Feed-o-matic chicken feeder - Chickens run scared

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Feed-o-matic chicken feeder - Chickens run scared

Postby curlymoo » Fri Jun 23, 2017 9:41 am

Hi all, we purchased a feed-o-matic chicken feeder a few weeks back, and while it's great in theory, our chooks are too scared to use it. We kept a brick on the end for the first week which worked (except for the wild birds having an absolute feast! :lol: ) As soon as I took the brick off and they had to move the pedal themselves, they were too scared of the movement and the noise as it clangs open and shut. I persevered hoping they'd eventually get hungry enough that they would have to use it, but they're all too chicken s#!t. The other issue they seemed to have was feeling safe. When the brick was on and they did use it, every 5 seconds they'd pull their head back to make sure thy were still safe and never looked comfortable eating from it. Any ideas/suggestions greatly appreciated!
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Re: Feed-o-matic chicken feeder - Chickens run scared

Postby Marina » Fri Jun 23, 2017 11:13 pm

I'm a bit surprised this is happening to you. My favourite treadle operated chicken feeder is the one from Mark Sutton Engineering (made right here in NZ) but that feed-o-matic one should work just fine. It should even be a bit easier to train the birds to use it as they can walk along the treadle and don't have to step onto it. If you've already tried to make them use it by not feeding them anything else the only thing I can suggest is to get a chook that's used to using it. Once one chook 'gets it', the others follow suit in no time. It's very unusual that none gets it.
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Re: Feed-o-matic chicken feeder - Chickens run scared

Postby wolga » Fri Jun 23, 2017 11:44 pm

My birds normally get it within a couple of days.
I put them into a very small run and keep the
feeder open for with a heavy stone for 2 days
and change to one that keeps it half way open
for another day or two. After that the stones go
and the chooks work it out themselves. Just make
sure they have no access to any other feed or greens.
Let us know how you're getting on.
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Re: Feed-o-matic chicken feeder - Chickens run scared

Postby sewren » Wed Jun 28, 2017 6:44 pm

I have a feed-o-matic and my chooks got used to it really quickly, although they had a treadle feeder before so it probably wasn't all that foreign for them. The ducks are also happy using it (once they worked out not to get their feet stuck under the treadle!! :roll: )

I can only suggest to make sure that they have no access to other food - eventually one of them will get brave enough, and once one has it cracked the others will be quick to follow. Maybe sprinkle some food on the step near the back end to encourage them onto it (I know it's tricky with the holes in it, but if they see you sprinkle some wheat/treats there, and they are hungry, then they should be keen). Good luck!

Incidentally - what breeds are your chooks? Mine are all heavy breeds so not very flighty but I wonder if that makes a difference.
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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