This feeder is not a rat proof feeder or squirrel proof but it will stop wild birds from stealing feed. It has the same action as the Grandpa treadle feeder or the cheap Chinese treadle feeders, no counterweight or spring loaded door so a determined rat or squirrel can push the door upwards as it requires less leverage to pull up on the lid than it takes to depress the treadle. We offer it solely to stay competitive with the re-sellers and Chinese importers and to offer a choice for those that are raising meat birds where the loss of a bird from a descending feeder lid isn't going to be a huge loss.
This style of feeder is not as safe as the rat proof chicken feeders as the door swings up into the bird's face and over the bird's head. We called it the Marie-Antoinette feeder for good reasons these guilitine style feeders like the Grandpa treadle feeder or the cheap Chinese treadle feeders simply are not that safe.. Expect two to three weeks training period where you have to leave the feeder blocked partially open. We don't recommend this style of feeder for pet chickens or expensive breeds of chickens.
Our version of the unbiquitous cheap Chinese treadle feeder has many advantages over the imported models. Our front treadle step is a proper perch, not a flimsy and slippery sheet metal step that will eventually bend and bottom out leaving the door unable to open. We have large 1/4" bolt pivot points instead of the small machine screws that are prone to falling off and we use lock nuts that won't fall off and will hold their adjustment. The MA 2017 has a half inch wide feed lip that helps with birds that are raking feed as long as you don't fill the feeder too full. And of course it is made right here in the U.S.A. out of proper galvanized steel instead of soft, easily chewed through aluminum. Our treadle assembly is one piece instead of the three piece version that the Grandpa treadle feeder and the cheap Chinese treadle feeders us. Less assembly required as there are no fasteners needed to bolt the treadle arms to the treadle steps. This makes our shipping carton a bit bigger though but it affords a much, much, sturdier product.
The MA 2017 chicken feeder hopper holds 12
pounds of laying pellets or other feed and has a 100%
galvanized sheet metal feed tray and hopper so the rats can't chew through the sides like on the aluminum imported feeders. Aluminum has health risks as well, the sale of aluminum cookware is prohibited in Germany, France, Belgium, Gr. Britain Switzerland, Hungary and Brazil.
Generally a laying hen eats around 4 ounces of feed per day,
so one pound of feed should feed four birds one day, or 12 days per full
hopper of feed for a four hen flock. However due to the lack of tall side panels it is recommended that the feeder be filled only half full to prevent chickens from raking feed out of the feeder or set a section of chicken wire on top of the feed to prevent raking. The feeder is designed and marketed for full size birds and shouldn't be used for smaller breeds. If you have bantams or other than full size birds please read our FAQ section on our main website. Copy and paste this web address in to your browser please http://ratproofchickenfeeder.net There is a lot of info on that web page including videos.
Approximate assembled size is 15” deep x 23” wide x 8.5”
tall. The actual feeder hopper is about 21" x 6.75" x 3.5" tall. Shipping weight is around 12 pounds with packaging for
the MA 2017 treadle chicken feeder.
When you are ready to purchase add the item to your cart, add your zip code to compute the shipping, and then scroll down to find the PayPal icon to automatically insert your shipping information. You will need to add your daytime phone number for FedEx Ground.
For more information about the feeders visit our main chicken feeder web page http://ratproofchickenfeeder.net
The shipping on the feeders isn't cheap because they are .81 cubic feet and weigh 12 pounds. Local states should cost $13.00 to $18.00 and the furthest states will run up to $22.00 or $25.00.
Sales channels like Amazon or Ebay have cheaper freight on items but what most customers don't realize is that sellers are forced to bury around half of the shipping cost in the price of the product! If the seller is selling Prime/Fulfilled by Amazon (FBA) they pay the inbound shipping AND out bound shipping. We used to sell on Amazon Market Place and the maximum shipping allowed for a twelve pound product is $10.00, half the cost of the actual shipping to California or to the East Coast. Then there is another $10.00 in selling fees (including 15% of the ultra low shipping costs!) so the sales price on Amazon had to be $20.00 higher to cover the hidden fees. We sell on Ebay the cost is around $12.00 more to cover the additional costs.
We feel that the fairest way is to charge the actual shipping and set the price of the actual feeder as low as possible.
If you are from Hawaii or Alaska it is cheaper to use U.S. Post Office Priority mail. Their parcel post rates are not competitive with FedEx Ground here in the continental states unless the state is nearby but a feeder to Alaska or Hawaii can be shipped for around $50.00.
The easiest way is to go to the USPS.com website and generate your own shipping label, then either print and scan it, right click on the actual label when it shows up on the screen and "save as", or just save the label as a PDF. Email the label to us, pay the cost of the product using PayPal using email@example.com as the PayPal address and your package will go out the next business day.
International orders must be handled through a forwarding service as the paperwork is quite burdensome for even a small package. Search online for package forwarding services, they will accept packages in your name, then bundle everything together and process the paperwork for exporting. Alternately, have the product shipped to a friend in the U.S. and take it back with you in your luggage when you visit. One thing to consider on international sales is that you can pack about five to nine pounds of additional product into the inside cavity of the feeder, most forwarders will consolidate packages if you ask, just make sure it will fit inside.
Unlike our standard rat proof chicken feeder this MA 2017 model feeder has a fairly complicated set of links and pivot points that must remain a bit loose in order to operate. Frequent oiling helps by reducing friction. The training will take several weeks, similar to the Grandpa treadle feeders because the door swings up into the bird's face instead of swinging back away but if you read reviews on the guillotine type feeder it takes weeks for the birds to learn to use the treadle feeder. As you cannot withhold feed for that long, blocking the lid open is done for the first week, then a training bolt that allows the lid to move a bit more is used on the second week to acclimate the bird to the lid moving up in their face and over their head.
