Extra Large Treadle Feeders
The Holy Grail of treadle 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 birds to eat, but I can see the attraction of dumping a sack in every thirty days. The extra large rat proof treadle chicken feeder hopper holds 67 pounds of laying pellets or other feed and has a 100% galvanized sheet metal feed tray and hopper so the feed flows easily and sanitation is assured.
Generally a laying hen eats around 4 ounces of feed per day, so one pound of feed should feed four birds one day, 7 pounds per week per four birds, or 9.5 weeks per full hopper of feed for a four hen flock. The more poultry feeders you have the more birds can be fed per poultry feeder.
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 will ship 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 birds per poultry feeder
That will vary depending upon how established the flock is and your goals for the birds. If they are layers you need to make sure there are no more than 16 to 20 hens per poultry feeder because a laying hen needs to eat as often as possible for full egg production. The more she eats the more eggs per week she can put out as protein consumption is usually a hen’s limiting factor.
If you are feeding out broilers the weight gain per day is as important so once again you should have one poultry feeder for every 20 to 24 birds.
If a flock is well established there will be a pecking order and you can go as high as 30 birds per large or extra large poultry feeder as long as you don’t mind a few less eggs per week
There will be only one version of the extra large feeder, an exterior soft close version. Sometimes around the end of the year they will be available for sale.
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 birds due to the increased door width and extra counterweight.
Two concrete counterweight balances the weight of the door, steel treadle, and step. The concrete counterweights is what makes this poultry 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 will 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 40%, so did the cost, from $65.00 to $114.70 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 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 $37.00 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 37 pounds of feed. I always assumed that adding 40% 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.
Small chickens are going to have a harder time using this feeder so it is recommended for medium and full size chicken breeds. Some tinkering can be done to balance out the weight needed to open the door but the less weight needed to operate the treadle and overcome the door pre load springs, the less rat proof the feeder is.
We won’t have duck or turkey steps for this feeder right away but will add them later. It uses the same 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!.