When it comes to taking care of your chickens, there are a few chores that take top priority, and those include feeding your chickens and making sure they have enough water.
Luckily, there are some really amazing devices you can add to your chicken coop care to make it a little easier on you, as the chicken keeper!
These include additions like an automatic chicken coop door that opens and closes with the sunrise and sunset (this saves me a TON of time).
Other time savers include adding a timer to your light bulb in the darker winter months so you don't have to go out and turn lights on and off, but when it comes to the daily tasks, there are automatic chicken waterers (some are even heated for winter) as well as automatic chicken feeders.
Today, we are going to talk specifically about the automatic chicken feeder options and share our top choices, depending on your needs.
Why have an automatic feeder?
These ingenious devices make the process of feeding your chickens effortless, freeing up your time and reducing your work level.
They also ensure that your chickens always have access to fresh, clean food, without the risk of overfeeding or wastage.
Some automatic feeders even come equipped with additional features that can make your life as a chicken keeper even easier.
For instance, they can be designed in a way that prevents rodents like rats and mice from accessing the feed, which can be a major problem in traditional chicken feeders.
Some feeders keep your food rodent proof
Feeders with the rodent deterring feature keep your chickens safe and protects their feed from contamination, keeping it fresh for longer periods of time.
So, not only does an automatic chicken feeder save you time and energy, but it can also keep your chickens and feed safe and reduce waste from unwanted pests and possibly save you from having to search on Google for "how to get rats out of my chicken coop".
Open feeders definitely won't keep the rodents at bay.
What do automatic chicken feeders cost?
As with anything, there is a price range when it comes to automation in the chicken coop.
So we will give you a few that we recommend at different price points, but keep in mind that you can pay for something with either time or money. Saving daily time for you may cost more money, and spending more money can buy you time. This applies to most things in life I find.
Here's what we look for in an automatic feeder
When it comes to automatic feeders, I personally look for ones that will keep the food fresh and dry. Also, I look for ones that will keep rats and other rodents away from my coop, and if I can, I like to find ones that the chickens have to think about to get at for some enrichment.
Treadle feeders offer some thought on the chickens' part to access the food, and we will talk more about this kind of feeder below.
Let's get into the automatic feeders now so you can have happy chickens and save time in your daily chicken chores!
Automatic Chicken Feeder
Here are our choices of best automatic chicken feeder and why we recommend them.
1. Grandpa's Feeder | Rodent Deterring Treadle Feeder
This chicken feeder is coming in with our highest recommendation.
It is designed to make the process of feeding chickens easier and more efficient, and it has been successfully doing so since 1995. This company has longevity in the game with raving reviews all along the way.
This feeder is made of high-quality materials (galvanized steel and alloy), and it is designed to hold a large amount of chicken feed, which means that it requires less frequent refilling.
You can actually choose from two sizes to customize it to your needs (a 20lb capacity feeder or a 40lb).
One of the key features of this product is that it is automatic, which means that it dispenses feed as the hens eat, ensuring that there is always fresh food available.
This not only saves time and effort, but it also helps to reduce waste and prevent rodents and other pests from accessing and eating (and contaminating) the feed.
Another advantage of this specific feeder is that it is designed to be weather-resistant, which means that it can be used both indoors and outdoors, regardless of the weather conditions.
Rat and Pest Proof
Because the chickens have to use their weight to step on the mechanism to open the feeder, wild birds, rats and other rodents are too light to do so, so they cannot access the food.
You have your choice of purchasing the 20lb capacity model or the 40lb capacity model. I personally don't think about how big my flock is, but rather, how often I want to refill my feeder, lol.
Waste reducing (anti flick grill)
Additionally, the feeder is designed to prevent chickens from wasting or spilling feed due to its anti flick grill. Chickens are unable to throw any feed out with their beaks which helps to reduce costs and ensures that the chickens receive the appropriate amount of food.
Overall, if you are a chicken owner looking for an efficient and reliable way to feed your birds, this is a really great choice. Its high-quality construction, automatic feeding mechanism, rodent deterring features and weather-resistant design make it a worthwhile investment for anyone who wants to make chicken feeding a hassle-free task.
2. RentACoop Feeder | Treadle Feeder
RentACoop's treadle feeder is slightly less expensive than the Grandpa's feeder we listed above (depending on sales and whatnot).
This metallic treadle feeder is designed to make chicken feeding easier and more efficient. It is constructed with high-quality materials and features a durable and weather-resistant design, making it suitable for both indoor and outdoor use.
Automatic feeder that is rodent proof
One of the key features of this product is its automatic feeding system, which dispenses food only when the chicken steps onto the metal treadle plate, preventing rodents and pests from accessing the feed. This not only saves time and effort but also helps to reduce waste and prevent the spread of diseases.
This feeder has an adjustable treadle from 1.5 pounds of pressure ( for bantams) up to 3 pounds of pressure ( for full-grown full-sized hens). It is not suitable for chicks, but chicks should have their own chick feeders regardless. They will access this one when they are big enough.
