How to Save Money on your Chicken Feed.
The biggest expense you will have when raising chickens is Chicken Feed. Chicken Feed whether you buy it premixed or mix your own is really the only continuous cost that you will incur when you are raising chickens.
Unfortunately if you use the standard type of Chicken Feeders you will find that quite a large percentage of your feed will spoil or be wasted. Chickens are messy eaters and will get into the feeder base and spread the food everywhere. They also have a habit of pooping in the feeder which leaves the feed contaminated.
The other problem you will find is all the other birds and animals who will come and help themselves to your chicken’s food. All sorts of wild birds that can get access to the pen will be attracted to the feed and will tell all of their friends. Rodents can also be a problem and are not something you want to attract to your backyard.
This can become quite a dilemma. On the one hand it is important for chickens to have access to their feed. With our busy lifestyles using a Chicken Feeder that supplies a continuous supply of food is a great idea. It means you don’t have to hand feed the chickens every day and you know they are not going without if you are late or have to go away for a few days. However, when you combine the above problems it can cost you quite a lot in wasted chicken feed.
There is an answer to this problem and it is called a Treadle Feeder or Grandpa Feeder as it is commonly known . This brilliant invention can save you a fortune in Chicken Feed. It is usually made of aluminium and consists of a metal box with a lid and a bar (treadle). When the chicken stands on the bar the lid opens giving the chicken access to the feed. The chicken can’t get into the box to make a mess because the lid will close if the chicken steps off the bar. It also means that all of the other freeloaders that are stealing your feed cannot access it.
The Treadle Feeder holds enough feed to last for several days depending on how many chickens you have. For those with small backyard flocks it certainly means you don’t have to feed them daily. Also as the feed is not wasted or stolen it lasts a lot longer.
Some people claim that it is hard to teach chickens to use the treadle feeder but I have never had a problem. When you first introduce the treadle feeder to your flock you will need to put a weight of some kind on the treadle bar so that the lid is slightly open. This allows the chickens to see where the feed is. Being curious and hungry they step on the treadle to take a look and the lid opens. Once one chicken works it out the others soon follow.
Although Treadle Feeders are more expensive than other feeders they pay for themselves quite quickly. There are cheap versions of the Treadle Feeder available but be aware that you get what you pay for and the cheaper ones may not last long. A solid well made treadle feeder should last you a number of years.
The picture below is an example of a well made Treadle Feeder.
Voilamart Automatic Chicken Chook Poultry Feeder, 11 Pounds of Feed, Aluminum Auto Treadle Self Opening, Container Size 21″L x 7″W x 3.35″H
This post contains affiliate links, which means we receive a commission if you make a purchase using this link.