If I buy a hanging feeder will I be feeding the rats?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Jazkabor, Jan 30, 2011.

  1. Jazkabor

    Jazkabor Out Of The Brooder

    I am looking for a possible new way of feeding my small flock. I have four birds at the moment. We have been using one of those quart(?) size plastic bottles with the screw on bottom, gravity feeder that we got for them as chicks. This lasts about two days, they forage in our backyard at will.

    But it gets tipped over and when we leave for the weekend we know they run out before we get home.

    Been thinking about one of the hanging feeders. Seems quite large, though obviously I don't have to fill it. But we are fighting to keep rats away. We kill a few and they are gone for awhile and new ones move back in. It happens every year since we bought our house and this is our first year even having birds. Kind of frustrating. [​IMG]

    Anyways we have been covering the feeder at night with a big plastic flower pot and putting a rock on top. Except for the one time some hay got stuck under the pot and I found a baby rat under it it has worked well. Though not sure what the rats are eating.... [​IMG]

    wondering if there is a height that would keep the rats out of the hanging feeder, or will they be eating out of it too?
    The hanging feeder would be hanging from a rod bolted into a tree that is the center of the tarped pen. The tree is really slick barked, I can't imagine they could climb it. But I don't' know how they get into barn rafters?
    Any comments from your experiences would be appreciated!
  2. jaj121159

    jaj121159 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 27, 2010
    Northeast Nebraska
    Get a three gallon bucket with a lid. Cut as many big holes as you can on the bucket sides at the base. Screw a saucer on the bottom of the bucket. A plant pot saucer at least six inches larger in diameter than the bucket. Drill two holes exactly across from each other at the top of the bucket just under the rings. Put a turn buckle through the holes or some wires that form a circle through the holes a couple times. Connect a chain or rope and you have a hanging feeder. Hanging from the sides of the bucket will help it stay level and won't put pressure on the handle and you can put the lid on easily. To make the feeder work better, attach a funnel or some other cone type object on the bottom of the bucket so the feed flows to the holes. I have used a piece of a corroplast sign rolled into a cone and one time found a beer bong funnel in the trash. This will cost a few bucks, or could be free if you get the bucket from a restaurant. My wife works at a grocery store with a kitchen and she gets them from there. This feeder could hold about six pounds of feed. Make the holes fairly large so the feed doesn't get gunked up in the holes. Sorry I don't have a picture. If you are afraid of rats going down the rope or chain on to the feeder, put two holes in an aluminum pie plate and thread the rope or chain through the holes. This acts like a squirrel guard does on a bird feeder.
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2011
  3. Ohhhdear

    Ohhhdear Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 15, 2010
    West Michigan
    If you add cayenne pepper to your feed container it will keep away rodents. Lots of people add it to wild bird feed to keep squirrels out. We've also added it to the stain we used on our barn to keep woodpeckers from drilling holes in the wooden siding.

    Many people (including myself) believe the active ingredient in cayenne pepper (capsaisin) has a lot of health benefits for chickens, including increased egg production in colder weather. Some also believe it helps prevent parasite infestation. Chickens don't have receptors for the heat/burning that people feel when we eat peppers.

    I get the large containers of cayenne pepper at Sam's Club and add the whole thing to a 50# bag of feed.

    I hang a 3 gallon galvanized metal feed bucket from the underside of my coop. I've never seen any squirrels, mice, or rats eating the cayenne-pepper treated chicken feed from the bucket, or any of the feed spilled on the ground. Rats and mice can climb really well, so hanging the feed bucket won't keep them out of it. They're also chewers and will gnaw through plastic of any kind or wood.
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2011
  4. RedReiner

    RedReiner Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 7, 2010
    Monroe, Wa
    I hung mine with a double ended snap and when I lock all the critters up for the night I unsnap it and put the feeder in the metal garbage can that has the chicken feed in it. I have more problem with tweetie birds making a mess then the rats...although they are there and I poison on a weekly basis. always more to take their spot.
  5. cluckin tractor

    cluckin tractor Chillin' With My Peeps

  6. OkChickens

    OkChickens Orpingtons Are Us

    Dec 1, 2010
    Owasso, Oklahoma
    I have 2 medium to large hanging feeders for my flock and I fill them up and it lasts a while. I have mice and I have a few chicken proof mouse traps and I catch a few a week. The mice and rats can't get into a hanging feeder but can get what is on the ground.

    I would not poison the mice because if it were to die in my coop my chickens would peck and eat the poison that killed the mouse.

  7. shellybean40

    shellybean40 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 15, 2010
    Boerne, TX
    I thought all birds were immune to the hot peppers heat. Why would pepper in stain keep away woodpeckers???
  8. Jazkabor

    Jazkabor Out Of The Brooder

    Quote:Thank you for this idea! I will have to show my hubby. Without pictures it is like an alien language. [​IMG]

    How high do you hang it? I have heavy weight/large birds chickens and ducks. I think the rats wouldn't be able to jump into it from the ground....?

    I don't think they could climb that tree so I think it will work.
  9. Jazkabor

    Jazkabor Out Of The Brooder

    Quote:I like your idea! I was doing this with the small feeders for quite a while. I will keep this in mind if I get to where I can absorb the cost of the metal can. My feed containers I currently have would not hold it. I am rearranging my shed, (rats live under it) to optimize the space.
  10. Jazkabor

    Jazkabor Out Of The Brooder

    Quote:Thank you, I am very interested. Though for some reason I hesitate. I will pray about this and sounds great, but my chickens are picky. And is it ok for ducks also, do you kow?

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