The MA 2017
AKA the Marie-Antoinette 2017
Amazon $56.00, eBay $46.00, Manufacturers website $46
From the choice of the product name this company either has a wicked sense of humor or they aren’t serious about selling many of these feeders. Still it is refreshing to see honesty in marketing a product whatever its motivation.
The feeder is a copy of the Chinese treadle feeder bins except the U.S. based company has upgraded many of the components and removed some of the week points, making the feeder a bit more expensive but far more durable than the Chinese brands.
MA 2017 Improvements
- 24 gauge galvanized sheet metal instead of the soft and toxic aluminum used on the Chinese feeders
- 3/4″ x 1/8″ steel bar treadle and links in place of the sheet metal stamped parts of the Chinese feeders
- Feed lip on front to help stop feed raking
- Linkage bolts are all 1/4″ bolts instead of the small machine screws on the Chinese feeders
- Holds about 12 pounds of feed and with the feed lip perhaps filling it half full wouldn’t be a problem
- 8.5″ tall x 15″ deep x 23″ long, so it is about 12% bigger than the cheap Chinese treadle feeders
- Improved perch bar instead of the slippery stamped aluminum sheet metal step.
- And of course it is made in the U.S. rather than imported from China
There is a market for a cheaper feeder and while the guillotine style feeder lid isn’t optimal that is probably the only way to get a low end treadle feeder. The manufacturer warns that the feeder is not rat proof or squirrel proof but will stop wild birds..
Improvements over the Chinese model
The galvanized steel is certainly less toxic and impossible for rats to chew through and the feeder is quite strong, a large man can safely stand on the feeder without crushing it.
The feed lip on the inside front of the feeder bin is a nice touch and means you can store more feed in the bin without risking a hen raking much of it out onto the ground.
The company sacrificed a smaller box and cheaper shipping for a sturdier treadle, bending the entire treadle out of one piece of 3/4″ thick steel bar stock instead of the three piece stamped treadle on the Chinese models.
The wooden perch bar instead of the sheet metal step is a huge improvement. Many people like the wide steps for ease of use but a chicken’s feet are made for grasping, not standing on slick angled sheet metal surfaces. That treadle isn’t going to bend or sag in use and that is going to keep a lot of pressure off the complicated six point pivot system.
MA 2017 Improvements
They use 1/4″ bolts and nylon locking nuts instead of the small machine screws, many more times stiffer and less likely to break. The lock nuts will hold their adjustment as one of the major failings of these multiple linkage treadle mechanisms is the nuts and bolts either self tightening or coming loose and dropping off. These bolts aren’t going to snap or dig into the rotating surfaces and cause wear.
The feeder style is still less safe and more complicated than the inward swinging door treadle feeders but as a compromise on cost, safety, and performance the manufacturer didn’t do a bad job considering they are competing with a Chinese company. The feeder still has the multiple pinch points of that style of mechanism so it will wear out faster. And of course it will have the same issues with training birds to use the feeder as the door still swings up and over the bird’s head as it is approaching the feeder. Plan on two to three weeks of training before you can be sure the birds are comfortable using the feeder.
There are no online reviews that we could find on this treadle feeder, probably because it is a fairly new product. We will update the page once a few reviews come out.
For future reviews