Sparrows stealing food

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by bernayogini, Jun 16, 2011.

  1. bernayogini

    bernayogini New Egg

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    Does anyone know of an automatic feeder that is sparrow proof? Our set up is like this: the coop, waterer and food are inside a 10x10' dog kennel; we covered the kennel with chicken wire on top of the chain linking thinking that would keep the neighborhood birds out. It didn't, but then we also decided to expand the run area for the chickens so we open the kennel gate and let the chickens out each morning. So now we not only have pillaging sparrows, but the pigeons are getting in on it too. What I am really hoping for is some kind of feeder that the chickens peck at and it releases a small amount of pellets. They eat them and peck again if they want more. Even if they left some in the cup, the yardbirds would only be able to eat what is there not the whole supply. We don't really want to re-wire the kennel with sparrow proof fencing, especially not now in the 100 degree heat of AZ. Besides, the open gate kind of blows the idea of fencing anything out. Has anyone heard of such a "Pavlovian" feeder or do you have any suggestions on keeping the neighborhood birds out of the chicken feed?

    Thanks
     
  2. Gallo del Cielo

    Gallo del Cielo La Gallina Resort & Spa

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    First off, [​IMG]

    As a fellow Arizonan, I feel your pain with the sparrows and other wild birds. We seem to have more than our fair share. I ended up making a treadle feeder and doing some other things to keep the birds out of the coop. You can see plans for the feeder in my sig line and read about how I dealt with wild birds, in general, on my byc page. I don't lose feed to the wild birds anymore.

    Out of curiosity, I've also ordered this feeder mechanism on ebay and I'm waiting for it to arrive: http://cgi.ebay.com/Chicken-Duck-Fowl-Feeder-Automatic-free-vermin-/250839093183?_trksid=p4340.m263&_trkparms=algo%3DSIC%26its%3DI%252BC%26itu%3DUCI%252BIA%252BUA%252BFICS%252BUFI%26otn%3D10%26pmod%3D250830997208%26ps%3D63%26clkid%3D698372887453495861#ht_767wt_1141

    There's
    a youtube video that shows how it works. Several other bycers also ordered them some time ago and a couple of people got back on how they liked it: https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=485925
     
  3. bernayogini

    bernayogini New Egg

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    Thanks for the response and the links. I have to confess I am not terribly handy with building things, although I am proud of the automatic waterers that I made. My carpentry skills are few and my tools even less. I went to the ebay link and see that the treadle feeder is from UK and don't think I can afford the hassle of buying from England. Any chance you make these feeders and would be willing to sell one to me? Or do you know of anywhere locally or even in the U.S. that sells them?

    Thanks Again.
     
  4. dainerra

    dainerra Chillin' With My Peeps

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    just wanted to say that buying from the UK isn't going to be any more hassle than buying from anywhere else. The current price, with shipping, would be less than $10. Just make your bid and then wait for it to arrive. The only difference is that shipping will take a couple days longer than if it were state-side.
     
  5. Gallo del Cielo

    Gallo del Cielo La Gallina Resort & Spa

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    Quote:Yes, I agree. Mine came to something less than $10. Given that you only have to drill a single hole in the bottom of a bucket (free to $3), you could make a relatively inexpensive feeder in seconds. It seems like a good alternative to building a treadle feeder.

    Here are a couple other options:

    http://cgi.ebay.com/AUTOMATIC-20-FE...ultDomain_0&hash=item1e6337bc63#ht_1578wt_907

    http://www.grandpasfeeders.com/

    The metal treadle feeders would be far superior to a wooden treadle feeder but they are quite spendy. Of course, if you have a sparrow problem like I did, it wouldn't take very long to pay for itself.
     
  6. silkeysandra

    silkeysandra Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We feed the hens their breakfast in their morning pen in feeders. Around noon we let them out to free range the back yard. At this time we remove the feeders and empty the food back into the container (small metal trash can) and set them aside. We no longer leave food out, although we have a couple bird feeders just for the wild ones. We began doing this when I had a hen die for no real reason and one of the replies was she maybe caught something from a wild bird. Sooooo, unless they get in during the morning, the buffet is closed except for their own feeders just for wild birds. I know it is extra work, but this was my solution. At least it was free.
     
  7. bernayogini

    bernayogini New Egg

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    Thanks for all the continued help. The second Ebay link was for a company out of Minnesota, so I went ahead and ordered from them (don't you know). Appreciate all the feedback and always find great info on BYC.
     
  8. Gallo del Cielo

    Gallo del Cielo La Gallina Resort & Spa

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    Quote:You betcha! [​IMG] I think yous guys will will be happy with that. [​IMG]
     
  9. Gypsi

    Gypsi Chillin' With My Peeps

    I had a major sparrow fest in the run daily for a couple of weeks, even though the wild bird feeder was full. I settled for 1 inch chicken wiring the run, over top of all the other fencing. I let my birds out to free range in the heat of late afternoon, and the wild birds don't seem to bother the coop feeder then. My feeder is a 2 gal bucket with a couple of large holes drilled in it. I feed layena crumble.
     
  10. Yonaton

    Yonaton Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Leave the sparrows to be, as they really aren't eating that much. Shoot the pigeons every chance you get. They eat three times their weight in feed, spread diseases, and are filthy and stink anyway.
     

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