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The Best Treadle Chicken Feeder on the Market Is…
Any list of the best feeders is going to have all treadle feeders on the list. It is that simple; a treadle feeder is going to have all the features needed. From there you have to choose one with an inward swinging door. Then eliminate all the ones with plastic parts. Then eliminate the ones that are missing a narrow and distant step, missing a spring loaded door, missing any sort of counter weight, and finally eliminating any that do not offer a soft close door version.
Swinging inward doors are the best because a guillotine doors can trap a chicken’s head as the door swings up and down, also making it difficult to train the birds as the large door is coming right up in their face as they step on the treadle. They are prone to leaking and require weeks of leaving the feeder partially open. These feeders made from plastic or having plastic parts are eliminated simply because they are not durable and they fade and lose their strength in a matter of months.
Next is the need for a spring loaded door so that a rat cannot just push the door open. Most feeders are easily pushed open despite the rube goldberg contraptions going on. The narrow and distant treadle step forces the chickens to grab hold of the treadle instead of just stepping on a wide platform and deep litter won’t found the treadle. A narrow treadle also prevents vermin from just piling on until the spring and counterweight is defeated. And a heavy counterweight is needed to balance out the weight of the treadle step and door. Soft close is available in two feeders, the Ratproof Chicken feeder and the Chinese made and sold Bokbok Box
There is only one brand of swing in door feeder that is counter weighted, that has a spring loaded door so most of these brands of feeder are vulnerable to rats and squirrels pushing the door open.
And in the end we are left with only one choice, the Ratproof Chicken feeder made by the Carpenter Shop.
The simplicity of the door mechanism is a plus too, very little that can go wrong and good customer service so far.
And the feeder is made from galvanized sheet metal, not aluminum which can be toxic to a lot of creatures. The plastic feeders or those with plastic feed trays, plastic bodies, or parts are usually flimsy and have a limited life span.
If you were going to pick a second place feeder It would have to be the Burnhills brand and third place would go to the Grandpa feeder. Of course so far the Burnhills brand is only available in Europe. The Grandpa feeder has a lot of draw backs but the absence of plastic parts other than the PVC pipe used as a treadle step arm.
The feeders like the wood treadle feeder that might still be up on Amazon and the Feed o Matic are not serious contenders due to the plastic parts and wood being used in their construction.
Now of course we are talking about full size birds. Treadle feeders can be dangerous on chicks and very small pullets. Bantams and sometimes silkies will not be heavy enough to work a treadle.
Some like the Chicken Condo feeder have been taken off the market and few of the Feed o Matic feeders are still on the market as it seems the company that seemed to be dumping them on the market has finally gotten rid of their old feeders. The new version that Feed o Matic has on their parent company website is pretty decent feeder with no plastic parts..
The Bokbok Box likewise had no chance because it is a Chinese made feeder and while it does have a soft close feature all the rest of the problems with the feeder overwhelm anyone taking an objective view o the item. However a flock composed mostly of bantams might have different view.
The flock owner with mostly bantams or silkies certainly wouldn’t agree with this ranking. Then again they would likely be best off with another type of feeder and having to control the rats and wild birds through exclusion from the coop instead of controlling the feed.
A new flock owner might not need the features of a treadle feeder at first but eventually the wild birds and rats will find the coop. The feed saved compared to a feeder that allowed feed raking like the guillotine style feeders or the plastic hanging contraption with the sliding cover would actually pay for a decent treadle feeder and pay for it quickly if you were buying organic chicken feed.
And there is a place for the less capable feeders. At different stages in raising chickens you will need a safe feeder for feathered out chicks and the vermin will feast for those four to six weeks. Short of building a grow out pen with hardware cloth sides, top, and bottom there isn’t a lot that could be done until the pullets are large enough to use a treadle feeder.
Below are the page links to the various type of treadle feeders available in the U.S. Some like the Grandpa feeder have Chinese clones that save quite a bit of money. Since we do not publish links to avoid any appearance of having affiliate sales you will need to do a Google search and check both the manufacturers web site price and if the feeder is on Amazon. My experience with Amazon and even Ebay is that prices are marked up for their steep fees. Some of that is offset through Amazon as they have the cheapest shipping rates due to shear volume. However the seller has to first ship the items to the closest Amazon warehouse, sometimes several warehouses, so that cost is buried in the cost of the item before shipping.
Our last bit of advice is to heed the negative reviews if they are over 10% one star through three star. Even Amazon reviews can be hacked if the seller is willing to ship free items or reimburse after the review. There are small websites out there that are honest so do a deep Google search before you spend your hard earned money.
Grandpa feeders were one of the first commercial treadle feeders, imported from New Zealand, and were quickly adopted by the backyard chicken community. They were very expensive, over $225.00 by the time you shipped them to your home. But they did work.
Precision Pet Wood Treadle Chicken Feeder
This feeder is amazing only because it is still on the market. On Amazon 42% of the reviews were one star, 18 reviews were positive and 48 were negative so it is amazing that the product is still being sold on Amazon.
Rat Proof Chicken Feeder
This feeder made by The Carpenter Shop stands out above all the others despite it being one of the lower priced feeders. It’s not a pretty feeder but it has a lot of positive reviews online and it has been working flawlessly in our coop.
Feed o Matic
Made by Olba in Europe this feeder is probably the best looking feeder on the market but doesn’t work very well. To start with anytime you see plastic in something that is supposed to keep rats out you just have to wonder. Then the feeder clogs constantly and cleaning is hard.
Chicken Condo Treadle Feeder
Chicken Condo calls their feeder a Rodent-Resistant Automatic Chicken Feeder. The feeder itself is a modified Chow Hound dog feeder with a sturdy treadle fitted and a rudimentary but some what adjustable counterweight. A similar product sold by CoopsNMore had been sold but was pulled off the market after many complaints.
Chinese Treadle Feeder Bins
The Chinese treadle feeder bin has a treadle and feed bin but no hopper of feed that gravity feeds down. It is an inexpensive feeder but can only safely store about a quarter of it’s capacity due to feed raking. These can be bought in container quantity for around $10.00 to $15.00 each over in China.
MA 2017 Treadle Feeder Bin
.This is a U.S. made copy of the Chinese treadle feeder bin model. It has many improvements upon the deficiencies of the Chinese model, including better components, a feed lip so more feed can be safely stored, but it still has the dangers of an overhead feeder bin door and the accompanying long training period.
Yescom Treadle Feeder
This is another Chinese made treadle feeder that is sold on Amazon and their own website. it is a close copy of the Grandpa treadle feeder with the change of a lid that swings back and up instead of straight up like the Grandpa feeder. Despite the innovative design it has some serious problems in safety and durability
RentACoop Metallic Treadle Feeder
This one is a clone of the popular Grandpa treadle feeder. It has some improvements but it also brought along many of the same old weaknesses in the Grandpa treadle feeder design. It is quite a bit cheaper than the Grandpa feeder but is a bit over marketed in our opinion.
Bok Bok Box
sold by Happy Henhouse
.This one is interesting, it is the standard cheap aluminum Chinese treadle feeder with an improved lid and the second soft close door that has come to the market. It is new to Amazon, only one rating, although the rating isn’t visible for some reason….. Hmmm.
For Future reviews
For Future reviews