This feeder is 100% rainproof, so there is security in knowing your feeder works and is protected in extreme weather conditions. This feeder also includes weatherproof stickers to cover the training bold holes when not in use.
There are two options for this feeder, there is a 25lb capacity option and a 40lb capacity option, so you can choose the model based on your flock size or where you want to grow your flock size to (or how often you want to refill it!).
3. OverEZ Chicken Feeder | Gravity Fed Automation
The OverEZ Chicken Feeder is an automatic feeder designed to make chicken feeding easy and hassle-free. It is constructed with durable materials and features a design that is weather-resistant, making it suitable for use both indoors and outdoors.
Automatic feeder holes
One of the key features of this product is its automatic feeding system, which dispenses food as the hens eat, ensuring that they always have access to fresh food.
This is an automatic feeder where the food is gravity fed. As the chickens eat, the angled design keeps the food moving towards the feeding ports.
The feeder is designed to hold a large amount of chicken feed (50lbs), which means that it requires less frequent refilling. If you have 12-15 hens you will have to fill it every 1-2 weeks. It is also easy to fill from the outside, which eliminates the need to open the feeder to add more feed.
Here is a chart showing how many chickens this feeder will feed and how often you will have to refill it:
This feeder is also designed to prevent chickens from wasting or spilling feed, which helps to reduce costs and ensures that the chickens receive the appropriate amount of food.
Its design helps to keep the food clean and dry, which helps to prevent spoilage. When it rains, the port overhang and hidden recessed channel prevent runoff water from leaking into the feeder and ruining large amounts of feed for your chickens.
Not pest proof though
It is important to note that this design is not rat proof so it will not deter rodents from coming in and feeding. So if you are worried about pests or wild birds and other birds like your ducks getting at this feed, it will happen. However, if you live somewhere where this isn't a concern, it would be a great model for you.
4. Vevor Automatic Chicken Feeder | Gravity Feeder
This model is a galvanized automatic chicken feeder designed to make chicken feeding easier and more efficient. It is made of high-quality galvanized steel, which is sturdy and durable, making it suitable for use both indoors and outdoors, but we would recommend keeping this one indoors personally.
Its large capacity design ensures that it can hold a substantial amount of feed, reducing the need for frequent refilling.
This feeder is another gravity-fed design, so as your chickens eat, it pulls food down from the back compartment to the feed opening.
The bonus of this feeder is that it can hold 50lbs of chicken food in the back container, so this large feeder will go for a long time before having to refill it for your backyard chickens.
This will feed more chickens and is good option to make sure there is enough food for a large flock.
Wall mounted design
This model will have to be wall mounted or stuck to a wall, whether inside or outdoors. It is not a free standing model.
Not rat proof
Again, if rats or rodents are an issue for you, they will be able to access the food in this feeder model, and therefore it may not be for you. But if rats are not an issue, and you want a feeder that you won't have to refill often, this may be worth considering.
5. Royal Rooster Automatic Feeder | Gravity feeder
Here is another gravity fed option, just with less capacity. Why would you want one with less capacity?
Well, maybe you have a small flock.
Or, perhaps you want to put several around your coop and run and space them out so your chickens have options and won't all gather at one feeder where one could be excluded.
This is a hanging style feeder made from a PVC pipe material (plastic) that is designed to be suspended, as and relies on gravity to have a continuous flow of food.
Refill it easily by removing the plastic lid set up at the top.
The feeder features a rain cover that protects the open feeders from moisture and has an adjustable feeding bay that regulates the amount of feed released.
We would like to add that although it does have this protection from rain, keep in mind the food is still exposed and can possibly get damp from a very rainy season. Food for thought - literally.
This feeder can hold 7lbs of food and it is 20" tall. One of these feeders is suitable for 4-6 chickens.
This is another gravity fed feeder that needs to be hang mounted, but what is nice about this one being smaller and more lightweight, is that you can mount it right onto your chicken wire or wire fencing.
The design of the feeder container helps to minimize wastage and ensures that the chickens have access to fresh feed.
It is easy to clean and refill, making it a great investment for chicken owners who are looking for a reliable and efficient automatic feeder.
In conclusion, automatic chicken feeders are an excellent investment for chicken owners who want to streamline their feeding process, reduce waste, and save time.
There are various types of automatic chicken feeders available on the market, ranging from treadle feeders to hanging feeders, and each has its unique features and benefits. The best chicken feeder for you personally will depend on your flock size and your needs.
When choosing an automatic chicken feeder, consider factors such as:
- ease of cleaning
- weather proof
- pest control (rats)
- the type of feed it dispenses
Ultimately, the right automatic chicken feeder will depend on your specific needs and preferences.
Regardless of the type of feeder you choose, investing in an automatic chicken feeder will undoubtedly make chicken feeding a more manageable and enjoyable experience, and it is a great BONUS if you are going away for a few days and want to be certain your chickens are taken care of.
Here are some other chicken-related articles you may be interested in:
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