Woot woot! Finished our first treadle feeder today :D


9 Years
Feb 16, 2010
Sweet Home, OR
Well... we built the treadle feeder today! It seems to be working fantastic! Am waiting for the paint to dry so can get some photos, it actually went together easier than we thought.

We followed the directions (from a BYC page), but because we weren't sure if we could put one together right, we built it entirely out of scrap material. We had lots of odds and ends OSB pieces and a few pieces of plywood that was more than enough to build the feeder. So I don't know if it's just because of our materials or what but we needed just about three pounds of bird to lift it up. That's fine, but we have some younger birds in the coop and we'd like them to be able to operate it as well, and I think they're just now reaching the 2.75-3lb range. SO.

We used some counter weights. Yes. I took physics and trig and understood the math of the treadle. Could have figured out exactly how much weight we needed to add and at what distance from the pivot points to meet our needs....

Instead we just cut pieces of 2x4 until we had the weight right lol
. Also, we found that our weights would help a smaller bird (around 1lb) use the treadle, but then the treadle wouldn't go back up - instead it would stay open! Uh oh! We realized it did this only if it was open all the way, so we put a couple of screws in just below the treadle to stop it from going down 100%. Now it's working like a charm!
And I'm glad it doesn't slam down - the lid kind of slowly closes.

Will get some photos up tomorrow afternoon - gotta get it installed and filled! Hopefully if this one works, we'll build many more like it to replace all the regular feeders with just the treadle ones.

Because we used scrap wood, our total cost for this particular feeder was $8.00 - that's for the sex link bolts (you need 8, they were $1.00ea at our local ACE Hardware store).
I can't believe I forgot photos! Will hopefully go out with the camera sometime this week

A few things we learned....

We used leftover materials, so I'm not sure if the original planner/builder had this issue, but we found that the supports (we used 2x2s) under the feeder lid would hit into the treadle arms, so we sanded those at an angle - would have been easier just to cut them at an angle in the beginning

I should have painted all the wood before putting everything together. The paint made everything a touch tacky the next day... I'm sure it will wear down after a few days of drying and use by the chickies.

We put it in yesterday and left a brick on the treadle so the birds could get to the food. For now it will stay open for a few days, then we'll see if they've got enough interest in it to hop up there themselves. We have pretty smart birdies, so I think they'll figure it out pretty quickly.

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