Rationing feed?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by jools2014, Sep 18, 2016.

  1. jools2014

    jools2014 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi everyone. I currently have 4 chickens and 5 ducks. I bought a rat proof feeder last year as I was getting rats in and eating the food. I though this feeder was amazing and it got rid of the rats..for a while. They are now back and they have suddenly figured out how to get INTO the feeder! I don't know if the feeder has malfunctioned or what but rodents are NOT supposed to be able to get into this feeder it's made out of metal and has a pedal that the birds step on to open the flap-this is meant to be too heavy for rodents.

    Having a rodent get into this feeder is a massive problem for obvious reasons but also, once in there I don't think it can get out of the one-way flap so it would be stuck in there until I take the lid off and let it out. The flap is prevented from opening with the pedal by the rat/mouse being in there-which also means the birds can't get the feed! Luckily the first time it happened i heard the flap go even though all my birds were outside-so I knew something was in there luckily else i might not have checked for a couple of days knowing there was enough food in there. Turns out that was a mouse-I'm pretty sure it got in there itself, now a big rats not supposed to be able to operate this feeder nevermind a mouse.

    It just happened again-something was in the feeder flicking all the food out! luckily I heard it again else may not have checked-I will always be checking from now on that the feeder opens so nothing can be in there!

    Ok so basically, I thought of only feeding my birds with me there-is this plausible? There is always someone at home so someone could go out 3 times a day and put food down. Do other people do it? And also if anyone has any experience with the type of feeder I mentioned I'd love to know if you have had the same problem. I have all food bags in a metal bin and bought a rat proof feeder and the **** things are still getting to the food!
     
  2. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Flock Master

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    I suggest that you switch to fermented feed. Feed them a bit in the morning, and again late afternoon. The moist feed can not be readily carried back to the rodent's nest. Nor is it as likely to be billed out of the feeder, like dry feed is. No matter what you feed your flock, do not leave any food outdoors overnight. Be sure your feed is kept in a metal container, and tightly covered. Both rats and mice can chew through plastic. I also suggest that you mount an all out war on both mice and rats. Use snap traps, or electric zapper traps, live traps, sticky traps (for mice), or you can do some searches for barrel, bucket traps, as well as some of the other creative traps that can be made. In your situation, I'd also put out some secure bait stations with some poison. Many folks hate the idea of using poison. I consider it a last resort, but it's better than dealing with an infestation.
     
  3. jools2014

    jools2014 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you I will try and get some of that feed. I don't have as much a problem as I used to-now it seems to be mainly mice if I see any, maybe the odd rat-before it was lots of rats. All my food is in metal containers there is nothing out at night. I'm wondering if this feeder has broke since there didn't used to be one pellet on the floor before but in the last few weeks there seems to be pellets on the floor now when the chickens eat.

    I do have a live trap that seemed pretty good but I have not used it for a while-will have to again. Poison will be next step-it's not what I thought I would have to deal with when I got chickens but it doesn't help that our pen was really poorly built so the rodents can get in it pretty much anywhere. I will not be getting anymore birds after my current ones are gone it is too much hassle.
     
  4. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Flock Master

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    It is not a special feed. You make it from your existing feed. Do a topic search on Fermented Feed, and you will find plenty of information. You just mix your feed in a bucket with water, and let it sit for a few days till it bubbles. Mix it about the consistency of cooked oatmeal.
     
  5. jools2014

    jools2014 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh haha yeh of course, thank you I will look it up.
     
  6. Al Gerhart

    Al Gerhart Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Is this one of my feeders? Spring loaded door, heavy concrete counterweight on one side, usually the right side? Just saw the thread and thought i would ask. Please send a picture if you are not sure.

    If it is one of my feeders, please check the spring to make sure it is in place between the door axle and the top of the feeder. Without that spring rats can push a door open just like they do on the other commercial feeders that are sold. And is the original narrow and distant wood perch still in place or is there some sort of added platform? People sometimes add a wider step and that can unbalance the mechanism.

    If the spring is broken or gone order a package of them, $6.00 for three including the maiing cost of $3.62. Use some rubber bands in the mean time. I suspect your spring is gone if the feeder was working at first and later rats started getting in. Springs are a wear item and you never know if one will last three weeks or three years. Adjusting the spring so the door isn't slamming too hard sometimes is overlooked in the instructions by the customers, that causes premature spring breaking.
     
  7. jools2014

    jools2014 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi, no I just ordered it online but don't know where it was from-I've now gotten rid of it and bought 2 new ones, but thanks for the advice! Getting on much better now with my new feeders I'm happy to report and no need to ration now :D
     
  8. bikergirl

    bikergirl Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would love to buy one of your feeders, how do I go about doing that???
     
  9. Al Gerhart

    Al Gerhart Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I try to respect the site and not post links, so if you would, just Google ratproof chicken feeder and we should be the top organic result, not the paid ads with pictures. I encourage people to wade through the website with the .net ending before hitting the shopping cart to make sure it fits your needs. The .com ending website is the shopping cart.
     
    bikergirl likes this.
  10. jools2014

    jools2014 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hmm well unfortunately one of my new feeders appears to have broken already-only had it a few weeks :( Although it's probably easily fixed...I hope. The spring action has stopped working so the door stays open. You can close it but once you press the peddle the food flap just stays open again-it will only close manually. Dunno what has caused this but looks like I'll have to take it apart and see if I can fix it. Was amazing enough I managed to do the assembling of it in the first place, might've known it wouldn't last long if I put it together :(
     

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