Please note that this product is only for when you order the Duck Step without ordering a feeder order! We can drop it in the feeder box for free shipping if you are ordering a feeder too.
There is another listing if you want to order the Duck Step with a feeder so you get free shipping on the product.
This is a treadle step extender for the medium Rat Proof Chicken Feeder. Just the Duck Step, not the feeder! Used to make it easier for ducks, geese, turkeys, and rabbits to use the feeder. Made out of Baltic Birch plywood, pre drilled for two wood screws (included), and can be installed in less than one minute.
As this item allows chickens and also vermin to get closer to the feed tray, it will reduce the rat proof ability somewhat for the larger vermin or for vermin that might overwhelm the treadle in large numbers so trim down the front portion to as small as possible. You can also start using the feeder without the treadle extension and add it later once the majority of the larger rats have left.
There is a larger Turkey Step available and a smaller version for our small feeder.
If you are from Hawaii or Alaska it is cheaper to use U.S. Post Office Priority mail.
Thank you for the purchase of our feeder.
Thousands of these feeders are already in use but it helps if a new flock is trained correctly from day one.
If your package of hardware is nowhere to be seen take the feeder outside on a concrete or other hard surface and drop it a few inches straight down, sometimes the hardware bag gets stuck up behind the front cover when the feeder is turned upside down during shipping and handling. If all else fails, remove the two screws in the front cover and see if it is jammed up there. Sometimes the door crank hole is plugged with extra paint, just shove the wire through to clear the excess paint. Email us at ratproofchickenfeeder@Gmail.com if needed.
Will they be afraid of the new feeder?
Yes, chickens are prey animals; see how their eyes are on the sides of their head instead of in front like a predator? Binocular vision is for predators, side vision for prey so they have a wider field of view. Chickens are skittish by nature, it is in their genes, and they are wary of new things and things that move. Just a shadow flicking by overhead will make them run in panic even as chicks, it is genetically embedded knowledge, not experience. But if you start a flock off by showing them that the door is supposed to move when they step on the treadle and wait till they are hungry the birds will learn to use the feeder in one day.
How to train the birds
After the birds go to roost at night you make sure the feeder is installed, fastened to a wall or sturdy post, and is full of feed. Then remove ALL other feed sources except the feeder. No scraps, no treats, nothing but what is inside the feeder. The next morning wait till about two to three hours after sunrise and show the birds where the feed is by using your toe to trip the treadle. WHEN they are hungry enough one of them will try stepping up on the treadle. Let her eat for ten to fifteen seconds then gently push her off to see if she will try it on her own. If not, repeat the lesson.
Usually one bird will try the feeder as soon as you show them where the feed is located.
IF the birds are hungry they will mob the feeder. If they are not hungry they will remain skittish of this object that they thought wasn't supposed to move when they used it.
Don't spend a lot of time that first training session, a couple of minutes is enough if they are hungry. Go back in a couple of hours and repeat the lesson. Check on them again before they go to roost. Check again the next morning a few hours after sunrise.
Center side to side on the treadle step, line up the front with the front of the treadle step and insert the two black wood screws.
Returns ARE accepted for shipping damage that is not easily repaired by the customer and we are talking about a five minute fix using a screw driver and wrench, popping out a dent by hand, or simply tweaking the door. Let us know by email the same day your feeder arrives, take a few pictures of any damaged and email them to us so we can start the claim process with our shipper. In about two business days we can email you a return shipping label and as soon as that label shows up in the FedEx Ground system as being picked up we can re ship a replacement product. Returned feeders that have been opened are destroyed, not resold, due to the risk of disease being spread so it is an expensive process to allow returns, but if it is OUR fault or the SHIPPERS fault we will take care of the problem. Once a customer opens the box and starts the assembly process the risk of spreading disease has started as the customer might have disease organisms on their hands from handling their flock.
