Why we Bought the Grandpa's Feeders
- The girls flick their seed all over the place and waste a lot of it,
- The seed is difficult to clean up completely (it gets in to the sand) and so provides a regular source of food for rats at night,
- The food is exposed to the rain and has to be thrown out at the end of the day if it has gotten wet,
- Every night we have to thoroughly clean up the pen to remove excess seed, it would be great not to have to do this and
- We currently have to remove the seed bowl every night and bring it inside the house, it would be nice not to have to do this but still have the seed kept safe.
|Here it is - installed and ready for customers.|
The next day one or two ate from the feeder but it still is a point of concern.
The girls showed some tentative interest in the feeder, though mostly this was in how they could eat from it without properly standing on the foot plate. This was proving rather frustrating as this is technically impossible and the closest they could get was one foot completely on and the other foot mostly on. At the very end of the day, after some time in the garden, they were all returned to the pen and the only food available was from the feeder. They completely forgot their fear and jumped straight on to it and eat heartily.
Oooooo. A couple of the girls got straight on to the feeder when they got out of the hutch this morning. Only for a few seconds though. Interesting.
|Holly - the pioneer of the feeder. First in, well fed.|
Now we're talking. The girls were completely fearless on the feeder this morning. Even the Wyandotte bantams were in to it and they are the most timid. Hopefully in a few days we can move to phase two. There were four girls feeding at once this morning.
Moved on to phase 2 - where the feeder is part way up so the girls activate it when they step on to the foot plate. They are very upset. The footplate bounces and the lid makes a sharp noise when it shuts. They have avoided it all afternoon, even though they have been ravenous. So I placed three of them on to it and held them there until they started eating. They ate and ate and ate. I'm not sure when they'll get over this latest obstacle.
|Angie - On strike from the feeder|
Oh they are hating that bouncing footplate. Each afternoon I am holding hens on to it until they start eating. But then they step off, it makes a noise and the girls all run away and we start over again. Not sure how much longer to keep pursuing it. The girls eat their greens and their corn on the cob in the morning and then seem to spend the day trying to eat from the feeder without actually standing on the foot stand - which isn't possible. I really want to make this work as it will make it so much easier when we go away and people need to look after the hens, less work and almost no mess to clean up. That's one of the fantastic parts of this feeder - almost no mess at all. I would say maybe 1 teaspoon of feed escapes the feeder per day - and the hens eat most of that anyway.
|Holly and Alice - they've turned their back on the feeder.|
Yes, okay, we relented. The girls weren't even eating the seed from the feeder unless we were holding them on to the footplate and then stopping the footplate from banging closed once they stopped standing on it. We kept coming home to find hopelessly hungry hens and it was driving me up the wall. I have relented and put the feeder back in to phase one mode - lid up, foot plate down.
The girls are thrilled and are eating relentlessly.
At this point I'd like to revist the reasons we bought the feeder and whether our needs are being met:
|Alice - back in business with the feeder|
- The girls flick their seed all over the place and waste a lot of it - fixed! The feeder is brilliant, amazing even at keeping food in place.
- The seed is difficult to clean up completely (it gets in to the sand) and so provides a regular source of food for rats at night - fixed! There is maybe 1 teaspoon of seed, mostly less to clean up each day. There has been no sign of rat activity for over a week now. This is the first time in over 5 years.
- The food is exposed to the rain and has to be thrown out at the end of the day if it has gotten wet - fixed! It has been raining hopelessly for a couple of days now and the food has not gotten wet so far. To be clear our chicken pen roof is part plastic sheeting/ alsonite and the feed sits under this section. However this never properly protected the food previously but with the added protection of the lid, side plates and narrow opening on the seed access point, the feed has remained completely protected so far.
- Every night we have to thoroughly clean up the pen to remove excess seed, it would be great not to have to do this - fixed! Clean up of excess seed now takes less than 20 seconds and is thorough and complete rather than partial and
- We currently have to remove the seed bowl every night and bring it inside the house, it would be nice not to have to do this but still have the seed kept safe - fixed! We completely close the lid and leave the unit in the pen.