Treadle feeder chicken training - SUCCESS!

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Nonny, Sep 26, 2011.

  1. Nonny

    Nonny Chillin' With My Peeps

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    After about a week of having the feeder set partially open, then a day of having it closed (where all three completely ignored it and acted like I had starved them) the girls finally got the hang of it this morning! [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    I showed my Dad yesterday as well and his comment was..... "I'm surprised.... I don't expect a girl to be able to do stuff like that".

    Pfft to him! He's an engineer... I thought he might be proud I've inherited his practical nature. Meh.

    I'm uploading a clip of it in action (with the chooks using it this time, rather than my kids LOL) so will post a link once it's finished uploading.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2011
  2. Nonny

    Nonny Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Now with live action! [​IMG]


     
  3. AngelzFyre

    AngelzFyre Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That's awesome! I like the "opportunist" chicken to the right that let the others stand on the treadle!
    I've got a question, if they had stepped off the treadle and she was still eating, would the top fall on her head or is there a way it stops before doing that? I've seen these feeders advertised but hadn't seen them used in person so I appreciate you posting that video! [​IMG]
     
  4. Nonny

    Nonny Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That's Penny! She's always the follower rather than the leader, and she's at the bottom of the pecking order.

    It does close a bit quick, but it's filled completely with food right now so I'm waiting until they'e emptied it before I take the treadle off and add a bit more weight to it (which will make it closer slower).

    Usually they shift their weight back a little before getting off it, which makes the lid drop a little first, and that warns the others to duck out of the way before it closes fully. They have pretty quick reflexes though - haven't seen one get clocked on the head yet. [​IMG] It's a pretty windy day here today and lots of things are blowing around and making noise, which is why they all spooked at the end. I sat with the camera for about an hour trying to catch them in action, but my little 'un (the other opportunist LOL) kept getting in the way.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2011
  5. AngelzFyre

    AngelzFyre Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I thought the little un was adorable!
    Thanks for answering about the treadle, this looks like such a great idea to keep out rats and other birds that come in to mooch off the regular feeders.
    It'd keep out rain and such too. Great to know about!
     
  6. galanie

    galanie Treat Dispenser No More

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    Great job, Nonny! I built one of these too and I guess I'm coddling them along too much as it's taking longer than a week but today I'm going to try having it completely shut for the first time and see how they do. The younger ones seem to catch on to everything first so I'm guessing my older hens, in spite of their flock standing, will be last hehe.

    Update: The older ones were first! Was I ever shocked to see them just step right up there since they always were the most reluctant to use it. Guess hunger solves a lot of problems [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2011
  7. Gallo del Cielo

    Gallo del Cielo La Gallina Resort & Spa

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    [​IMG] Excellent job Nonny! I found it interesting that my birds learned to use their treadle feeders nearly exactly in the reverse of the pecking order. The lowest ranking birds learned first and highest last. I've head from others with similar experiences too. My top bird didn't open the feeder on her own for nearly a year, she always had one of the other birds open it for her. One day, while broody, she made a mad dash off her nest to get food and water (when none of the other birds were around) and ran right up to the feeder and opened it on her own.
     
  8. OwensMom

    OwensMom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nonny, love the feeder. Where did you find the directions to build that feeder!! The bird that i like is the very first one in the hat!!!!
     
  9. Nonny

    Nonny Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks everyone for the kind comments. [​IMG]

    I confess to a bit of trickery the first time I left it shut completely. I got their attention, chucked a handful of mealworms in there, shut the lid, and stepped back! [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Once Tuppence (part chicken, part hog) stopped standing on the lid trying to jimmy the top off it, the others were able to open it. Then it was just a matter of opening it in front of them a few times to remind them that's where the food was. It seems they were fine while it was propped open and they could see the food, but once it was closed we had to break through their "out of sight, out of mind" mentality.

    OwensMom - I got the plans from Gallo del Cielo (from post #7 in this thread). They were really easy to follow - well worth checking out if you want to build your own. (The littlest one in the hat is my favourite too... her first word was "chook chook". [​IMG] )
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2011

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