Pigeons and Dove are Eating all my Chicken Feed

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by sittinghenlove, Sep 4, 2013.

  1. sittinghenlove

    sittinghenlove In the Brooder

    Mar 10, 2013
    What the heck? I live in the desert and have tried everything to keep the pigeon and dove out of my coop and out of my chicken feeder. I use a 10 gallon metal feeder that hangs from the ceiling of the coop and every day pigeons fly in and eat out of the feeder. I have an open space where the chicks can get in and out throughout the day (like a doogy door in the coop) and I have done everything to deter the other birds. Any ideas how to keep the pigeons out? The only thing I can think of are those bird spikes. Have those worked effectivley for anyone? I even have those fake plastic Owls out, but they do NOTHING. At any given time there could be 2 dozen pigeons, walking around with my chickens, eating. Why don't the chickens run them off?
  2. ChickensRDinos

    ChickensRDinos Songster

    Aug 19, 2012
    Los Angeles
    I have been battling the exact same problem for a long time with these little sparrows -- it started out with just a few and then there were TONS all the time.

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

    I made one and it actually worked pretty well. It takes a bit of patience to train them how to use it. I propped it completely open the first week and then gradually shortened my prop stick every few days after that. They were a little scared of the foot peddle at first but they got over it. I have a mixed flock and all it worked fine for my various large fowl and my cochin bantams....my only issues was one silkie who is......very special. She just could not do it. She can't do much and even consistently had a hard time finding her way home when I let her out so I think she is an exception but because of that one bird I had to give up on the treadle.

    I tried a pellet gun but im a city girl and they just laughed at me. Too many to make any difference.

    I then tried just feeding twice a day instead of free feeding. It did help with the birds but I could not maintain it with my work schedule. The sparrow-rage plus one brutal hawk attack and now I have a completely inclosed run and let the birds free range in the evenings and some weekends. When the coop is open I remove the feeder. At first I was really unhappy with the run idea but now I kind of like the control.

    edited: you can also buy metal treadle feeders if you aren't the building type but they are on the pricey side.
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2013
  3. I had the same problem with squirrels. I had to resort to feeding the chickens all they would eat 2 times a day. Then I cleaned up any thing that they left. By doing this there was nothing there for the squirrel when he came by to eat.

    I wanted to shoot them, but, life in a well populated area makes that impossible.
  4. sittinghenlove

    sittinghenlove In the Brooder

    Mar 10, 2013
    Thank you so much for the info. My husband is awesome at building stuff, so we will try the treadle, I go through so much feed it is ridiculous! But I have one bird that will probably be like your silke and not catch on but this is totally worth the time to try. thank you thank you!
  5. Gallo del Cielo

    Gallo del Cielo La Gallina Resort & Spa

    May 6, 2010
    My Coop
    It seems like hordes of wild birds eating the chicken feed is a common problem in the desert. I agree that the treadle feeder will help keep wild birds from eating your food, it certainly worked in my situation. I would also point out that some people use a trigger feeder that should keep wild birds from eating the chicken feed. People seem to like them and they are relatively easy to make and inexpensive. There is still the issue of teaching the chickens to use it though.

    A curtain over the door that the chickens use to get in and out of the coop might also help. I made one with layers of strips of shade cloth, but it could be made with just about anything. It effectively keeps doves and pigeons out of the coop, but not sparrows. It would be easier for the chickens to learn to use it if you introduce it gradually; you can read about how I did that on my coop page.

    Last edited: Sep 5, 2013
  6. sittinghenlove

    sittinghenlove In the Brooder

    Mar 10, 2013
    we thought sbout something like the strips you used but figured the chickens would learn to use it. so glad to hear yours learned. gonna try this first since it will take just a few steps. thank you!!
  7. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 Free Ranging

    Feb 18, 2011
    To catch them, these work really well for small birds like sparrows and starlings, if you are handy you can make bigger ones for pigeons. For the coop door, chickens will also learn to use dog doors with the plastic flap entrances, as long as the magnetic strips aren't too strong
  8. sittinghenlove

    sittinghenlove In the Brooder

    Mar 10, 2013
    im amazed they will learn this! sometimes my chix run into walls and lizards scare them. i cant wait to add this to my coop....and not buy so much feed!

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