Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Treadle feeder progress

Well, I haven't given an update because I haven't had one.  The problem is, my girls are such big hens that they just stand behind the platform and reach over it to get to the food.

I will say, I like the larger size feeder.  Especially, now that I have 5 hens instead of 2.  They can really chow through feed.

I've reached out to the man who made the feeder who gave me a few things to try but they didn't help.  One was to prop the feeder up on something.  Well, it's heavy and I had to go buy two cinder blocks because I wanted it to be super stable and not fall over.  But they were STILL able to reach the feed w/ out stepping on the platform.

So I put it back on the ground and just left the brick in place to keep it open.

Recently, I'm catching the Bunkies stepping on the platform (even though it doesn't move) to get to the food.  So I suppose I should try again and remove the brick and back off some of the tension to see if I can get them to get the hang of it.

In the mean time, I've read up about crumbles vs. pellets and how much less waste there is with pellets.  I had bought a bag of pellets about a year ago, but they wouldn't eat it.  Now it was a different brand which could have been the issue.  So I gave up and haven't tried since.

Fortunately for me, my local feed store sells all it's feeds, seeds, and treats in bins where you can scoop out just what I need.  Or buy it in the 50lb sack.  I'm sure you pay more that way.  But it's a great way to try a pound or two of something before committing to a big bag.

So I brought home about 5lbs of pellets, the same formula as their crumbles, and mixed it in.  And it disappeared.  But I wanted to be sure everyone was eating it so I then put the pellets in a separate feeder and have watched them all eat from both feeders.   I'll mix the two until I finish up all the crumbles I bought and then transition them over to pellets only.

The good news is, I've seen no evidence what so ever of rats in the past two months.  I finally resorted to sliding a tray of poison way underneath the Juniper bush that is closest to their run.  I'm so embarrassed to admit that.  But after trying just about everything else, snap traps, sticky traps, peanut butter balls mixed with plaster of Paris, Critter Ridder spray AND an electric rat zapper, etc., I caved.

And honestly, I drove myself nuts w/ all of those things.  I wish I had just shoved that poison in there to begin with.  It's far away and on the outside of where my girls live so they'll never get to it.  And clearly, it worked.

I also bought several pair of Solar Night Eyes and have them covering the tops and gate of my run.  They say that they will scare off rats and maybe they really do.

So things are good here these days and I'm not going to rock the boat.

We had our first 4-egg day the other day.  And I'm hoping we have our first 5-egg day in the next week or so.  I'll be sure to blog about it.

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