Our Philosophy for a Good Chicken Feeder
Please read this info before you purchase. Maybe one percent of our customers wind up unhappy with their purchase but that is one percent too many. All our poultry feeder does is keep feed safe from rats, birds, and other vermin. It is simply an inexpensive treadle feeder that works.
Engineering an automatic chicken feeder is not making it so perfect it will never fail and limiting the number of people that can afford it, engineering is making the poultry feeder just sturdy enough to function and keeping the cost affordable. Our market niche is the large number of flock owners
that are unwilling to spend two hundred dollars for a poorly designed, Chinese made chicken feeder. Our feeder does one thing; keep rats and other critters out of the feed. It isn’t the prettiest feeder on the market but it really will defeat vermin and it is affordable. If you need a bird proof chicken feeder, this one is the best. If you need a rodent proof chicken feeder this one is the also the best.
If you are the kind of person that needs perfection and ultra high quality you will not like this feeder! It is sturdy enough to last for many years but if you have OCD then you will not like this feeder. That said we have dozens of customers that have bought additional feeders after seeing how well they work.
If your feeder ever breaks we can furnish most parts. Here are some videos of the construction details and the assembly needed to put the treadle on the feeder after it arrives. It does require some tools, pliers, a crescent wrench or open end wrench and you will need to adjust the treadle by bending it a bit till it fits. Easily done as the steel is 1/8″ thick but it has to be done by the customer for it to fit right. Three minutes to five minutes will suffice to unpack and install the treadle, counterweight, and wire link.
Note, some of the videos below are of the older model counterweight version. The new version dual spring/no counterweight is even easier to assemble and quicker to assemble and is more rat proof.
Video of Construction details of the 2023 upgraded dual spring/no counter weight
Video of Unpacking feeder and attaching
the treadle bar
(note that some of the videos are somewhat old and of the old design)
Video of the medium rat proof chicken
feeder in use
If you are in the city you won’t have neighbors complaining about the rats that are attracted to your coop if you have a properly designed treadle feeder. One more reason that the City Council might allow citizens to raise chickens in backyards. Chickens and rats don’t have to be synonymous.
Birds train quickly with our style of feeder, the door swings away from their head, not over their head so they are less afraid. The door will push a bird’s head out of the way instead of trapping the bird. The Grandpa treadle chicken feeder had such a problem with birds getting trapped that they had to add side guards. The birds don’t have to reach deep inside the feeder to eat like some of the competing brands so our rodent proof chicken feeder will work on medium and large birds too.
It is solidly made and it actually will defeat rats, wild birds, and some customers say squirrels. Back in 2018 a gorgeous new feeder came on the market, just pretty and neat as all get out but it had a plastic lid and a plastic treadle. Not only that, but the treadle is huge and allowed rats and wild birds to defeat the feeder! Plastic degrades in sunlight, rats easily chew through plastic, and using plastic saves money but spending a few dollars more on sheet metal will make a feeder last for years. The feeder dropped off the main market in a couple of years thankfully after the inventory the parent company was dumping on the U.S. market was sold down.
The 2023 design medium rat proof treadle chicken feeder hopper holds 32 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 nearly five weeks per full hopper of feed for a four hen flock.
Approximate footprint of the medium feeder is 18” deep x 14” wide x 19” tall. Shipping weight is around 12 pounds with packaging for the medium rat proof treadle chicken feeder.
In a hurry to start saving money and feed?
Click Here to Order a Medium Feeder
The small metal rat proof treadle chicken feeder is the same height and depth as the medium rat proof treadle chicken feeder but the width is 7″ instead of 11″. It holds around 12 # of laying pellets and weighs around 12# packed for shipping. These are the older counterweight/single spring models but they work quite well and are less expensive due to being made in the Philippines and before material prices skyrocketed in 2021. The small rat proof treadle chicken feeder is perfect for smaller coops and costs $65 plus shipping. Click Here to Order a Small Feeder
Above is a photo of a commercial organic free range chicken operation that researched every chicken and poultry feeder in existence before choosing our feeders.
For five years they had a real wild bird problem that was eating an estimated 20 pounds of expensive organic chicken feed per day and the free food encouraged massive flocks of birds to hang around,destroying their organic lettuce crops as well. They were in bad need of some wild bird proof chicken feeders. The owners had this to say about their Carpenter Shop Rat Proof feeders:
“Fifth Crow Farm now has brand new, treadle chicken
feeders! … and they’re working!!! When a chicken steps on a lever at the front of the feeder, the feeder opens and they can eat. When they step off, the feeder shuts. A small bird like a starling can’t get it to open, while a plump hen has no problem with it. We’ve created units of 6 small feeders mounted to weather treated plywood which is affixed to a pallet so they can be moved with a tractor.”
