counterweight feeder assembly instructions:
you for the purchase of our feeder. There are videos of this process
on our main website at ratproofchickenfeeder.net. Packed with the
feeder is a plastic bag containing two short bolts, four fender
washers, two ¼” nuts, and two ¼” lock nuts. A
large plastic bag holds the hardware kit, an instruction sheet, a hanging cleat, and the
wire link. Your feeder was assembled and tested, then disassembled
and packed for shipping.
the feeder in the upright position and install the pivot bolts. Put
one of the large fender washers on a bolt then reach inside the
swinging door into 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 two wrenches. Wrench sizes are 7/16” and 10 mm.
the treadle over the pivot bolts protruding out from the sides of the
feeder while making sure the small hole for the wire link is on the
same side as the door crank and add one lock nut on each side.
Tighten the lock nuts down lightly then back it off 1/8th 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.
the wire link with small bent end into the hole in the end of the
door axle crank rod and stick the large L bend end through the right
side treadle arm, try the middle hole if there are three holes. It is best to have the wire ends point to the
outside of the feeder to keep the door centered. Bend both ends of
the wire link over to keep the wire link from popping off. Do not
wrap the wire tight, it has to rotate freely to avoid metal fatigue. The
wire link has already been installed and removed for packaging. If
the swinging door doesn’t open up all the way back try using a different hole or take a pair of
pliers and put a kink in the wire link if there is just one hole in the treadle. All you are doing is
shortening the wire link by putting a kink in it. Watch
the videos if you have any questions.
feeder will have two door springs already installed. To make the
door easier to open for small birds just remove the top front cover
and move the springs down one hole or you can remove the right spring
and re install it on the door crank. Hook the short end of the
spring under the wire link where it goes through the door axle and
using pliers pull it up and hook it on the side of the top of the
feeder. Be careful working with the spring, watch your eyes! Pull the
spring up, not down, in case it breaks. You can even use just one
spring but the stiffer the springs the more rat proof the feeder will
the feeder on a couple of patio blocks or a wide platform that is
raised up away from any deep litter. You want some room for the chicken to stand in front of the treadle and also in front of the treadle. There is a z shaped cleat
packaged with the feeder. Hold the feeder against the wall, mark the top of the feeder using a pencil, screw the cleat to the wall about 1/8" below the marked line. Set the feeder over the
cleat, there is a sticker on the cleat with a simple link that will
take you to our website video channel where you will find a video
showing how to hang the cleat on the wall at the exact height. Make
sure that the treadle step bottoms out on something. Use a 2 x 4 or
a 1 x 4 as a spacer if the treadle doesn't bottom out. If the bird is
trying to stand on a wobbly treadle they will not like using the
feeder. Generally birds will press the treadle down with one foot
and stand on the surface with the other foot which is why you want plenty of room around the treadle. It is a good idea to block the sides with a gallon jug of water or a concrete block to force the birds to come in from the front of the feeder.
the lid must be pushed to one side to get it to close completely.
There will be small gaps, a triangular gap on the sides of the door
and usually a narrow gap at the bottom of the door. Rats and mice
will not be able to get in these narrow gaps, the gaps are too small
and the metal is too slick to climb.
us at [email protected] if you have any problems, send pictures
please! Don’t call, email with pictures so we can see the problem!
of these feeders are already in use. It helps if a new flock is
trained correctly from day one. You’ve made a large investment in
this feeder and we want to help you make it work for your flock. But
do not use logic, follow the instructions to the very letter if you
want fast training.
they be afraid of the new feeder?
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.
to train the birds
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, no
free range, no old feed on the ground or in the litter, 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.
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. Remember, the treadle HAS to bottom out
solidly and not wobble in the air while the bird is trying to eat.
