This is the new design soft close version of our exterior rated rat proof chicken feeder. There have been thousands of the original feeders sold but one of the complaints was that the door closed so loudly and it delayed training for some flocks. Now if people followed the training instructions the birds learned to use the feeder despite the noise and a lot of people remarked that the sound of the door closing allowed them to know that the feeders were working without having to go into the coop. But people kept asking so we finally made a soft close version. The Soft Close mechanism comes installed on the feeder but it barely fits the box so it might bet bent a bit during shipping. A cresent wrench or a pair of pliers will easily bend it back to line up with the door axle crank rod. We have several videos up showing the assembly of the feeders and a very specific video showing how to install the soft close kit or retrofit an existing feeder for the soft close kit.
Please read the reviews on the very popular medium feeder by clicking here.
The mechanism is a cabinet door soft close cylinder mounted on a steel bracket. It is adjustable, the cylinder can be replaced should it ever wear out or fail, and tweaking won't take five minutes once you have the tools gathered. There is listing for a retro fit soft close kit and it has a video showing how to install the soft close kit on an old feeder. Here is the link to the video
. You will need a screwdriver with a Philip's bit, either manual or cordless, and you will need a crescent wrench to bend the door axle if it doesn't line up. When you order the new soft close feeder the soft close is already installed. The soft close cylinder has been tested down to 9 degrees F with little change in closing speed at low temperatures. Subzero weather might require backing the cylinder screw out completely until the temperature gets above 9 degrees.
A word about these soft close feeders. They take some tweaking to get right both when making them and again when the customer adds the treadle and installs them. At best they slow down the door a bit to prevent a hard slam. In the new design there is a lot of competition for space between the front of the door and the back side of the front flange on the feeder side. The front flange has been seamed so it is a lot thicker and sometimes we have to flatten them out when installing the soft close kit for the door to close. Then there is the front cover that comes down in that space, sometimes it needs bent on both sides to provide closing room. Right now the non soft close feeder is performing pretty good, adding the soft close mechanism is adding both complexity and additional pressure for the spring to close the door. We are still tweaking this soft close feature so at best, expect the door to not slam hard and loud like the regular feeder. We are experimenting with the soft close cylinders as well. For years we used the plastic chrome color units but we found some metal units, actually metal, not plastic and we are using them and having to do a lot of experimentation when installing them. Expect a few extra screw holes in the side of the feeder, sometimes covered up by the soft close frame, sometimes not. They won't let water in, they are just what we have to put up with and so do you if you buy one of these soft close feeders till we get a better system figured out. If you are OCD, do not buy the soft close feeder, might not want to buy any of our feeders because they have always been a bit wonky and imperfect. But the chickens don't care and they keep the mice and rats and wild birds out if the instructions are followed.
The new design medium rat proof treadle chicken feeder hopper holds 2pounds of laying pellets or other feed and has a 100%
galvanized sheet metal feed tray and hopper so the feed
flows easily and sanitation is assured.
Generally a laying hen eats around 4 ounces of feed per day,
so one pound of feed should feed four birds one day, 7
pounds per week per four birds, or 3 1/2 weeks per full
hopper of feed for a four hen flock. The feeder is designed and marketed for full size birds. If you have bantams or other than full size birds please read our FAQ section on our main website at ratproofchickenfeeder.net There is a lot of info on that web page including videos.
Approximate assembled size is 18” deep x 14” wide x 18”
tall. The actual feeder hopper is about 11" x 10" x 14" tall, partially rectangular, partially triangular shape where the door has to swing back against the feed hopper. Shipping weight is around 15 pounds with packaging for
the medium rat proof treadle chicken feeder.
When you are ready to purchase add the item to your cart 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
Here is one of the most recent reviews on this product. The lady had rats tunneling under her coop causing structural damage, saved 20% per day in feed costs for 25 hens, and is getting three to four extra eggs per day, which probably meant that the rats were eating that many eggs or were stressing the hens enough to impact egg production.
Headline: Rats are gone!
Barb, Orange, VA
I ordered 2 feeders. They're easy to assemble and look like
they'll be easy to clean, although none of the birds are hanging out on
top of them.
I attached the wood mounting block to the back of the feeder and screwed
two heavy-duty hooks into the top of the block. The hooks hang on the
inside of the chain link fence that supports the open-air chicken coop.
This causes the feeder to tilt forward a bit, so I'm planning to add a
bumper near the bottom to correct the tilt.
I recommend training the chickens when you can spend a few hours with
them over two days. They were scared of the sound of the door closing
and would run away. I stood in the coop and would catch a hen, place
her on the treadle and let her eat. Then I'd remove her, let the door
close, and place her back on the treadle. I did this repeatedly with
all the brave girls and the not-so-brave girls would watch and then eat
from the sides. When I saw one girl jump on the treadle, I left the
coop. I repeated this the next day to make sure multiple girls were
jumping on the treadle. Make sure there is no other food available
because they won't learn if they're not motivated by hunger.
I'm using finely-ground feed. I haven't had any issues with bridging,
probably because the hens rock the feeder when they jump on the treadle.
I'm feeding 25 birds with 2 feeders and all of them appear to be
getting enough to eat.
I've seen 4 hens eating at the same time, but usually
I see 3.
My coop recently became overrun by rats that dug through heavy clay
under the apron of my coop. I think one or more got caught inside the
coop when the automatic door closed so they spent the night digging out.
The tunnels were causing structural damage because they tunneled under
weight-bearing blocks. Judging by the extensive network of tunnels
radiating 40-50 feet from the coop, there were many rats.
I installed the rat-proof feeders and poison bait stations at the same
time because rats will chew on the chickens' feet if they don't have
anything else to eat. The feeders and bait stations have been in place
for just over two weeks and we've noticed this past week that the tunnel
entrances in the coop aren't active any more and are being filled in by
the chickens scratching the dirt.
We're even getting 3-4 more eggs a
day. I'm assuming the rats were stressing the chickens, which reduces
I'm using 20% less feed and getting more eggs, so I'm very happy with
the new feeders!
Rating: 5 stars out of 5 stars