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Soft Close Exterior version Medium Ratproof Chicken Feeder

review
4
0
5
Your Price: $100.00
In stock and ready to ship
Part Number:F-MEDSCEX

Why buy this product?:

Quiet soft close door! Stop the rats, wild birds, and other vermin from stealing your feed and spreading disease. Cut your feed bill in half!

Shipping info

Shipping rates have skyrocketed thanks to Amazon squeezing the three main carriers. For cheaper shipping use the multi pack. Or send us a label.

Videos available

The picture slide show to the left has a video of the feeder in use, check the small feeder and replacement parts listings for more videos

Is it hard to assemble?

Assembly will take a few common tools and about five minutes. More on assembly below in the tab section

Is it hard to train the chickens to use it?

If you follow our instructions training the birds takes a few minutes then a refresher coures a few hours later

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
Review:

 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 egg output. 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
5 Stars
Ms.
Took a few days for training but this is a great product. All of our rats were trapped and none have come back since there is no more food on the ground.
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Reviewed by:  from CA. on 8/31/2021
5
5 Stars
100% worth the peace of mind
After going away for a night or two and seeing a rat come in and camp out stuffing its fat little face in our old hanging feeder, I finally bit the bullet and purchased this rat-proof treadle feeder, and I 6 weeks later I can safely say I'm 100% glad we did. We introduced the new treadle feeder to our 13-14 week old pullets and they picked it up almost immediately (we taught the "top"/boldest chicken first, and the other chickens followed her lead). We did have to tape a 2nd step and several rocks to the treadle as a counter-counterweight - at 14 weeks most of them were not heavy enough to step on and fully open the door. Now that they're 19-20 weeks old, we've removed all the rocks (but not the 2nd step, as they seem to like that and it gives them a bit more support). IS IT RAT PROOF? We have a camera in the run and I can confirm the rat showed up again one night after but was totally unable to figure out the door, and was definitely too light for the counterweight. That was an enormously satisfying moment. IS IT SAVING FEED? Yes! For crumbles or dusty feed you may still see some scattered around the base (our chickens tend to swipe that out more) but I'm definitely seeing way less food spilled outside compared our old feeder. INSTRUCTIONS: - The product description and reviews correctly set up my expectations for the item I was getting and the need to closely follow instructions. - Between the written instructions and the YouTube video for the non-soft-close version we got it down without significant issue. - We had the soft close fairly tight initially and it was causing the door to not close more fully (due to how small/light our chickens were). So we played around with it and ended up unscrewing almost all of the soft close, and honestly didn't miss it much, and the chickens didn't seem to mind either. OUR SETUP: - We have the treadle feeder on 2 solid 18x18" pavers from Lowes on top of backyard dirt. It's not quite level, but it's definitely very heavy and stable and seems to work solidly. - I have an Omlet coop/run so there’s nowhere firm or solid to drill the back hook into. So I didn't wall anchor it to anything, but left a heavy rock on the top of the lid for stability, and the chickens don't seem to mind in the least.
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Reviewed by:  from Seattle, WA. on 8/21/2021
5
5 Stars
Great product
A few weeks ago, I peered out into my serene backyard to gaze upon my lovely flock of hens and spotted a rat eating my chicken's food! I immediately started researching solutions and decided to order the medium soft close exterior ratproof chicken feeder. I was especially liked that this feeder had a soft close feature, as not to give my already rather flighty girls just one more reason to be even flightier. The feeder arrived and my son put it together for me without a problem in about 5 minutes. It was exactly as described/advertised. I was pleased that the soft close feature did indeed make it nice and quiet. We began training the flock right away. We followed the training instructions included with the feeder exactly but my flighty flock would ONLY step on the treadle and eat AFTER I compressed it to show them how it worked. The minute I removed my foot and walked away they scattered. They refused to step up on the treadle when I wasn't out there. I had to go out 4 to 5 times a day and hold the treadle down to get them