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 [email protected]
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.