Do not mount the feeder high up on a wall, birds will fall and be
trapped and killed if you do that.
can assure you that your birds are smart enough to learn but you need
to go over the instructions again to make sure you have done your
part. It is easy to miss something or think parts of the instructions
Make sure the feeder has been installed according to the assembly and
installation instructions, especially about securing it solidly to a
wall or post so it doesn't move around and the treadle bottom out .
make sure the spring is adjusted for your average bird weight,
remove the top front cover and move the spring up to increase the
pressure. If you have the spring set too stiff the door is noisier
than it needs to be and harder to learn to use. It is not a "one
size fits all" feeder, it is designed for the average bird, a
Rhode Island Red. You can also remove one of the springs for a
few days till they get used to the movement and noise. Follow the
instructions and that loud door sounds like a dinner bell to the
the instructions to the letter, nothing added, nothing left out!
Don't try to set the birds on the treadle and do not block it open.
If you block the feeder open you are teaching the birds that the door
doesn't have to move in order for them to eat! Just follow the
instructions to the letter and the chickens will learn quickly. The
reviews have several reviews were people admitted to not following
the instructions and having problems that went away after they
re-read and followed the training instructions.
resistant modifications The
feeder is somewhat water resistant as the lid overhangs on all sides
by a small amount but a blowing rain can hit the door and drip into
the front of the feed tray. To make the feeder more water resistant
set the feeder under a cover that provides at least a foot of
overhang on front, down as low as possible, perhaps hinged to lift up
to re fill the feeder. The cover can be made from coreplast (old
political signs are great) or just about anything. Another trick if
the feeder must remain outside is to carefully bend the bottom front face of the feeder in a quarter of an inch. The back, bottom, and lower front of the feeder is one long part, bend the front that is just below the door. It has a feed rake lip
inside to prevent hens from raking feed, bend this in a bit to prevent water from dripping down the door into the feed.
or twice a year we hear from a customer that they have one or more
birds raking feed out despite the inner feed rake lip that usually
prevents that. In our upgrade kits and repair part section of our
shopping cart we have a lip extension that is about 1.25” tall
that just slips behind the front edges of the feeder and the front
lip, or you can cut a section of chicken wire and lay on top of the
feed inside the feeder.
feeder spring system can handle an extended treadle step for smaller
birds or ducks (web feet instead of a grasping claw) if needed but
install the step before adjusting the spring. Thin sheet metal, 3/16”
thick plywood, or any thin and lightweight material will work. We
also sell a Duck Step and a larger Turkey Step in our parts section
on the shopping cart. If your birds are taking too long to acclimate
you can add a wider step and whittle it down a bit each week till you
are back to the original narrow treadle for maximum rat and squirrel
you have long legged turkeys you can purchase our Turkey Step or make
Close retrofit and installation
have a soft close kits in the parts section of our shopping cart or
you can order the soft close door in the options above.
the video on installing the soft close kit. It might be an older
video with a wooden bar but the process is nearly the same. Hold the
metal strap level, run one of the screws through the hole in back
into the side of the feeder. Hold the door tightly closed and
bring the front of the mechanism down till it hits the door axle,
compressing the soft close cylinder all the way, then push it back up
a 1/8” inch to have clearance and insert another self taping crew
in the front. Holes are Not drilled through the back layer so that
the screw doesn't strip out, use the self tapping screw to drill
through that back layer and the feeder side. On the front you will
find a second pre drilled hole ready for a screw. Push the soft
close cylinder over so it lines up with the door axle as much as you
can. If the door axle doesn't line up with the soft close cylinder
use a cresent wrench to carefully bend the axle over so it lines up.
Do not go back and forth, if the axle moves side to side, you have
knocked off the plastic tubing, remove the front cover and fix it.
is a knob at the top of the soft close cylinder that decreases the
closing speed. Be sure you have your spring installed and the
counter weight installed before adjusting the speed. Crank the knob
down till the door begins to open at the bottom and then back it off
a turn. Add a foam block on the backside of the door to have an even
quieter feeder. Silicone will glue styrofoam or foam rubber in
sure the feeder is securely fastened to a wall or post and that the
treadle is bottom out on something solid so the bird can stand on the
ground with one foot and have the other foot holding down the
Email us at [email protected]
if you have any problems, send pictures please! Don’t call, email with pictures so we can see the problem!