You can read the full article at this link.
Below is a video that will show one case where a customer insisted that the feeder was “defective” and that the treadle had missing holes preventing the treadle from being assembled. This was an older model feeder, back around 2013, not the current dual spring/no counterweight model.
Video of a returned feeder
The feeder took three minutes to unpack and assemble and was in perfect condition and was not defective in any way.
Training your birds is very easy and quick IF you remove all other feed sources from the coop.The hens learn very quickly that stepping on the treadle meant that they got to eat! If they don’t pick it up in five minutes, wait a few hours till they are hungry then trip the treadle a few times so that they see the food.We have had maybe a dozen people email claiming their birds wouldn’t use the feeder and in all cases they were providing other sources of feed for the birds, hadn’t assembled or installed it correctly, or they tried to block the door open while “training” their birds. What they did was train the birds that the door wasn’t supposed to move when they used the automatic treadle feeder!
There is a small, narrow, wedge shaped gap between the sides of the door and the front flanges which is required due to the door design but mice, rats, or other vermin can’t get inside due to the slickness of the galvanized metal. They can’t climb the slick metal feeder to get to the gap. The bottom of the door closes tightly but the door design requires a space to operate properly preventing us from eliminating the narrow gap.
The Feeder is assembled using pop rivets, screws, and bolts. No spot welding that will break a few years down the road.
The vermin proof chicken feeder was designed using feedback from chicken owners on the forum at backyardchickens.com. The treadle feeder evolved through several versions from a plywood feeder to a very solid galvanized automatic metal feeder thanks to the feedback from the backyardchicken.com forum members. The vermin proof chicken feeder is constructed of light weight 30 gauge, 26 gauge, and 24 gauge galvanized steel construction with steel treadle arms for reliable operation under harsh conditions.
The treadle arms bent out of one long piece of ¾ x 1/8 steel bar to make it stiffer and more durable.
A narrow hardwood step gives the chicken a comfortable perch while limiting the ability of a rat to reach the feed if the rat is heavy enough to operate the treadle. The front swinging door on the rat proof chicken feeder has also been redesigned using a heavy steel axle assembly that is gas welded together using bronze brazing rod. The new door hinging system employs an integrated 1/4 crank rod that should last for decades. Replacement parts will always be available should the need arise.
The mouse proof chicken feeder is assembled,
the treadle is added, the wire link fitted, and then
disassembled for packing. Reducing the size of box by removing the treadle cuts around 30% off the shipping costs.
There are instructions on how to put the treadle back on, about a five minute operation if you are a klutz. The wire\crank rod does need to be bent under to secure it so a pair of pliers are needed and 7/16 and 10mm wrenches to tighten the plain hex nuts and the nylon locking nuts.
If you have deep litter in your coop you might want to set the treadle feeder around two to three inches off the top of the litter by setting the rodent proof chicken feeder on some concrete patio blocks, just be sure to have enough room in front for them to hop up on before they pin the treadle down with one foot to eat. The birds will hop right on the treadle just like it was a roost pole but let the treadle bottom out on the patio blocks for stability.
The rat proof treadle chicken feeder should be attached to a larger base or fastened to the coop wall to prevent tipping when empty. A wooden mounting block is included with the Philippines built feeder and a metal french cleat is included with the U.S. made feeders. Look for videos in our video section in the top right menu for videos on the mounting system installation.
We un-box each Philippines made rodent proof feeder for a quality inspection before shipping to our customers. We are still committed to recycling or diverting waste wood from landfills so we bring the Philippines made feeders in missing the hardwood treadle step and softwood spacer block which are produced from hardwood scraps and surplus pallets from our cabinet shop material deliveries.
You started searching for a rat proof chicken feeder or a treadle feeder because you have a rat problem, a wild bird problem, or a squirrel problem. There are dozens of articles by well meaning but inexperienced “experts” telling you how to rat proof your coop, how to trap or poison the rats. That is expensive, unsafe, and if you read the comment sections on those articles usually useless! What does work is using a rat proof chicken feeder with a heavy counterweight and a spring loaded door or even better the new dual spring/no counterweight door that concentrates all of the pressure directly on the door. As soon as you stop the rats and wild birds from eating your chicken feed they will leave the area and spend their time scrounging food as nature intended and not eating your expensive chicken feed.
You have a choice if you are going to have chickens and rats or just chickens. If you follow our instructions your birds will learn to use the feeder quickly.
Click here to go back to the main home page for more links with specific information on each type and size of feeder.
If you have wild birds like starlings, house sparrows ,English sparrows, pigeons, or grackles stealing your expensive chicken feed our feeder will solve the problem.