Grit Blogs > The Daily Commute

Grandpa's Feeders: New Chicken Feeder Saves Feed

By Hank Will, Editor-in-Chief

Tags: chickens, chicken feeders, farms,

Hakn Will in the corn patch. I don't care whether you feed your chickens in pan-style chicken feeders, large range-tank chicken feeders, small barrel-type chicken feeders or open trough chicken feeders – at the end of the day you lose feed to the weather, wild birds and rodents. If you raise lots of birds, you will waste pounds of feed very week with unsealed chicken feeders – unless you use the new to North America, Grandpa’s Feeders chicken feeder.

The Grandpa’s Feeders chicken feeder consists of a beautifully constructed metal container with a lever-operated weather-tight lid that controls access to the feed. You might be wondering just how a lidded chicken feeder can allow your flock to feed, while keeping mice, rats, sparrows, starlings and the weather out. The magic is coiled up in the spring-loaded lid, which is opened when your chickens step up to the platform-like perch. That’s right, the weight of even one Bantam hen on the perch is sufficient to lift the feeder’s lid, which gives her access to the clean feed inside.

Grandpas Feeder with one chook.

Because of its unique design, the Grandpa’s Feeders chicken feeders deny access to wild birds and rodents up to about 13-ounces (that’s a pretty good sized adult rat) with the smaller model and 31 ounces with the larger unit. Obviously, these feeders are not designed for use with small chicks, but they work very well with adolescent and adult birds. Because of their storage capacity, you can fill your Grandpa’s Feeders chicken feeder and forget it for more than a week (depending on how many hens you have).

When introducing the Grandpa’s Feeders to your birds, you will want to give them a bit of a training session. You can prop the lid open initially and/or sprinkle a little feed on the perch platform (step plate) and lid. You will be surprised at how quickly the birds learn the trick. Grandpa’s Feeders chicken feeders are not goat-proof or sheep-proof so if you allow your hens to range with larger grazing animals you will need to find a way to isolate the chicken feeder. Portable electric fence (conductor high enough to allow chickens to pass) or any manner of portable creep pen can be used to keep your Grandpa’s Feeders chicken feeder safe from marauding lambs and kids.

Grandpas Feeders chicken feeder.

Though they aren’t cheap to buy, the Grandpa’s Feeders chicken feeders are built to last. No more UV rotted plastic or corroded metal troughs – with Grandpa’s Feeders you will save money on feeder repair and replacement and you will save money on feed. Your hens will thank you too because they won’t need to sort through the rat droppings for morsels of grain, or make due with rain-soaked moldy or fermented feed.

Grandpa’s Feeders chicken feeders have been in continuous use for nearly 15 years in New Zealand with most original feeders still in place. Grandpa’s Feeders entered the Australian market in 2007 and they’re now available in North America. I have fed my share of mice, rats and starlings over the years, using all manner of chicken feeders. All that waste is now a thing of the past.

Hank Will raises hair sheep, heritage cattle and many varieties of open-pollinated corn with his wife, Karen, on their rural Osage County, Kansas farm. His home life is a perfect complement to his professional life as editor in chief at GRIT and Capper's Farmer magazines. Connect with him on .

11/24/2013 11:25:41 AM

I've used 'squirrel' proof bird feeders for years, they are available at lots of places that sell bird food and feeders and cost a lot less than $300.

11/24/2013 11:25:39 AM

I've used 'squirrel' proof bird feeders for years, they are available at lots of places that sell bird food and feeders and cost a lot less than $300.

hank will_2
8/11/2010 1:02:09 PM

Carolyn, you can order the feeders here:

carolyn davis
8/6/2010 8:32:12 PM

Where can I get one of Grandpa Feeder's?

patricia kraybill
8/6/2010 9:26:14 AM

Well, if it's from New Zealand, it HAS to be good. I can tell it's genuine, because it's called a "chook feeder". Chickens in NZ are called "chooks". I need to get one myself.Thanks Hank.

nebraska dave
7/29/2010 9:00:35 AM

@KC Nope haven't been there yet. I'll be coming through on the 16th of August. I'm looking forward to seeing everyone. @Hank It always helps to have dogs around on a farm to keep unwanted critters at bay. Squirrels can be a real nucience. They are the carefree lets play all day rascals of the neighborhood. They usually don't bother gardens but they sure terrorize the dogs and raid the bird feeders.

hank will_2
7/28/2010 12:36:35 PM

Hey Carmen -- Those lovely hens are Blue Jersey Giants. KC -- red squirrels weigh from 5 - 11 ounces so no problem there. Gray squirrels weigh from about 12 - 28 ounces so they will be blocked from the larger feeder. I've never had a squirrel in the chicken feeder before. I wonder if it is because they are daytime foragers and the hens and rooster will get after them. My dogs have also put squirrels, skunks, possums, and raccoons on permanent notice. I do see a few squirrels in my oak trees late in the season though.

k.c. compton
7/28/2010 12:17:42 PM

How do you keep the squirrels out of it, assuming they like your brand of feed? Dave -- did you come see us when I was out of town, or is your visit here still pending? --KC

7/28/2010 12:14:38 PM

Hi Hank... Great looking feeder there..I had a question though..what is the breed of chicken in the photos? I have had all kinds of hens, but those look like a pretty little grey hen...I'm just curious..Thanks for the info! Carmen from Homeland Farm

hank will_2
7/27/2010 3:04:41 PM

Hey Dave -- Thanks for checking in on my blog and commenting. I am having an awesome summer, in spite of the heat. The garden is producing, Karen has made nearly 20 half-pint batches of pesto from the basil garden and I finished siding the mud room addition. My latest fun project has been building a hand hayrake out of some hackberry and walnut. I whacked a hackberry sapling and used my drawknife on it to shape the handle and rived out some tooth blanks from a black walnut log using a froe. I shaped the teeth with my spokeshave on Sunday and should finish it this weekend, hopefully. I have been turned back on to scything and i'm gonna put up a few tons of hay the old fashinied way. Stay tuned. Sounds like you have some wonderful road trips coming up. I can't wait to take you to lunch when you pass this way. Fall is my favorite season ... but it is coming on too fast, I think!

nebraska dave
7/26/2010 7:10:36 PM

@Hank, what an ingenious little feeder. I know exactly what you mean by feeding all the country critters that come for a free meal. These feeders would have been great back when I had to feed chickens every day. We would feed them in the morning so that they would get the first choice and try to guess just how much they would eat. Then they would free roam the barnyard until time to roost. Water for chickens was always a pain too. You know I’m kind of glad I don’t have to deal with chickens any more. I’m sure there were much better ways to raise chickens than we did. I read about some right here on Grit blogs. I hope that you are having a great summer. It’s less than two months until fall gets here. I’m looking forward to the fall weather. My two favorite times of the year are spring and fall. I have a couple more trips ahead starting in about two and a half weeks. You wouldn’t happen to be going to the Iowa State Fair by chance would you? I’ll be there on August 12th. I always spend a fair day with my friend from Des Moines. He’s kind of like me and has projects lined up to keep us busy for a couple more days after the fair day. That’s when I’ll be coming through Kansas on the way to Syracuse. Then in September I’ll be heading down to Nevada for a Northern Nevada trout fishing campout for five days; then heading up to Seattle to visit my cousin before coming back to Nebraska. This trip should take about three weeks. By then it will be fall.