Returns ARE NOT accepted if you change your mind about the purchase, for lost hardware, for minor dents that can be popped out by hand, cosmetic damages, or someone expecting a Steinway Piano at Wal Mart prices. If you have OCD spend the $225.00 for the Grandpa feeder or better yet sell your chickens and use the money for visiting a shrink. Also if your chicken died before the feeder arrived, too bad, buy a new chicken. Or if the shipping damage can be repaired using a screw driver and wrench we will send you replacement parts. In four years we have had one welded door axle fail and a couple of stripped screws, both five minute fixes using a Philips screwdriver and a wrench. Hardware bags break loose on occasion and nuts or washers get lost, for that we will mail you a replacement hardware bag. Sometimes the bag gets stuck up behind the front cover and can be seen by peeking under the cover or smacking the feeder down hard on a floor to dislodge the bag.
As the years go by we offer free replacement parts such as springs or hardware, as long as it isn't something like a side panel or back panel that has rusted out after years of use. All you do is pay for the postage for delivering the parts. Don't set galvanized metal on alkaline soil is one tip and the average chicken coop has a lot of ammonia present that can accelerate rusting of even galvanized steel if you don't keep the poop away from the bottom of the feeder. Install it as we recommend and the feeder will last for many years.
We do not allow returns of used feeders for any reason due to the risk of spreading diseases. If you have not followed our instructions and your birds aren't using the feeder that is not a cause to return the feeder. Follow the instructions, all chickens are nervous by nature, few are any dumber than the rest, so we have not yet seen a flock that "won't" use the feeder but we have seen a dozen or so customers that "won't" follow the instructions and then claim their flocks are too stupid to use the feeder. Guess what? It isn't the chickens that are stupid.
We wish to keep the cost of our feeders as low as possible and our feeder is a lower cost alternative to the very expensive Grandpa feeder so we do not wish to cater to customers that think they can order a feeder, try it out, and return the product. That drives the cost of doing business up dramatically. Nor do we wish to deal with the crazy OCD people that think a chicken feeder has to be built to Steinway piano standards, be produced in the U.S., and be sold at rock bottom prices. But if you want a less expensive solution to preventing wild birds and rats from stealing your feed, are intelligent enough to assemble the feeder or have someone that can do that or are willing to ask the five year old neighbor kid to assemble the feeder, then you are our kind of customer and you can order with confidence.
There is no such thing, UPS, USPS, and FedEx Ground all charge a lot of money to deliver packages. All "free shipping" programs have the cost of shipping buried in the cost of the product or in the case of Amazon Prime they require sellers to inventory a lot of product at dozens of warehouses around the U.S. and charge enormous selling fees to cover shipping and handling costs. As an example, we once sold on Amazon which has a $12.00 selling fee and you have to bury another $12.00 on the average into the sales price to cover the subsidized shipping. If we still sold on Amazon and offered the free shipping or Amazon fulfillment the feeder would cost $89.00 plus shipping (15 pounds is allowed $12.00 on Amazon) for a total of $101.00 net price to the customer.
Even if we used Amazon fulfillment the cost of warehousing feeders around the country and the cost of shipping the feeders to those warehouses would bring us right back to the same costs as shipping from our Oklahoma shop. A competing product sold on Amazon that holds the same amount of feed costs $99.95 but it has "free shipping", meaning you actually pay $34.95 for the shipping and selling fees. That product is the green plastic and sheet metal one and it is being dumped on the U.S. market after the Dutch company couldn't sell them in Europe due to design flaws that allow rats, wild birds, and squirrels to simply push the door open! This Dutch company is wholesaling them at $40.00 plus freight on a pallet of them and several retailers like Rentacoop and Hog Slat are key stoning them (doubling the cost). Hog Slat has a warning about the vermin being able to chew through the plastic parts of the feeder and the ability to push the door open, in bright red text but at the very bottom of the web page. The Amazon page for the product has a 30% critical (negative) reviews rating. It is a pretty feeder but it is also pretty bad.