One problem many poultry keepers face is pests eating their hens’ feed and finding a good pest proof poultry feeder. We are very lucky here as we have on hand rodent control with a number of cats more than happy to make sure no mice or rats come near. There are other pests for feed though such as wild birds, and in the past we’ve had very cheeky magpies who risked the cats and hens to grab food from the feeder.
Roamwild Pest Proof Chicken Feeder
Recently we were sent the Roamwild poultry feeder to try out and review. One thing we always warn those who send us products to review is that if we don’t like the item we will say so!
Well, thankfully for the Roamwild we love it – as do the hens. I’ve had a treadle feeder before and our lighter hens struggled with it, so the design of the Roamwild Feeder is great for those with a younger or bantam flock.
The feeder is based off the success of the PestOff wild bird feeder range that has been a huge success in the UK and USA. It is a hanging feeder and can either be hung via a chain or direct on the handle. Due to the high winds here in North Wales we swapped from the chain to the handle as we found it swung around too much on the chain – the poor hens were chasing it round in circles!
The individual spring loaded feeding ports mean that hens can get to the food, but if anything climbs or lands on the feeding ports the shutters close. All you need to do is make sure the feeder is hung at head height and you are good to go.
There is one problem we’ve found with it, nothing is perfect! In wet and windy weather, water does get into the feeder, causing the pellets to clump together and cleaning it out isn’t that easy.
If you have a pest problem I’d highly recommend giving it a try, I certainly prefer it to the treadle options out there. For more information a full range of the PestOff products can be seen at www.homgar.com in the UK or www.home2yard.com in the USA.
Hens in Lay
We are now getting two eggs a day – 2, 2, 2! Okay, so that isn’t that many from five hens, but three are young pullets and I don’t expect them to start laying until Spring, and Bob I thought would be putting all her energy into re-feathering. However, I think both her and Choccy (the other Norfolk Grey) are both now laying an egg a day for us.
Bob is also looking a lot healthier already. Just over a week of pasture, pellets, and tonics, and her back is full of pin feathers poking through. It won’t be long until she has fully re-feathered.
If you have a hen that is either pecked by the flock or subject, like Bob, to the over amorous attentions of a cockerel it is important to intercede fast.
Purple spray covers both the pecked area and is an antiseptic to stop any infection taking hold. Keep spraying until the bird is re-feathered or the pecking and attentions have ceased.