What kind of feeder?


12 Years
Oct 6, 2010
Bay Area, CA
I'm still doing my research and plan on buying four chicks early next year. My question is, what kind of feeder do you use? And are rodents an issue?

I wouldn't say we have a rodent "problem" but I've certainly seen mice and rats in the yard over the years we've lived in the house. I was thinking I'd just get one of the standard plastic feeders and hang it next to their hen house. But my husband is convinced this will be a rodent magnet. He likes the idea of an automatic feeder where the hens have to stand on the platform to get the lid to rise in order to eat. I'm not opposed to the idea, but they are pricy.

I'm curious what you use to feed your flock and if you have opinions one way or another.
I have always used a hanging feeder for my adults. I've seen a couple of mice but not many and I live in the country. If the chickens see the mice they will take care of em. I'm not sure if any feeder will be mice proof but could be wrong. If they are a prob get a cat or two and they will take care of mice too.
Mine's mouse-proof (so far).
(learn how to build one here: https://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=56638-building-a-treadle-feeder). I think there is always the potential for mice to get out of control when there is chicken feed available. You can take your feed in at night and put it back in the morning and also keep some mouse traps deployed to keep the numbers down.
For those who use a treadle feeder, do any of the hens ever get wacked in the head when the lid closes? The You Tube videos don't show this but you see one bird step on the treadle and the feeder opens. Then other hens come running and if one is standing on the side feeding, then when the hen standing on the treadle steps down, the lid closes pretty quickly.

I don't want to have a few unhappy hens because they keep getting smacked in the back of the head when trying to eat.

I suppose I could start with a hanging plastic feeder and if I find I have an issue, then upgrade to a treadle feeder if rodents appear to be an issue.
No, they never get hit in the head. Mine closes so slowly and with such little force, a tortoise could get out of the way. Trying a hanging feeder first is definitely the path of least resistance and I would recommend that. I made the treadle feeders to stop feeding wild birds and it wasn't until I made them that I realized that I also had a mouse problem. All those mice were suddenly searching everywhere for food. Thankfully, that is all over now. Good luck!
Mine is a simple 5 gal. bucket w/ a tray secured to the base and holes in the base of the bucket. It is tied to the rafters so if the girls try to knock it off the pedestal it will swing and not tip over! Has worked like a charm! I got the idea from BYC!!

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