Rat Proof Chicken Feeder

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Al Gerhart

Songster
8 Years
Sep 29, 2011
546
502
221
Oklahoma City
Hi all,

Long time lurker here, just now signed up but this site was the inspiration to start a small backyard flock in 2009. I keep three Rhode Island Red hens and one rooster. This spring I built an incubator and hatched out around 30 chicks just to see if it was possible to do so with a home built incubator (really easy, the temperature doesn't have to be perfect if you will settle for a lower hatch rate), then sold the excess birds off using Craigs List.

Starting out I didn't have a mouse problem but the last year or so their population has exploded as has the feed bill. Looking around I saw the very nice grandpa feeders but just couldn't bring myself to spend that kind of money. So I built my own. The hens took right to it after about five minutes of me opening it so they would start eating, then closing it. it holds about a half sack of feed, 25 #, and it is adjustable for different size chickens (or different size rats!). I wanted a small footprint so it is around 11" square and 19" tall, was suprised that it held a half sack of feed.

Not the best video but better than nothing.



I didn't use the overhead treadle design because I thought that a chicken could get trapped. This design will just push their head out of the way when it comes down.



So looking at this one, what did I miss when building it? Too small? Too large? How would you make it better?
 

Al Gerhart

Songster
8 Years
Sep 29, 2011
546
502
221
Oklahoma City
Thanks gale65. I just winged it. I have a cabinet shop so this isn't to far from what I do for a living.

I decided to make more and sell them. Waiting to hear back from the BYC folks on ad rates on this site. Might put one in the BSA section later today to see if there is any interest. Won't get rich making chicken feeders but there needs to be something out there for back yard flock owners that doesn't cost an arm and a leg.
 

meadrian

Songster
10 Years
May 22, 2009
219
13
159
San Francisco, CA
I didn't want to spend the $on one of the Grandpa feeders either. Plus, like other was afraid of them getting bonked on the head. This looks great!!! I wouldn't need one to hold #25 lb. (I only have 2 hens at the moment.) But would be VERY interested if you decided to start making and selling them.
 

Al Gerhart

Songster
8 Years
Sep 29, 2011
546
502
221
Oklahoma City
I put one in the Buy Sell Auction forum on this site. Look on the Index page, way down toward the bottom.

I hadn't thought about a smaller version but it would be easy to scale down. And this is the sort of feedback I need to figure out what is needed in a feeder.

Do you think that one half that size would work for smaller flocks? Say 10 to 12 pounds of feed? Those would be a little less, not a whole lot less because the labor would be the same, but a lighter weight unit would cost less to ship so the savings would add up to the customer.

I noticed today that my rooster hasn't quite got the hang of it so he freeloads his meals from the side of the feeder when the hens are eating. Not a bad thing in itself to keep his weight down. The feed useage is way, way down. I was dumping two quarts of laying pellets in their old feeder in the morning and another two quarts in the lalte afternoon and the chickes acted like they were starved in the afternoon. In the last three days the birds might have eaten two quarts, six times less than before.
 
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