Storebought automatic chicken feeders

Gravity feed chicken feederMost of the feeders offered
at the local farm supply store work on the same principle.  The
automatic version has a reservoir that you can fill up with feed, then
the grain mixture trickles down into a trough as the flock eats.

We use the
Little Giant version

with our broilers, and it’s okay, although I have had young chicks try
to perch on top and get trapped inside, so we added a lid.  The
lid also prevents the more common problem of manure in the feeder from
older birds roosting on top.  Gravity feeders work better if you
hang them, since a stationary feeder (even one set up on blocks) gives
the chickens too much opportunity to peck through the feed and spill it
on the ground.  I can’t say this feeder is top-notch, but it’s
cheap, it mostly works, and you can buy it either locally or online.

Automatic pet feederOne of our customers wrote in
to say that she uses
programmable automatic pet feeder like this one
.  I’m not keen on
battery-powered devices to feed my chicken, but I can see the appeal if
you don’t mind keeping an eye on the charge level (or converting the
feeder to run on house power).  My husband suggested that a
cheaper alternative might be to convert one of the automatic deer
feeders we see in our local Wal-mart during hunting season, which work
on the same principle but dispense more feed.

And, of course, there
are the
treadle versions

I’ve posted about previously if you don’t mind spending more cash and
shopping online.

As a side note, Bryan
wrote in with a handy tip for preventing waste (one of the biggest
with automatic chicken feeders

learned fast never to put corn in the feeder with regular crumble,
pellets, etc.  Corn is like candy to chickens and they can empty a
feeder in less then a day looking for pieces of corn.  So for me
corn is a treat I throw on the ground, usually to get them out from
under my feet.  No more wasted food after that.”

Is there a storebought
design I’ve missed here?  Or do you have other tips for making
automatic chicken feeders work with your flock?  Leave a comment
and let us know!

Our automatic chicken waterer rounds out the no-work
chicken coop.

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