Friday, March 23, 2012

Grandpa's Feeder

So...you know how I adore my bok flock...

 

I actually for a split second thought about not having them at all.  GASP!!  You see, the other night I found a mouse/rat in the coop.  It had gotten so fat it got stuck half in and half out of the tiny wire mesh holes, I actually had to get Mr Bok to kill it because the thought of it hanging there until morning then being eaten alive by the hens was too ghastly.  I totally freaked out.  ARGH!!!!!!  First time I've seen one in our garden.


Also I'm tired of feeding the pigeons so ... I bought this!

 

It's a grandpa's feeder.  

And the chooks are terrified of it!

Conchita - what is that thing??? 
 
Conchita and Matilda (aka Snowflake) nonchalantly pecking around it...

I tried coaxing the boldest girls to take a look (Conchita and Matilda) but it has taken a few days.  Not even sausage could entice them to stand on the platform.  The first week you're meant to leave the feeder open but it still makes a noise when the chooks stand on it.


Success!  Conchita actually has a foot up on it but Consuela at the side just ran away and the others sprinted too. 

In the end they got afraid and legged it choosing instead to take their meals where they could find them for the rest of the day and the next.

 
 

I thought I'd be able to have my vegie beds back by now but nooooo those darn trombocino never die!!  They just keep sprawling and sprawling...

 

Today, 3 days later, look!  The girls are still largely hungry but at least Matlida is now eating out of the feeder.  Shame she isn't standing on the treadle though.

Anyone else have a treadle feeder?  How did you teach your girls to use it?

28 comments:

  1. I was thinking about getting one for my little chooks. I think they are a great idea as I am also sick of feeding the doves, pigeons and rabbits.

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  2. It was interesting reading about this treadle feeder, I've never heard of them, but if it stops the sparrows and pigeons from eating all the wheat I might have to look into buying one.

    Your girls are looking lovely, they've certainly grown since my last visit.

    Enjoy your weekend.

    Claire :}

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  3. Eeew that rat is disgusting! I reckon there's no way my chooks would manage one of those feeders - mine are too small and timid. But surely Matilda will teach your others now?

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  4. VG - I know! It really bloody freaked me out. It had a tiny body but a huge long tail and I felt so sorry for it but at the same time totally grossed out. YUCK. Promptly dewormed and dusted my girls.

    Daffodil and Claire - I'll keep the blog updated with how the girls go but already those indian mynah birds are hopping about in frustration and the pigeons are wandering around asking where the food is :D

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  5. Ooh, the rat is awful....but sort of funny the way the fat lil' bugger got stuck!

    I've been wondering about a treadle feeder, I have two silkies and two bantam wyandottes, not sure how they'd go with it. But yes, I want the pigeons out of my yard and I've seen some rat poop there recently too...

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    1. I don't know if they'd be heavy enough. There are a lot of different treadle feeders on the market though. Those pigeons are awful!

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  6. Please tell me that long thing hanging out the back of that there rat was its tail........a really looooong tail..????? It looked like a demon rat...with the eyes like that in the photo..lol..we have demon rats here too...we bait regularly, its the only way to keep numbers down. We have three cats , (not ours) that frequent our yard so you would think that they would do something other than crap in our yard, but no...we still have to bait....I find it is properties surrounding us, vacant block and neighbours with chookies too, so it all contributes...but yes, bait, bait, bait.....
    I feed the whole of the fat boy pigeon population of Adelaide with my chook food....and am seriously thinking of getting one of these feeders....at the moment I have to feed them very small amounts twice a day to stop the birds...nasty, nasty demon rat.....ugh....

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    1. ewwwwwwwwwwww I know! That's why I thought it was a rat because of it's super long tail. Horrible. First time I've seen one!

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  7. A great idea, but I haven't used one before! I always love seeing your little ladies.

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  8. I've had my eye on the Grandpa too... rats! Double rats because it looks like it might be too much for our young flock to manage. The four of them are as dopey as all get out and I worry they may never eat again.

    I hope they get used to it!

    x

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    1. I wonder if my dopey flock will ever get used to using the thing...they are terrified of it...

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  9. Oh, you poor thing! I'm a little used to the critters out here, but the snake yesterday totally freaked me out. Surely when they get really hungry they will take the plunge?

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    1. Snake?? ARGH! This must mean you have no rats at your place though!

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  10. No, no treadle feeder here at the Garden Spot, but we did (do?) have a mouse in the hen house. It chewed through the garden string. Your hens look healthy and quite happy.

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    1. Hi Ann! I'm surprised your chooks haven't killed and eaten the mouse!

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  11. I've seen the chooks at CEREs use the grandpa feeder so it can be done....it seemed to work really well too so I hope your girls get the hang of it.

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    1. Good point...and I think they are bantam pekins at CERES too which means they must be heavy enough to operate the treadle! Good news for the gals above.

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  12. I know I'm weird, but the poor rat! Not a nice ending :(
    Have a great weekend x

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    1. I felt that way too but better it was killed quickly rather than eaten alive next day by the chickens. It was well and truly stuck, could not more forward nor could it wriggle backwards! Too fat on hen house grain.

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  13. Gross (huge) rat Missus. You need to buy an air pistol to administer the coup de grace.

    How did you (sorry Mister) get the rat out of the mesh? Dare I ask, I'm eating my breakfast lol. :-)

    Btw, I have the bees!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    1. Hey bee man extraordinaire! Apparently it fell out when mr bok killed it. Ick.

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  14. It looks like they would rather go hungry or eat your plants before using the new feeder, hope they change their minds soon. :(

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    1. Hullo! They are eating out of it now sti tentatively but they are eating!

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  15. My trombocino is taking over the whole veggie garden. Not all that many zucchinis though... at least as far as I can tell under all the foliage!

    I've solved the pigeon problem by using the original tiny run that came with my coop as the feeder "room. It's attached to the coop so the gerls have to walk through the coop to get to their food. The little run is covered with wire and i put a tarp over the top to block the view from the wild birds. The pigeons still get any scraps thrown in the big chook run, but the pellets I pay for only go to feed the chooks.

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    1. Hello! I tried something similar but the pigeons and mynah birds just kept getting stuck in the coop. The girls are eating out of it now though so next weekend I'll drop the lid entirely. I'm so tempted to pull out the trombocini but I harvest from it every few days so it's going strong and loads of flowers.

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  16. I haven't got a treadle feeder, though I would like to use one for my chooks. I have read that if you keep the feed level in the bin low, the chooks have to stand on the treadle to reach it and that teaches them that it is safe to stand on. Also placing something to absorb the impact at first, when you start to let the lid down helps to prevent chicken heart failure from the lid slamming until they get used to it.

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  17. haha I've always wondered about getting one of these but a few of my chooks would probably starve before they figured it out! We got halfway around the problem by putting an upturned plastic garden pot over the feeder to stop the wild birds (no pigeons up here!) eating the food and that seemed to work.

    Oh my god the rat! I found a bush rat nesting under one of the boxes one day and stupidly picked it up. It bit me, of course, which was very exciting for the nurse on the national medical hotline thingy that someone told me to call, who'd never had to answer that before. Upshot was I had to have a tetnus (sp?) injection, which hurt more and for a lot longer, than the bite!

    Chickens!! Let us know if they get the hang of it.

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