks got a grant about six years ago after their greens crops were being devastated by flocks of wild birds that were coming for the chicken feed and staying for a salad. What they didn't eat they pooped on. And that wild bird poop is a prime vector for all sorts of disease. Their forman said they are saving over a sack of feed per day literally from the first day. The same feeders are still in operation six years later and every year they add a dozen or so more feeders to handle their growth.
As someone has already said, not for tiny birds, some will get trapped and they aren't big enough to use the feeder anyway so I have no solution for that. Bantams mixed in with full sized hens do fine with treadle feeders.
I feed my birds pellets and haven't had an issue with wild birds eating the feed. I also have my feeders hanging inside the coops. At around 2 months old I start my young birds on grower pellets. Also you didn't mention if your birds are bantams or large fowl. Just curious. Good luck...