to come step on it and eat. This went on for about 3 days and I started to get worried. I emailed the seller and told him my plight. He responded quickly and was very helpful advising me to take extra measures to really stabilize the feeder as even the slightest feeling of tipsiness will make the chickens not trust it. I already had it on an even, flat wooden base, but, at his advice, placed a heavy concrete paver on the lid to really hold it down hard. Sure enough, it wasn't long after that when our head hen started using it without me. The others gathered around and ate once she got on it but it took a while for them all to learn to use it on their own. We are coming up on having it for two weeks now and finally our last, most flighty hen was spotted using it on her own today. Training definitely took longer than expected, but if you stick with it, they'll get it. Birds, just like people, learn at their own pace. If you have questions, don't hesitate to contact the seller. He's smart, helpful and quick to respond. Overall, I am very pleased with this feeder. It's a quality product and no more rats or wild birds are coming around stealing the chicken food any more. It holds a lot more food than my old plastic feeder and does a great job keeping the food fresh and dry, even in wet, western Washington. I would highly recommend this product to all chicken owners.
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Reviewed by:  from Washington. on 3/15/2021
5
5 Stars
I Like This Feeder
I got the soft close exterior version of the Medium Rat Proof Chicken Feeder . Shipping was super fast , Al was great to answer emails and a very nice person to boot . Assembly ,setup , adjustment , and training the birds went smoothly following Al's instructions to the T . I can get well over a weeks worth of feed in this feeder and not have to worry about the weather or vermin . Its nothing fancy but it works and its solid , should last me a good many years , I would buy or will buy again in the future if needed .
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Reviewed by:  from Long Island , NY. on 12/29/2019
5
5 Stars
Happy Chicken Lady
This is my second rat-proof-treadle. I had bought one about 7 years ago and hauled it my suitcase to Malta as I was having a terrible time with rats. It worked great and my feed lasted a lot longer when I wasn't feeding the local wild birds and rats! Having converted my neighbor into a fellow chicken lady, I gifted that treadle to her when I moved and she took over my flock. Even after 7 years seaside (where everything rusts) the treadle was still working great. Being so happy with it, I knew I'd buy another when I got new chickens here, and I was pleased to see Al has improved it. I bought a soft-close version and wow, what a difference that makes! My new girls, which I've raised from day-old chicks have never been afraid of the treadle as it doesn't clank shut like my first one did. Hooray! And it's much nicer for a quiet neighborhood. I appreciate only having to fill the feeder once a week, plus knowing my girls always have access to food. Al's got a great sense of humor and is a good guy to work with, his products are the best I've found.
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Reviewed by:  from Vancouver WA. on 6/4/2019
5
5 Stars
Keeps mice out!
This feeder works! Two weeks later, no signs of mice getting into the feeder. I have 9 Millie bantams, 2 Buff Orpingtons and bought a size medium feeder. ASSEMBLY: I was quite concerned that the door did not seem to fully close. When considering how small of a space a mouse can get through, the gaps around the sides of the door looked humongous. The thickness of the wrench used for assembly could be slipped in through the door with no resistance at all. Al reassured me that it was put together correctly and that the gaps are to be expected, stating the door will never close tightly due to the design. Also, the metal is too slick for the mice to climb. MODIFICATIONS: The feeder did require some modifications to accommodate my bantams. Some changes could compromise the ability of the feeder to deter heavier pests, but, Al is very clear about this trade-off. The duck plate extension (or any other small piece of flat wood) does bring the bantams closer to the feeder; without it I don't think they could reach the feed. It is important that the treadle bottom out per website. After assembly completion, my treadle stopped short of actually hitting the ground underneath, with about 4 inches of space between the bottom of the treadle and the coop floor. So, I did have to add a piece of wood underneath the treadle in order for it to reach the ground when fully depressed. I added this about day 3 and that's when the bantams seemed to gain confidence in the feeder. I think they felt too wobbly on a treadle that was