After a long hunt for the best chicken feeder, I’ve found it. This automatic feeder is also metal, weather proof, and rat proof.
*This is NOT a sponsored or affiliate post. I just really love this feeder.*
Feeding chickens is by no means rocket science and can adequately be done many different ways.
Which ever long term chicken feeder you choose will probably depend on certain factors like
- flock size
- whether your birds are confined to a run or foraging
- how many hours you have available to spend doing chores each day
Our girls are true free range chickens requiring less supplemental feed
True free range means that they are able to come and go as they please 24 hours a day.
They leave the coop shortly before the sun rises and gradually make their way back as the sun begins to set.
A few of our girls reject the coop all together and choose to roost in the magnolia tree next to the house or the thuja in the side yard.
Day time is play time.
During waking hours, the girls spend their entire day foraging, dust bathing, and playing.
They go back to the nesting boxes in the coop when they need to lay an egg but otherwise are out and about.
We have an acre and a half of uncleared woodsy property that they scratch and pick through to find the juiciest bugs.
They haven’t done any damage to our gardens or grass probably because they have so much other space to roam and play in.
When the weather starts to cool off, we’ll begin to herd them in to the coop and lock it up for the evening.
Food is plentiful for wildlife where we live
Our farmhouse sits right on the very edge of a 100,000 acre Pine Barren Reserve.
While we do have all of the normal predators (raccoons, opossums, hawks, turkey vultures, cats, dogs, etc) our property during summer months is not a source of food for them.
If we lived in a development/suburban neighborhood where trash cans are the main source of food, we’d probably have to be more restrictive with what we allow.
For now, what we do works. When the first frost approaches, we will have to lock them up at night so they’re safe and secure.
As food dwindles down through migration or changing seasons, the evening predators that are uninterested in the summer become laser focused on the delicious layer hens we have waddling around the yard.
You’ll also notice rodents like mice, voles, squirrels, chipmunks, woodchucks, and rats will put forward their best efforts to access the chicken feed.
Best Chicken Feeder: Grandpa’s Automatic Galvanized Poultry Feeder
I chose Grandpa’s as the best long term chicken feeder because it’s automatic, rat proof, and weather proof.
Automatic and Rat Proof
A common misconception about backyard chickens is that they attract rats and rodents. This is not true.
The chicken feed attracts rats and rodents, not the actual chickens.
If you use a chicken feeder that’s automatic and seals itself when not in use, the rodents can’t access the food.
This one is super simple and the chickens took to it very quickly.
In order for the feeder to open, the chicken must step onto the metal platform. Once they step off of it, the metal lid closes.
Our property is entirely composed of clay which causes serious drainage issues in bad weather.
We have plans in the future to fix this by mixing in sand with the current soil but that’s not going to happen any time soon.
New York also gets some gnarly storms between Nor’easters, blizzards, and tropical systems.
Having the chicken feed become drenched and unusable was not an option.
Grandpa’s chicken feeder is weather proof and can keep everything dry despite any unforseen meteorology mishaps.
How Much Does the Grandpa’s Automatic Chicken Feeder Cost?
At the time of this post, it was listed on Amazon for $159.95.
While this can seem steep, I’m saving money in feed that isn’t wasted from rodents or wet weather.
I’m also saving time because I only have to fill it once a week.
The chicken feeder itself is made out of galvanized metal which will last for at least a decade despite being out in the elements.
Unboxing and Assembly
The chicken feeder arrived in a large box and did require minor assembly. It wasn’t difficult and only took my husband about 15 minutes to put together.
Introducing the Automatic Feeder to Your Flock
There are 3 recommended stages in order to properly introduce your flock to their new feeder.
As with anything new, the chickens will need to learn how to use it in order to access their food.
We followed the guidelines and the girls had no problems whatsoever.
What Do you use to feed your flock?
Let me know what you guys do in the comments!