Feed capacity is 67 pounds, over a sack of feed!
The Holy Grail of dogs feeders is one that an entire sack of feed can be dumped into at once. Actually you are better off with two feeders that accept a half sack, twice the space for dogs to eat, but I can see the attraction of dumping a sack in a feeder every thirty days. The extra large rat proof dog feeder hopper holds 67 pounds of any kind of dog feed and has a 100% galvanized sheet metal feed tray and hopper so the feed flows easily and sanitation is assured.
Generally a dog won’t overeat on dry food but you have to watch older dogs that aren’t as active.
The feed box is about 10.5” deep x 14.5” wide x 30.5” tall, the overall foot print is 21.5” wide x 19.5” deep x 30.5” tall. The shipping box is 33” x 12.5” x 16.5”. It ships as an oversize package and dimensional weight up charges will mean this package ships at around 36 pounds. Figure $52.00 to ship from Oklahoma to Modesto CA.
Number of dogs per feeder
That will vary depending upon your feed but generally there are four cups of dog food per pound of dry feed. A medium sized dog needs around 2 cups per day, a giant dog might need 4 cups per day. Given that, expect a small dog to eat for around eight months, a medium dog around five months, and a large dog around two months.
There will be only one version of the extra large dog feeder, an exterior soft close version. The soft close cylinders are pre installed at the factory.
Training the Dogs
Older dogs can be difficult to train, especially if they have balance problems or weak back legs. The old story of teaching an old dog new tricks is so true. Younger dogs will learn much faster. Just let them get good and hungry, a few hours after their normal feeding time. Show them where the feed is with the tip of your toe and see if they will come over and check out the feed. Toss some treats in while the dog is watching. Do not block the feeder open, that teaches the dog that the door isn’t supposed to move.
My dog is quite old, 13 years for a black Border Collie is old. His back legs are starting to drag due to age/nerve weakness, so he has trouble using the treadle. Instead, he simply shoves his head into the door and chows down.
Click on this link for a video showing some of the features of these large feeders. The dog feeder and chicken feeder are identical in case you wonder.
One piece steel bar treadle with an attached distant and narrow treadle which gives the maximum amount of rat proofing. This feeder isn’t designed for for smaller dogs but it might be tweaked with some work on the customer’s part.
Two concrete counterweight balances the weight of the door, steel treadle, and step. The concrete counterweights is what makes this feeder truly rodent proof. Additionally there are two springs that prevent large rats and most squirrels from just pushing the door open to steal feed.
The adjustable throat on the feed tray can be seen down inside the inside of the feed hopper and the picture on the right is of the actual adjustable throat before it is installed in the feeder. A single bolt is used to make construction easier so it can bet cocked a bit if the bolt isn’t tight but the feed will still flow. The protruding flange on the adjustable throat plate will cause a half cup of feed to pile up but the flange was needed along with some extra seams and flanges to stiffen up the feed tray bottom.
The large feeder has a different door axle and crank system than the medium and small feeders due to the need to have a double counterweight and double wire link system. A massive block of steel is bored to fit over the axle on each side, the axle has a flattened end, and a 1/4″ bolt locks the door crank on the axle. This provides several benefits in addition to having a double end door crank; the spring is now on the opposite side of the axle than where the soft close cylinder will be fitted to avoid clashing of the spring and cylinder. It also can be adjusted to remove any play that might allow the door to shift to one side and reveal a gap. The double sided counterweight/link/spring system was needed to handle the 50% wider door and heavier treadle.
One of the new features of the large and extra large feeders is a series of four holes to insert the spring into to make it more adjustable than earlier models. Two of the holes are up under the lid flange and can’t be seen in the picture. The picture on the left is one of the original prototype feeders with the old style axle. All extra large feeders have the heavy duty double end door axle/crank system.
Large Treadle Feeders
Why it was difficult to add a large feeder
This feeder is more expensive due to the added complexity of manufacturing and the added bulk adding to the already crazy shipping costs due to feeders being oversized packages. While the feed capacity went up 257%, so did the cost, from $65.00 to $182.50 for the exterior soft close feeder, but I had always held that it would be cheaper to make and purchase two medium feeders rather than produce a large version and I was close to that estimate. Then again some coops or dog pens simply don’t have the room for two feeders so the new 14.5″ width will feed more birds than the original 10.5″ width. The estimated shipping did go up as expected, the large version would cost $50.00 to ship to Modesto CA versus around $32.00 for the medium feeder. Yet that was cheaper than sending two feeders..
The remaining issue was the sheer weight of 63 pounds of feed. I always assumed that adding 242% weight meant increasing the sheet metal gauge to carry the load and we were already at the limit that the workers, some of which are girls, could hand punch during assembly. To get around that I added an adjustable throat down inside the bottom of the angled feed hopper and added folds to the end of the feed tray to stiffen it as well as adding a 1/2″ wide flange on the top of the adjustable throat plate. That does impede the flow of feed but that is why the throat needed to be adjustable so it balances out nicely.
We have duck or turkey steps for this feeder now. It uses the same replacement wire link and same spring as the medium and small feeder.
Due to the added weight and size we won’t be offering multi packs of this feeder as they would get tossed around by the lazy package companies and they would likely be into the next oversize category and cost more to ship in multiples.
Remember that you need to be able to maintain a feeder like this and tweak it a bit after assembly. Watch our many videos on assembling and if you have limited assembly skills plan on finding a handy friend or family member to help on the assembly and adjustment. As always with our feeders, minor dings and bends are NOT cause to send a feeder back. If the dent or ding interferes with the operation of the feeder we will ship you replacement parts at our cost to replace the defective part if it can’t just be bent back by hand or hammered out. These feeders are expensive enough to ship without hitting FedEx Ground with claims for cosmetic damage to feeders and driving our shipping costs up. If you have OCD please purchase from another company!.