not solid and it made training initially harder. SOFT CLOSE: Nice. The extra moments it takes for the door to close allows the bantams to back out, especially when they are first learning and perhaps using the buddy system with a full size bird. Also, I think the quieter closing door was better for everyone. The feature may really be more for the owners than the birds :) TRAINING: I started on a day when I could spend time with them. Mealworms placed on top of their regular food was all it took for one of the Buffs to stick her head in and grab one. By the afternoon she had the hang of it and some bantams were learning to eat with her or another bantam. After about 4 or 5 days the bantams were eating solo; it does not appear that any of them "need" the buddy system any longer. No signs of mice in the feeder, little to no spillage of feed. I'm very pleased with the feeder; would buy again!
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Reviewed by:  from Indiana. on 4/19/2019
5
3 Stars
Home
Works as designed. Very rough construction. The swinging door was not connected to the wood inside and I had to use different acres because they were stripped out. I also had to tweak the bar on the block as well. Wish I didn’t have to do so much work to get it to work.
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Reviewed by:  from Kelso, WA. on 8/15/2018
3
3 Stars
Still hoping chickens get the hang of it.
The overall design is good. I wish the foot perch on the treadle was larger. Chickens are standing on skinny metal sides of the treadle. I have had it slightly open for 1 month and so far and chickens still don't seem to remember feed is in the feeder unless its semi open so they can see it...
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Reviewed by:  from Norco CA. on 6/7/2018
3
5 Stars
ms.
I ordered 2 of the Exterior version and it works exactly like they say it will - although each came with a different colored treadle. This way I can have them either inside or outside the coop with no worries. Do watch their videos before putting it together and read their notes on tricks to retrofit if needed - they work. I have Large Breeds so the pullets and cockerels when young are a lot smaller than the 1 above year olds. Had to do just as they stated and put a loose piece of chicken wire covering the pellets in the dish portion of the feeder so they can't rake out the feed - door is still able to open and close with no problems. LOL...the babies have figured it out though. They stand in front of the treadle and actually sit on the treadle to keep it open while they eat...Oh, what a sight! And most important, the mice and rats have no food and are now making plans to pack up and move on. YAHOO!!
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Reviewed by:  from Sutter Creek. on 5/14/2018
5
4 Stars
owner
The chicken feeder seems to be well made and made to last. Not sure how long the springs will last though, so I purchased a few extras. If you have a small flock (I have only 3 turkeys at the moment) it may be more difficult to train them. Mine are very skiddish of every little sound. I'm still not sure that they have figured it out yet. I opted for a more secure method of mounting. Instead of the 2 x 4 supplied which would only utilize 2 of the 4 mounting holes, I purchased 5/4 x 8 board and cut it to size to use all 4 holes. You CAN'T use a 1 x 8 as it is not thick enough to allow the top hopper door to open while mounted. A 2 x 8 will also work well though. I also purchased the Turkey treadle step. This only has 2 screws to mount it. It needs 2 more screws in the front to prevent it from tilting up while they are standing on it. I mounted another board between the treadle bars (under the Turkey step) with 4 screws and the screwed the Turkey Treadle step to the board closer to the feeder. This provides a much sturdier surface for the turkeys to stand on since they weigh a bit more than chickens. You may need this modification for the Duck step also since it is a larger platform. Other than these modifications, I think we will have this feeder for years to come.
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Reviewed by:  from Ridge, NY. on 3/17/2018
4
5 Stars
House Boss!!
I loved my original so much, I had to buy a second one, and the soft close option is fantastic!
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Reviewed by:  from Seattle, Wa. on 9/7/2017
5
2 Stars
Nice Idea, But...
I like the concept, but there are some design/construction flaws that I cannot seem to figure out how to fix. The major one that prevents me from using the feeder is that the door hinge rod is mounted through a slot on the left side instead of just a hole for the rod to pass through. When the spring is applied to the right side, this causes the rod to drop down in the slot on the left side, resulting in the door sagging on that side and sticking to the point where the chickens cannot open the door, which defeats the whole purpose. I don't understand why the rod is mounted through a slot and not just a hole - that would keep the door straight and stop it from sticking. I've been trying to figure out a way to fix this to make the feeder useable, but have had no luck so far.
