Automatic feeders and drinkers

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Automatic feeders and drinkers

Postby gunn » Tue Apr 04, 2017 10:51 pm

Can anyone recommend an automatic feeder or drinker? In particular, I am thinking of getting a dine-a-chook feeder. Has anyone got one of these and found it works well? TIA
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Re: Automatic feeders and drinkers

Postby sewren » Wed Apr 05, 2017 12:42 pm

Hi - I haven't used the dine a chook feeders (actually, hadn't even heard of them before!) but have just had a quick look at their website. To be honest I think I would probably go for a step on treadle feeder rather then this design, because it seems like the food is open in the tube and therefore available to sparrows and possibly also rodents so you would still be feeding the wildlife.

Their drinkers look interesting though....
Pea (?), Martha (L Sussex), Bess (Australorp), Elsa (Orp), Petal (B'velder), Dottie (Sp Sussex), Olive (Welsummer), Peggy (W Leghorn), Gertie (SLW), Maureen & Doreen (NHB), Hazel & Tilly (SPW), Lilly & Ivy (Orps) and Silver Appleyard ducks!
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Re: Automatic feeders and drinkers

Postby wolga » Wed Apr 05, 2017 12:57 pm

I would not recommend the Dine A Chook feeders. Our neighbours had one and changed it to a chooketeria very quickly.
As Sewren said. Birds and rodents had a easy excess and ate all the feed. :o
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Re: Automatic feeders and drinkers

Postby Marina » Wed Apr 05, 2017 9:36 pm

Mark Sutton's treadle operated feeders all the way for me: http://www.trademe.co.nz/business-farmi ... 337879.htm

I've got 7 of them plus 2 chooketerias. I would not recommend the chooketeria to anyone as it holds very little feed, its lid doesn't open very wide and when the chook steps onto the treadle it gets hit below the beak. Larger chooks don't see the feed when the lid opens. There only is a bit of sandpaper stuck to the treadle so that the chook doesn't slip. The bolts and nuts come apart frequently but we have now replaced all of them with the kind Mark Sutton uses.

The Sutton Poultry feeder is made from a heavy aluminium alloy, it has a genuine non-slip treadle (same material as the floor of top quality trailers is made from). It has exactly the correct size for any chook from Shaver size upwards. You can pour the feed in from a bucket or feed bag as the lid opens well. Have a look at our sponsors page. There is a photo of his giant feeder in action. The rooster is mid-size. I'm not recommending his feeders because he sponsors this forum and the Christchurch Poultry, Bantam and Pigeon Club. We asked him to sponsor us as we recommend him a lot.

You can buy directly from the manufacturer Mark Sutton Engineering. He posts nationwide. http://www.marksutton.co.nz/chicken_feeders.htm

That dine-a-chook feeder is cheap but only suitable for inside a sparrow proof pen. Also if you have a few chooks to feed you'll be refilling it all the time, using a cup or similar, as otherwise the feed will not go where it is supposed to go. It looks like a nice feeder for the price but you get what you pay for. In this case a chook, sparrow and vermin feeder.
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Re: Automatic feeders and drinkers

Postby Foehn » Thu Apr 06, 2017 12:04 am

For drinkers, I like the nipple type. If introduced at chick level they take to it pretty quickly and never forget even moving onto a bigger type. You can buy nipples through TM and other places and screw them into the bottom of a small bucket. Best to have a lid to keep sparrows out. The water stays clean unlike the open tub or bucket method where hens tend to lose some of what they eat in the water. This can quickly turn the water putrid. The nipple drinker stops this happening and the water stays fresh.
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Re: Automatic feeders and drinkers

Postby sewren » Thu Apr 06, 2017 12:40 pm

Foehn wrote:For drinkers, I like the nipple type. If introduced at chick level they take to it pretty quickly and never forget even moving onto a bigger type. You can buy nipples through TM and other places and screw them into the bottom of a small bucket. Best to have a lid to keep sparrows out. The water stays clean unlike the open tub or bucket method where hens tend to lose some of what they eat in the water. This can quickly turn the water putrid. The nipple drinker stops this happening and the water stays fresh.


I've been meaning to sort nipple feeders for a while now but just haven't got round to it. Really need to get onto that...
Pea (?), Martha (L Sussex), Bess (Australorp), Elsa (Orp), Petal (B'velder), Dottie (Sp Sussex), Olive (Welsummer), Peggy (W Leghorn), Gertie (SLW), Maureen & Doreen (NHB), Hazel & Tilly (SPW), Lilly & Ivy (Orps) and Silver Appleyard ducks!
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Re: Automatic feeders and drinkers

Postby eae » Thu Apr 06, 2017 5:01 pm

I'm a fan of Grandpa's Feeders. We have used one (large) for about 4 years and have been very pleased with it. It lives out in the weather and the feed has always stayed dry and the feeder hasn't deteriorated at all. I like that the birds eat from the bottom of the hopper rather than the top, so no issue with stale pellets - although I suspect that isn't a huge issue with other styles unless you've got a large capacity feeder and only a few birds.

http://www.grandpasfeeders.co.nz/products/standard-chicken-feeder
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Re: Automatic feeders and drinkers

Postby sleepinghorse » Fri Apr 07, 2017 8:28 am

Thanks Marina for the information on the Sutton feeders. My chooketaria is a bit old now and I have been thinking of replacing it but have never had a reason to do so as it still works.

