Protecting feed from wild birds

Discussion in 'Ducks' started by CraigT, Feb 9, 2014.

  1. CraigT

    CraigT Chirping

    Feb 9, 2014
    I read somewhere of submerging feed in a shallow tub of water to protect it from being stolen by the local bird population. Has anyone heard of this technique. If this is not a good idea does anyone have any ideas? I am rescuing five ducks in a couple days.. ( friend with too many animals needs to part ways before they become dinner) and have everything ready but am sorting out the feeding situation. Any help would be appreciated.
  2. The Chickeneer

    The Chickeneer ~A Morning's Crow~

    I haven't heard of that, but im not so sure it would work. The feed would get all soggy and spoil after a while, and the birds would probably end up getting it anyway. Try to keep the feeder, or feed dish inside the coop, or under a small roofed area to discourage and hide it from wild birds.

    There is also a feeder out on the market that you can buy or make at home, that is closed, and opens up whenever your pet steps on the pedal. it looks like this.
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
  3. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Crowing

    May 24, 2011
    On, Canada
    I admit i am having trouble envisioning this? also the risk of soaking the feed seems high.

    Keeping feeders inside may help but that doesn't always work, i use these big bucket feeders here which keeps them out to a certain degree, it does have a lid.

    Trouble is most ways prevent the actual bird your trying to feed, out especially if it's larger ducks, if it's a real problem i would likely say in the coop/shelter housing will be the last alternative.

    The chicken feeder where they stand on is neat, but unsure how ducks respond to it? perhaps someone has used it with waterfowl? I don;t think mine would take to it personally.
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2014
  4. ducksinarow

    ducksinarow Songster

    Mar 12, 2011
    I also read this in an old post. They were only soaking grains. I believe it was corn, but it could have been wheat. You could not do this with pellets or crumbles. Winter is also not the time to do this. The water could freeze. Personally i don't mind feeding a few birds.
  5. mominoz

    mominoz Songster

    Feb 17, 2009
    North Georgia
    Either feed inside... or in the evening when you lock up....or give 2 smaller feeds, and remove leftovers after 10 min. (they fill up, then quit).... I have local birds that try to muscle in....and think I got crows pecking goose eggs now too....sheesh.
  6. Here on my little hobby farm, my 7 chickens free range most of the time. I have a feeder always stocked inside the coop, but they prefer what they forage. The wild birds here (mainly finches and a few thrushes) have figured out how to fly up through my coop roof. But even with the dozens of wild birds I see caravaning in and out of the coop, I'm still not spending much on the way of feed. Maybe I'm being an idealist, but there's something idyllic about natural wildlife coexisting with my more "captive" birds. It might be worth measuring what your real loss is before making the decision to try to thwart the wild things.
  7. The real cost could be losing your whole flock. I know this sounds like an over reaction but wild birds can carry many diseases into private collections. I could be wrong, but I believe this is the main reason people wish to keep wildlife out of their food, for bio-security measures and not so much a food bill. On the converse side, our domestic animals could also introduce non -native diseases into the native wild bird populations. It's best for both farmer and mother mature to keep the populations separate if possible.
    But I'm like you, I like watching the wild birds flying around my property. I've had several resident couples building nests on/near my house for years and raising their babies. Not sure what I'll do when spring comes this year. It'll be my first time having any of my own fowl.
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2014
  8. I understand your point. However, a free-range flock is going to come into contact with the natural environment. Avian Microplasmosis is no joke. But with a free-ranging flock, contact is inevitable. In the opposite direction, even a chicken tractor would leave behind droppings that would contact a wild bird population. I suppose in an ideal world, there's a way to keep things cleanly and clearly delineated. For me (and I stress that this is only for me), I weighed the risk with the reward. I'm on a working farm on 20+ acres. My list of greater concerns starts with predation and rodent/vermin infestations. As odd as it may sound, my farm has fallen into a sort of rhythm with the rest of the environment here. I think it's important to look at your location and act within your comfort level. I'm aware of the risks, and I mitigate them as much as possible. Perhaps a better phrasing on my part would have been that, at this point, the wild bird population is not enough of a concern to warrant special action at my location.
    1 person likes this.
  9. Also, just to stay on track, the original post was addressing the issue of keeping feed from being stolen by the local wild bird population. So my response was more on the economic/logistical issue of the OP. :)
  10. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Crowing

    May 24, 2011
    On, Canada

    And there within lies the issue, true you want to keep wild birds out of your feed as much as possible(and out of your coops too) that said if your birds free range or even have access to pens unless they are wire within an inch small birds will still gain access and obviously the FR bird could be almost side by side with wild birds.

    It's a tricky balance... each person has to weigh out where the risk lays and how to reduce the concerns. Lidded feeders help for sure or ones with very small openings, a wide mouth feeder would allow small birds to fly right now and literately eat in the feeder... same with pan feeders(why i DON"T use those, though some days it would be easier lol)

    I would also bet in some areas wild birds could quite possibly empty a feeder, all one has to do is drive in the suburbs and see the swarms of birds around a classic feeder on the lawn.
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2014

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by