Types of Chicken Feeders - A Guide For Backyard Hens & Other Poultry

Discussion in 'Poultry, Domestic Livestock, Pets, & Bees' started by Mark, Feb 18, 2013.

  1. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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  2. stevo

    stevo Backyard Farmer Premium Member GOLD

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    I started out with a bowl for water and one for food but they do tend to make a mess of them. I still use them but also have these tube feeders, one for water and one for grain. They seem to work pretty well.
     

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  3. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    I've got a set of them too (similar different brand) I think yours are Royal Rooster? Mine are dine-a-chook (off eBay) - I really rate these PVC feeders but I've got several other drinkers/feeders also that tend to suit different areas and birds.
     
  4. stevo

    stevo Backyard Farmer Premium Member GOLD

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    yeah they're Royal Rooster from ebay. I was going to make some but in the end i thought it'd be easier just to buy them, they have the weather cover and ends and just work.

    I also have one of the bell type plastic feeders hanging from the roof. It works pretty well and allows easy food access for the chooks.
     
  5. Penny B

    Penny B Member

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    Hello, new to the forum, but not new to chooks.

    Great article :)

    Just trying to look at using treadle feeders for my new larger flock but wondered if anyone has an idea of how many birds I should allow to one of the larger 20kg feeders? My flock will be around 250 free ranging hens on a half an acre, moved every 4 weeks to next pasture (I will have about two acres)

    Previously I've had galvanised troughs, but I get fed up with sharing food with the local rat and crow population, so have decided investment in treadles may be the way to go!

    Defra guidelines say 4cm circular or 10cm linear per bird, which seems to suggest about 4 birds per large treadle feeder - bit expensive for 250 chooks.

    Any ideas?

    Thanks
     
  6. stevo

    stevo Backyard Farmer Premium Member GOLD

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    Hi Penny, free ranging 250 chooks!! I'd be interested to hear more about your property / business?

    ( I have no idea how to feed that many chooks sorry.. .Mark might have some ideas)

    Is the rat population controllable with traps? (small boxes only rats and mice can enter).
     
  7. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    Hi Penny - so wrapped you have joined our forum! :D

    Your new venture of 250 free rangers sounds exciting - I'd love to have that many hens personally.

    A large treadle feeder (say 20 kgs) should hold enough feed to last 12 hens about 8-10 days. I wouldn't worry about head space per bird so much because they will all get a feed, especially free ranging because some will be out grazing whilst others will wander back to the feeders at different times.

    I have about 25 birds (maybe 30ish but who's counting) and they all share my 18 kg treadle but I do also have a PVC feeder (4 kgs) and a standard hanging feeder undercover which I don't always fill. My flock is nowhere near 250 but it would take them at lease a week to go through the treadle.

    You'd still probably need quite a few treadle feeders for such a large flock though and that could be costly - perhaps we can nut out some other options to consider. I gather, the main concern is keeping pests out of the feed whilst ensuring the hens all have access to the feeders whenever they want...:think:(thinking)

    Are you going to move the treadle feeders with the birds or have a central feed location divided into pastures opening one paddock at a time etc?

    The reason I ask is I'm thinking if you needed feeders for portability, weather proof, and pest proof then treadle is the way to go (unless you had a mobile feeder shed on a trailer or something).

    If it was possible for you to have a central feeding location (permanent) with paddocks adjourning able to be closed off and opened for rotation then you could still use a shed with long trough feeders held on a rat proof frame/stands (like PVC legs so the rats can't climb up). To prevent the crows you could make access to the shed harder by only having small access doors chicken size open through the day - crows don't like to go in to places if they can't see what's coming.

    Interested to know what your roosting and nesting plan is? Obviously, an inviting and separate roosting nesting shed/barn would prevent the hens from roosting in the feed shed but some angled galvanized tin over the troughs would fix that.

    Rat control as Stevo suggests (chicken friendly traps) is always good to do at the same time just as a matter of course to help keep numbers down in the area (my dog kills rats - he's kind of obsessed by them).

    I'll let you digest what I have written because I may well be right off the mark as I don't know your property layout, other plans, or things you have already tried. However, I'm sure we can help you work out a good plan and solution by talking through the options. It's really interesting to hear about someone like you who obviously has a lot of chook experience it would be nice if you shared a little of your chicken journey here with us. :thumbsup:

    There's a great range of feeders on eBay here.

    Welcome again!
     
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