A common mistake is to allow the birds to eat their fill when you show them the feed during training. Let them eat for just a few seconds, enough to know that food is in the feeder. You want them hungry so they gather up the courage to step on that treadle!
Please give us some feedback on the shopping cart after your birds have learned to use the feeder. Just visit the shopping cart web page where you ordered the feeder and place a review. The system should recognize you or you can sign into your account to leave the feedback. Feedback really helps new customers decide if the feeder is right for them and it helps us to learn what needs improved and what we are doing right.
Remember that repair parts are always available if you should ever need them.
Email us at ratproofchickenfeeder@Gmail.com if needed.
Thank you for the purchase of our feeder.
This style of feeder takes a much longer training period than our regular Rat Proof Chicken Feeder. Expect two to three weeks before you can completely close the feed off from the rats and wild birds.
It helps if a new flock is trained correctly from day one. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org 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 by using the training bolts the birds will generally learn to use the feeder in two to four weeks.
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. Block the feeder open by weighing down the treadle or inserting something to prevent the lid from coming down. 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. About one week later insert a smaller block under the lid or treadle so the lid will move a bit more. The birds will be a bit leery of this object that they thought wasn't supposed to move when they used it but when they get hungry enough one or more will try the treadle again.
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.
After one week remove the blocking so the feeder lid moves completely down to cover the feed. Check on the birds a few hours later and at the end of the day to see if they are hungry, hand feed if needed. Usually one or more of the braver birds will teach the other birds once they are sufficiently motivated by hunger.
Assembly Instructions MA 2017 treadle Feeder
Packed inside the feeder is a plastic bag containing six short bolts, four fender washers, two ¼” hex nuts, and six ¼” lock nuts. Your feeder was assembled and tested, then disassembled and packed for shipping.
Set the feeder in the upright position. Put one of the large fender washers on a bolt then reach under the feed tray and insert the bolt through the side of the feeder, add one large fender washer and one ¼” hex nut on the outside. Do the same for the other side then tighten the nuts firmly using a wrench or crescent wrench.
The lid links have one end that is ground smaller, less protrusion past the 1/4" hole than the top end. Bolt them to the treadle arms using one bolt and one 3/8" lock nut with the links going on the outside of the treadle bar so they have room to rotate and not scratch the side of the feeder. The head of the bolt is next to the side of the feeder, the 1/4" lock nut goes on the outside. Tighten firmly using two wrenches then back off about one half turn of the wrench. Place the treadle arm assembly over the bolts protruding out from the sides of the feeder and add the lock nuts, tighten the lock nuts down lightly then back it off 1/4th turn so that the treadle will move freely. You will have to bend the treadle arms to line everything up and tweak it so nothing rubs.
Insert another bolt from inside the lid pointing out and through the upper end of the link which will have a longer section projecting past the top of the feeder lid. Add a 1/4" lock nut, tighten down well with two wrenches, then back off 1/4 turn to provide enough room for the bolt to rotate freely.
If the treadle arm bolt rubs the side of the feeder, bend the treadle arm out slightly till it clears. Oil the joints with sewing machine oil, axle grease, motor oil, or any type of lubricant. Do not use WD 40, that is not a lubricant, it is a solvent that will wash away any lubricant already present. You will need to tweak the bolts till it is loose enough not to bind. Tightening everything down hard and then backing off will crush any burrs under the metal and make things rotate better.
The feeder should be fastened to a wall, post, or plywood sheet for stability. There are two 1 ½” x 3/4" thick wood blocks included, set the feeder in place and mark where the wood blocks should go on the floor or plywood sheet, screw the blocks to the floor, put the feeder back in place, and run a couple of screws through the side of the feeder into the wood blocks. If you want to secure it to a wall or post use a 2 x 4 block as a spacer block to provide clearance for the lid to open and close. Screw the 2 x 4 block to the wall, then run screws through the back of the feeder into the spacer block.
Email us at email@example.com if you have any problems, send pictures please! Don’t call, email with pictures so we can see the problem!
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. The complicated series of linkages and pivot points will require adjusting for the feeder to work. If you have shipping damage, 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 big bucks 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.
As the years go by we offer 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. 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 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. Please read our reviews to find out what other customers have said about assembly or training.
Cheaper Shipping? Take a look at our two pack, three pack, and four pack feeder bundles. The more you ship the cheaper until you get to the oversize boxes. The four pack feeders will ship to California for around $12.00 per feeder.
There is no such thing as cheap shipping, 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 $30.00 plus freight on a pallet of them and several retailers like Rentacoop and Hog Slat are keystoning 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.
This feeder is not a rat proof feeder, none of these guillotine style feeders are rat proof. But our MA 2017 treadle chicken feeder is better than the imported Chinese treadle feeders. First, no plastic or aluminum parts that rats will eventuality chew through. Second the treadle is set way back on purpose so that if a critter or a pack of critters managed to get the treadle down when they went forward to eat they would lose the leverage and the door would close. It also has a one piece steel treadle that won't flex and break like the riveted aluminum or plastic treadles.
As far as competition almost all of the competing products are imported from China from a handful of manufacturers and sold by re-sellers or the Chinese businessmen. There is little difference between the Chinese feeders other than minor stiffening creases or color.
Buyers should be wary. Read the reviews and if there are many critical reviews that is the best indication of a poorly designed feeder. Always remember that our regular rat proof feeder is a much more durable product that allows much faster training and the cost difference can be as little as $15.00 more. The MA 2017 is an inexpensive product designed to compete with the cheap Chinese treadle feeders and keep those jobs and dollars in the U.S.