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Reviewed by:  from Tennessee. on 7/24/2017
2
4 Stars
mr
I have free range birds.. 400 sq. ft. each of prime forage habitat..The unit is 4 stars for quality.....should be made in the USA tho.....For someone with limited space and that has a rat problem this product would be great. I bought it to reduce blackbird problem. It should be painted brown to eliminate scaring the chickens...I have a mice problem in the coop in the winter and am fairly confident that by wall mounting this unit it (with the door propped open and the treadle removed) will decrease that problem..I did the above modifications and mounted it to a fence and have noticed a huge reduction blackbird theft of food....For those that have issues specific to this design I would highly recommend this product. I would not recommend it for free range operations....The customer service is outstanding I might add.... *******Manufacturers note: Please don't wall mount this feeder and modify it like the customer did. It is just a matter of time before those blackbirds start to use the feeder without the treadle and door in place. Mice will jump two to three feet to reach feed too. Free range birds won't learn to use the feeder unless you coop a few of them up each day till they are hungry enough to have to use the feeder, then they will teach the rest of the flock. Please follow the directions that we provide with the feeder as they are time tested and thousands and thousands of feeders are being used successfully.
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Reviewed by:  from billings MT. on 6/10/2017
4
5 Stars
Great Feeder
I found this feeder after searching online for a solution to the rat problem we'd developed as a result of our chicken feed. The feeder came quickly, and my husband was able to assemble it without much trouble. It took our big girl about five days to figure it out, but she's now a pro, and the rodents have all but disappeared. We have two younger girls who aren't big enough to open the feeder alone, and they aren't smart enough to do it together. Big girl only allows one of them at a time to eat so I'm still propping the door open for them with a brick at certain times of the day.Hopefully they'll gain weight fast! We're very pleased with the feeder. It holds a lot of feed which has stayed dry in spite of the rains we've had. And, it really is rat proof! Thanks!
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Reviewed by:  from Houston. on 6/4/2017
5
4 Stars
Chicken Mom
Just set up my new feeder. The video was invaluable. I was all thumbs! The girls are snooping around and I showed them how it works and even put some scratch inside to temp them more. Delivery was amazingly fast! Within a week! Thanks for the great service and great product!
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Reviewed by:  from Houston, MN. on 3/19/2017
4
4 Stars
ms
this item is not in service yet, but it is a sturdy, well built item. happy to give my business to a small craftsman. i will say that you would do yourself a favor to get a good graphic designer to illustrate the directions, and tighten up the text. i am good at this sort of thing, but i did scratch my head at a couple of spots.
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Reviewed by:  from CHICAGO. on 2/15/2017
4
5 Stars
hobby farmer
This is a product I tell all my friends with chickens that they MUST have. I even gave our first version of this to a needy friend, and now have a shiny new one for our chickens. There is no doubt these are designed really well, and do the job. Save grain, frustrates and stop rats and birds from serving themselves your chicken feed. Our coop is less messy and I am not wasting any feed since becoming a user of Ratproof chicken feeder.s This version is so much more quiet, I thought the chickens weren't eating because I didn't hear the pedal clang I was used to. A check to the hopper showed me that they were eating out of their new feeder, and although not the brightest of creatures my chickens had managed to realize it required the same technique even though the pedal is a little bit different shape. You won't find a better businessman and considerate person if you purchase from Al. I give them a ten thumbs up! Worth every penny.
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Reviewed by:  from Alexandria, NH. on 1/18/2017
5

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