PESTS IN THE COOP--hanging the feeder vs. setting on the floor

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by daystardoberman, Jan 2, 2014.

  1. daystardoberman

    daystardoberman Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 26, 2013
    I made a late night visit to the coop the other night and there was a mouse in the feeder. I've been setting it on the floor of the coop, but maybe I should hang it? How high off the ground is right? and I also have sparrows "dropping" in for some free dinner too. Any advice?
     
  2. Stewarts

    Stewarts Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Most coops are completely closed in, like a house. Yours must be open, which would make it a run, not a coop. I would enclose the run completely to keep out the mice and birds and keep your chickens warm, safe from predators and protected from the weather.
     
  3. ChickensRDinos

    ChickensRDinos Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 19, 2012
    Los Angeles
    Hello! You could try to make your coop or run critter proof with a smaller grade hardwire cloth and completely enclosed top and bottom to prevent digging and things flying in. If that does not work with your yard or coop or free range set up then there are other things you can try as well.

    You could adjust from a free feeding situation to a scheduled one where you set the food out for a half hour or some other set about of time and let them eat their fill, then remove completely (perhaps 2 or 3 times a day?). Or perhaps closed in half the day with feed available and free range the other half with no feed out. The goal being no food sitting around in the open all the time to attract unwanted friends.

    Or you could try out a critter proof feeder like one of the theses:

    Treadle: You can buy metal ones or make a wood one. I built the one below and it worked pretty well. I was able to train the birds to use it in about a week. My problem is that I had one silkie hen who is especially.....special and she just couldn't do it. But I think she is an exception. All of my standard hens had no issue.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/building-a-treadle-chicken-feeder

    http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2013/06/grandpas-feeders-save-money-on-feed.html

    You could also try an angled, off the ground, curved gravity feeder like this:



    or this PVC version:



    Another option would be a barn/yard cat or two that could mouse for you and hopefully catch or deter the sparrows. Or even some guinea fowl. I have one Delaware hen who is actually an ok mouser herself.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2014
  4. daystardoberman

    daystardoberman Out Of The Brooder

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    ok but won't the cats kill my chickens? Or should I get baby kitties who will learn to be afraid of the chickens? There is no practical way to enclose my set up. It was originally a 10 x25 ft three sided run in shed for horses, it has a 10 x 10 stall for the donkeys, a 5 x 10 coop for the nestboxes and another 10x 10 stall enclosed in the front except for the door this is where the chickens spend most of their time, and they have a 15 x 25 foot paddock area for pecking around outside.. The donkeys stall and paddock is separate from the rest of the chicken's areas.
     
  5. daystardoberman

    daystardoberman Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 26, 2013
    oh yeah... and the whole thing is surrounded by double strand electric fencing to keep the Dobies from enjoying a REALLY fresh chicken dinner!
     
  6. daystardoberman

    daystardoberman Out Of The Brooder

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    oops...I live in Texas, weather is not a factor. The converted stalls stay dry even when it rains.
     
  7. showinbirds

    showinbirds Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mice are hard to keep out. If you only feed as much as your chickens eat at a meal,it will help keep birds and mice away. You may have to feed twice a day thought.
     
  8. birdbrain99

    birdbrain99 New Egg

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    Jan 9, 2014
    You should probably hang your feeder up because when feeders are on the ground the chickens sometimes get neck problems. They may find it hard to eat out of it at first but they should get the hang of it sooner or later :) xx
     

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