Damian made a chicken feeder over the weekend. We wanted something that would hold a large amount of feed so that we can head away for a week or so, and not have to worry. We also wanted something that would keep the rats and birds out of their food, as I think we are losing quite a bit of food to rats. We looked at purchasing a pre-made feeder, but at over $300 we thought we would try making one first. This is stage one, where we are training the chickens to use the feeder. It stays in this upright position for a few days. We will then lower it down a little, so that when they step on the tread at the front it will lift the lid the rest of the way, and they will get used to the concept and used to the lid moving etc. After another few days, the lid is lowered completely, and when they step on the tread, the lid will lift and they will be able to eat the seed. That's the plan anyway, there may be some little tweaks that need to be made to the system, it took a bit of jiggling and adjusting to get the pivot points right, so that it would open up under the weight of a chicken, but not under the weight of a rat. Damian is planning on moving it backwards and inserting it in to the mesh of the chook pen so that it can be filled easily from the outside. The next thing we are going to install will be an automatic watering system, so that they have fresh water all of the time, as the waterer that we have now is ok, but they still manage to get the water quite dirty even though we have hung it up off the ground. We have seen a few options, but just need to decide which will be the best way to go. So, we will see how this new feeder goes over the next few days. We may have to tweak the shute a little, as the feed didn't come straight down in to the bottom part initially very easily, but that may be better once small amounts are coming down as they eat.
Damian spent such a long time getting this all built for me. I think he enjoyed making it though. :)