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Treadle feeder vs "bucket + PVC elbow"?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by texsuze, Jan 20, 2015.

  1. texsuze

    texsuze Songster 5 Years

    Dec 17, 2012
    Texas Hill Country
    The wild birds (Bewicks wrens, cardinals, juncos) are increasingly eating from one of my chicken feeders, hanging in one of my two runs. My girls free-range, so I must leave a small door open into the run for them to return to their coop to lay. As such, wild birds go in and out of the run, too, to eat chicken feed.

    I'm considering building a treadle feeder, but thought the "plastic bucket w/PVC elbow openings"-type feeder might work just as well for preventing wild birds from eating chicken feed.

    Anyone have feedback on the 'pros' of using their bucket feeders, other than just reducing waste from billing? Do you find the wild birds learn to use the bucket feeders? My primary concerns are attracting wild birds and squirrels unnecessarily. I currently use the typical TSC hanging plastic feeders. Thanks in advance.
  2. canesisters

    canesisters Songster

    Aug 18, 2011
    Google up 'chicken triggers'.
    I installed one a few years ago an have since had almost zero waste.
    50lbs at a time into the trash can an I only have to worry about feed once a month. (I check it almost daily though - just to be sure all is well)
  3. Naser

    Naser Songster

    Oct 29, 2014
    I have two and I haven't installed them yet. do magpies and crows try to use it. I have seen them using Wright feeder
    I am using two treadle feeders now and I haven't seen any wild birds near them
  4. 24279102

    24279102 Songster 8 Years

    Jul 10, 2010
    Grand Bay, AL
    My husband just recently made me the bucket with pvc feeders ( we put three openings). It works wonderfully well and there is so little waste on the ground. I have not seen any other critters eating out of there.
  5. texsuze

    texsuze Songster 5 Years

    Dec 17, 2012
    Texas Hill Country
    Thanks for replies. As I mentioned, food waste isn't my primary concern, although it is a consideration. I'm hoping I can reduce possible disease contact from wild birds if they leave my chicken feeders alone. However, I'm not sure I can prevent our sneaky squirrels from learning how to use ANY feeder I end up using! It would be easy/inexpensive to make the bucket/PVC feeder as long as wild birds don't figure out how to get into the feeder ports. I wouldn't want to make the changeover to a new feeder unless there's a good chance I can keep critters out of it.
  6. Gallo del Cielo

    Gallo del Cielo La Gallina Resort & Spa

    May 6, 2010
    My Coop
    I can vouch for the effectiveness of a treadle feeder at keeping wild birds out of the food and fewer birds are attracted to the coop and run (you can find plans in my signature line). Another thing that might be helpful is to have vinyl strips over the pop door which will allow the chickens to pass freely but keep the pesky wild birds out. Of course this would only work if the wire around your chicken enclosure has holes small enough to also keep wild birds out.
    1 person likes this.
  7. marktoo

    marktoo Songster

    I made a couple of small trigger feeders out of a yogurt container & a canning funnel a few years back. The sky rats have figured out how to use them! Took em quite a while, I suspect if it was unavailable for a while the trainers would go elsewhere & the ones that returned would not know how to use it. I will be looking at building a treadle feeder.[​IMG]

  8. potato chip

    potato chip lunch-sharer

    My chicken house/run is up the backyard and I don't get to observe what's going on up there, but....

    I have a pvc tube feeder, where the feed is down the bottom of the pvc pipe (similar to the bucket feeders, but not exactly the same). The chickens get to the feed by sticking their heads in. A pigeon (which is what I have "out there") wouldn't be able to access it otherwise than by hopping right inside. In my experience, birds (especially wild birds) won't do something like that. They want an easy means of escape. The pigeons fly down into the run and polish off any bits and pieces left in the run, but they are on the lookup the whole time and they fly off if you come there. I don't think they'd put themselves in the position of climbing into the feeder, too risky.... (there's a "roof" which would also make the small wild birds feel trapped). tl:dr - I don't think the pigeons are using my feeder.

    I agree that squirrels could probably figure anything out. They could easily operate a treadle and would probably be smart enough to figure it out quicker than chickens.
  9. techiebabe

    techiebabe In the Brooder

    Jan 20, 2016
    London, UK
    I'm planning on getting a treadle feeder, so this thread is interesting.

    As another idea, I know it's not what you asked, but for my wild bird feeders I use a Squirrel Buster. It is a feeder which, when a squirrel or pigeon puts weight on it, will close. Basically there is a metal shield around the outside of the feeder, suspended on a spring at the top, and if weight is put on it, the shield is pulled down and covers the feeding holes.

    They make a 3 litre version now, I wonder if you could hang it at chicken head height but so a squirrel would have to climb on to try and access the food? They soon learn it won't work.

    You could even rig up something similar around a regular feeder if you're handy, it's just a cover on a spring that pulls down.

    Here's the link to the product to show what I mean. It's another idea, anyway!
  10. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member 5 Years

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    I think that's kind of the opposite of how a chicken treadle feeder would deter feeding wild birds.

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