Raising chickens can be a joy, but it also comes with its fair share of responsibilities, one of them being feeding. The introduction of automatic chicken feeders has revolutionized this task, simplifying chicken care while ensuring your flock is well-fed. In this guide, we’ll dive into the importance of choosing automatic chicken feeders and how to select the best one for your coop.
Why Choose an Automatic Chicken Feeder?
Time and Effort Savings
Automatic chicken feeders are a game-changer for busy poultry keepers. They dispense food at regular intervals, saving you the time and effort of manual feeding.
More importantly, your chickens are less apt to run out of food because the feeder takes care of it.
Controlling Feed Wastage
With traditional feeding methods, food spillage is a common problem. Automatic chicken feeders address this issue by dispensing controlled quantities of feed, reducing waste and saving money.
How many times has that feedbag decided to send feed in a direction other than the direction of your choosing?
Rodent and Predator Prevention
The closed system of automatic feeders not only keeps food fresh but also deters pests and predators. It’s a small investment that can prevent significant losses. And you won’t be shocked to find your vehicle’s air filter jammed with chicken feed pellets!
Types of Automatic Chicken Feeders
Different types of automatic chicken feeders serve various needs and budgets. Here’s a closer look.
Treadle feeders are foot-operated feeders. Chickens step on a platform to open the feeder, keeping the feed safe from pests when not in use.
Hanging feeders are hung above the ground, minimizing the chances of contamination and pest intrusion. They’re an economical option for small to medium flocks.
Tube or Cylinder Feeders
These feeders feature a central reservoir leading to several feeding ports, allowing multiple birds to feed at once.
If you’re a handy type, consider making a feeder using PVC pipes or buckets. It can be a fun project and an excellent way to save some cash.
My handy friend made this DIY tube feeder for me as a present for the new coop and group of Light Brahmas. Each tube is about 5 feet tall, so filling is a chore without a funnel, but it is well worth it as I can almost fit a full 40 Lb bag of feed in two tubes.
There are covers for the filler hole and the feed access port to keep the rodents out at night.
Key Features to Consider When Choosing an Automatic Chicken Feeder
Size and Capacity
Ensure the feeder’s size matches your flock’s size and feeding frequency. Too small, and you’ll be refilling it frequently; too big, and the feed may go stale.
Material and Durability
From plastic to metal, the material impacts the feeder’s durability. Consider your climate and flock behavior when choosing.
Ease of Use and Maintenance
Your automatic feeder should be easy to refill and clean, ensuring good hygiene and feed quality.
An all-weather-resistant feeder is crucial if you feed outdoors. I feed in the coops and I keep a small amount of food available in my garage during the day for my free-rangers.
Tips for Introducing an Automatic Feeder to Your Flock
Introduce the new feeder to your flock by placing it next to their regular feeding spot and observing their comfort level. 99 times out of 100 there will not be a problem. Where there is food, chickens will find it.
Watching their behavior over the years, two things are clear to me about chicken intelligence. They are smart as a whip about some things and dumb as a stump about others. They know food!
Automatic chicken feeders are an excellent investment for anyone serious about raising chickens. They offer convenience, reduce waste, and keep pests at bay. The perfect feeder for your flock is out there, and hopefully, this guide has brought you one step closer to finding it.
Maybe You Can Help Me
Did you find this guide helpful? Do you have experiences or tips you’d like to share? Leave a comment below. And if you know someone who might benefit from this post, don’t hesitate to share it!
For more extensive information on automatic chicken feeders, check out Automatic Chicken Feeders.
Remember, these are general guidelines. Every flock is unique, so always be flexible and attentive to your birds’ needs. Happy chicken keeping!