But now I have a Brown Leghorn (hatched early December). Her and her Barred Rock "sister" are now integrated with the rest of the flock who are all heavy breeds. I have been leaving food out as I am guessing she is too light to use the chooketaria. I noticed last week that her heavier sister is using it and the Leghorn feeds along with her sister so have stopped putting extra food out as I am fed up with months of feeding sparrows.
The Sutton feeders have a bantam feeder for lighter breeds and I was wondering if I bought one of those for our Leghorn and if the heavy girls also used it do you think that would work? I don't see why not but thought someone might have one of the lighter feeders and would be interested in their experience.
Thanks
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Re: Automatic feeders and drinkers

Postby wolga » Fri Apr 07, 2017 11:04 am

Your Leghorn should be fine to use the normal feeder. My Araucanas are a light
breed too and have no trouble operating the feeders.
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Re: Automatic feeders and drinkers

Postby eae » Fri Apr 07, 2017 2:33 pm

My chicks use the treadle feeder by themselves from about 12w, before that they feed as a group, all on the treadle at once. My little bantams use it by themselves no trouble either.. It doesn't always go all the way down, but they work it out just fine, bobbing away. Your leghorn should be able to use it just fine :)
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Re: Automatic feeders and drinkers

Postby sleepinghorse » Sat Apr 08, 2017 12:18 pm

Thanks for the advice. Very helpful as always.
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Re: Automatic feeders and drinkers

Postby gunn » Sun Apr 09, 2017 9:20 pm

Thanks for the feedback . I've decided to get a treadle feeder and nipple drinker.
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Re: Automatic feeders and drinkers

Postby chocaholic » Fri Apr 14, 2017 11:50 am

For chicken feeders, I have tried so many different options. The biggest problem is stopping the birds from stealing all the food. To combat this, I bought a feed-o-matic from Farmlands which is a treadle feeder that held up to 10kgs of chicken food, but unfortunately the chickens were scared of it. Every time one of them stood on it, it made a noise which sent the chickens flying. I pinned the treadle open for a couple of weeks and they would jump on it and eat the food, but as soon as I removed the pin they would not go near it. I know others have not had these issues....just my silly chickens!

My current feeder is a nosloc nozzle feeder with the bird protection on it. The chickens have all learnt to use it. I have a tractor coop that I built myself. I attached the feeder to a long 100mm pipe that runs into the coop and has a cap on the top. I also used a screw cap on the bottom of the feeder and cut a hole in it so I could feed the feeder through the hole. I needed to cut the corners off the nosloc feeder so it fitted. So now I can fill the pipe without going into the coop. I can unscrew the bottom and clean it when I think it needs cleaning. And it moves easily with the coop. The main thing is to protect the pipe from the rain otherwise you can get wet food. Rain water running down the pipe will get into the system via the screw cap.

I use nipples waterers and they are great. The chickens picked up how to use it quite quickly. I added two 14 month chickens just recently who had never used them before and they caught on very quickly as well. What I did was pinned one of the nipples open slightly so that it was dribbling and once they started using it, removed the pin and they are using it. The nipples are attached to a pipe. The pipe has a hose connection on the end. I have a large barrel raised off the ground that I fill with water which also has a tap & hose connector on the bottom. I have a hose connected between the two. It gravity feeds water into the pipe. When moving the tractor coop, I just turn the tap off, remove the hose, move the coop and then reconnect the hose. Just remember to turn the tap back on! I forgot once....luckily, it was early on in my setup and I was regularly testing the nipples to make sure it was working, as I was relying on gravity. I also check for a few days after moving coop to make sure I have the gravity right.
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Re: Automatic feeders and drinkers

Postby Poulet » Wed Apr 19, 2017 8:27 pm

I've had plenty of types of feeders. The only ones that stop the sparrows getting a free feed are the treadle/step-on type. Even the noslok result in extra pellets being spilled onto the ground and vaccumed up by the sparrows rather than the chickens, who just peck out some more.
And of the treadle feeders I prefer Grandpa's because you fill it from the top and they eat it from the bottom. The ones that you fill from the same opening that they eat from end up with some food underneath getting staler and staler while you put new food on top of it.
I currently have three Grandpa's feeders - two that take about 7 kg and one that takes 20kg. All are lasting very well in the outdoors. One I've had for about 10 years and it's still working perfectly.
I have put extra weights under the treadle when I have young (and therfore light weight) chicks. It's easy enough and makes the balance point lighter.
I notice that the baby chicks hear the crash of the feeders being used by the big chooks nearby and so are never frightened by it and learn to use the feeder within days. It did take longer when I introduced the first feeder, but persevere - they will get over their fear in time.
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