Sunday, July 5, 2009

GREAT NEWS FOR CHOOK OWNERS

David is a woodworker friend of ours, who manufactures and sells a variety of wooden toys and other products. For some time he has been working on a chook feeder design that will prevent birds, rats and mice from stealing the chook food. We are pleased to announce that he has now developed a bird, rat and mouse proof Contented Chook Feeder.

The chook food is placed in a hopper which is covered by a lid. When the chooks step on a flat plate, a clever lever mechanism lifts the lid giving chooks access to the food. The storage hopper is large enough to store several kilos of food, allowing owners to go away for a weekend in the safe knowledge that their chooks will have a supply of food available. Of course they will also need a supply of clean water.

It takes around 2 weeks for chooks to learn how the feeder works and to get comfortable with the device. Two or three chooks can eat together, but it is also suitable for use with larger numbers of birds. We use our unit to feed 12 hens by having at least 2 days supply of feed available in the unit. The result is that hens go to the feeder when they are hungry- usually one or two at any one time.

The feeder needs to be kept under cover. This is partly to preserve the timber components, but also to ensure dampness does not get into the chook food. If feeders are left exposed to the elements the chook food can absorb moisture and go mouldy.

The units are individually handmade and there is quite a bit of work in each one. For these reasons David can only make a limited number each week, subsequently there will a short wait for orders to be filled.
David has just commenced manufacturing these units, and orders or expressions of interest can be placed with us at our Healesville Organic Market stall (Outside the old railway station every Saturday morning). We have a demo model on display at the market. If you would like more information contact us, at tenderbreak@bigpond.com and we can email more details and extra photos. Another alternative is to ring David on mob. 0420 528 606.

Some of his other great products include possum boxes, a great little art stool with built in blackboard, wooden hobby horses, and many other educational toys

2 comments:

random planter said...

Looks like a great little feeder. How did you train the chooks to use it & do you know what price they sell for?
James

Andrew and Heather said...

Surprisingly chooks learn to use it within a week or two. It's introduced with the flap fully open so they get used to eating out of it. Then after a few days you use a supplied peg to hold the lid half open. They can see the food but to eat it they must stand on the foot plate, which then causes the lid to open fully. During this stage they get used to the lid opening every time they stand on the footplate. After about a week the peg is lowered one more level. Now the lid is three quarters closed, but when they stand on the plate it fully opens. Finally the peg is removed and by now they are quite used to stepping on the footplate to cause the lid to open giving them access to the food.
It sounds complicated but chooks are not as silly as some people think and they pick up the concept quite well.
At the moment David is selling them for $135 which is not too bad considering the cost of materials and the hours that go into making each one.

 
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