A close friend of mine called in the other day, asking me about ways to prevent rats from accessing the feeds of his chickens. Rats, of course, can become a real menace to chicken keepers because rats get drawn to chicken feed. Besides, if you’re the kind of flock raiser—used to scattering chicken feeds on the ground for your chickens to forage on freely—you might be thinking twice upon learning that wayward rats are also partaking in your chicken feeds. So, what is the best thing to do in such a case?
Chicken feeders can be your best option if you have small to medium flocks. Yet, rats can also easily access chicken feeders. So, the next best thing to do is find excellent chicken feeders in the market designed to prevent rats from accessing the chicken feeds.
Table of Contents
- 1 Most Recommended Rat-proof Chicken Feeders
- 2 How to Rat-proof Your Chicken Coop?
- 3 Conclusion
Most Recommended Rat-proof Chicken Feeders
One of the popular Rat-proof feeders come with unique features like a spring-loaded feeding port and other features that could prevent rats from foraging on the feeds of your chickens. Below is a shortlist of the most recommended rat-proof chicken feeders in the market today:
Roamwild Rat Proof Chicken Feeder kit
One of your best options regarding rat-proof chicken feeders is the Roamwild Rat Proof Chicken Feeder Kit. It features a feeding port that is spring-loaded, allowing chickens to feed easily while closing itself when a rat tries to climb onto it. This feeder also has a solid metal lid, protecting the feed from downpours.
Roamwild Chicken Feeder also has a hanging wire made of stainless steel with gnawing plates. Besides, you can stuff it with layers of mixed corn or pellets. Its design is also spill-proof, preventing food waste that attracts determined rats.
This chicken feeder is also made of food-grade materials and can let up to six chickens feed simultaneously. It is also UV-resistant.
Strictly speaking, this feeder is not entirely spill-proof. The reason is that hungry chickens can easily spill food while they feed. Besides, small mice and rats might still get access to the feed because they are not sufficiently heavy to trigger the shutting of its door.
- Features a spring-loaded feeding port
- Water and UV-resistant
- Comes with gnawing prevention plates made of stainless steel
- Made of food-grade materials
- Not entirely spill-proof
- Not entirely access-proof to small rats.
One of the best chicken feeders is Grandpa’s Automatic Chicken Feeder. This feeder is durable, wrought in galvanized alloy. This means it doesn’t rust and is waterproof. Hence, you can keep this chicken feeder outdoors, exposed to the vicissitudes of the weather.
The Grandpa’s Feeder comes with a stepping mechanism that allows chickens to stand on its base to get access to feed. However, this design makes it impossible for determined rats to access the feeds.
A maximum of twelve chickens can feed simultaneously from this feeder. Besides, its anti-flick feature prevents feed from getting wasted or spilled.
However, one downside of buying this feeder is its high price relative to other feeders’ prices. Moreover, chickens need the training to learn how to open the lid. Furthermore, chickens usually get frightened by the automatic closing of the lid.
- Wrought in galvanized alloy
- Comes with a unique design that prevents rats from entering it
- Features a waterproof design
- Can feed up to twelve chickens at a time
- Comes with an anti-flick feature
- Quite expensive for a feeder
- Requires a learning curve for chickens to operate it
Rural365 Chicken Treadle Feeder
The Rural365 Chicken Treadle Feeder has a treadle platform that you can easily adjust. This treadle platform closes the door of the feeder when no chickens are using it. This feature keeps the feed of your flock safe from the foraging rodents.
The Rural365 Chicken Treadle Feeder can hold a maximum of 26 lbs. of feed, good enough for up to 16 chickens. It is also wrought in 1-millimeter galvanized steel plates with molded plastic, making it weatherproof and UV-resistant.
Besides, it features four settings, allowing you to determine how much feed your chickens get at a time. This feature prevents wastage and spillage.
Despite being designed to prevent rats from accessing the feeds, its plastic lid shows vulnerability. Some customers, for example, reported that rats sometimes gnaw on their treadle feeders’ plastic lid. Additionally, condensation might happen due to its metal construction.
- Features a treadle platform you can adjust with ease
- Has a large holding capacity of 26 lbs.
- Perfect for a maximum of 16 chickens
- Wrought in durable steel
- Offers four different settings for feeding
- Rats might gnaw and damage its plastic lid
- Prone to condensation due to its metal construction
Rentacoop No-Waste Hanging Chicken Feeder
The Rentacoop Hanging Chicken Feeder helps prevents foraging rats and small mammals from accessing the feeds. Chickens, however, need to insert their heads inside this feeder to gain access to food. Hence, the food stays inside the feeder, keeping it away from rats.
This feeder is made of food-grade materials. Thus, it is safe for your chickens. It gets wrought in BPA-free plastic and comes fully assembled at the onset. Besides, it features a tightly fitting lid.
One downside of this feeder is its limited size which can only cater to a maximum of four chickens at a time. However, you can buy multiple Rentacoop Chicken Feeders if you have more than four chickens. It may also be water-resistant, but not resistant to UV light. So, it will not last long once left outside.
- Best value for your money
- Comes with a unique design
- Offers a no-spill design
- Wrought in 100% food-grade materials
- Not advisable for large flocks
- Not UV-resistant
How to Rat-proof Your Chicken Coop?
Rats would surely love to forage inside chicken coops because they know they could find food there. Nevertheless, if you don’t want rats to get drawn to the chicken coop or you want to make your chicken coop impervious to rat attacks, you need to be resourceful and learn the following different tips:
Prevent Feed Wastage
One of the big draws for rats is the wasted food spilled by chickens. Thus, to prevent rats from getting attracted to your chicken coop, you must preclude your flocks from raking feed all over the ground.
To do this, you will need a waste-reducing feeder. A feeder that prevents spillage and wastage works even better than one designed to be rat-proof.
You can also prevent your chickens from being highly selective by feeding them balanced crumbed or pelleted feed. This way, chickens will not waste or start raking the food.
Store the Feeds in a Safe Place
You might be able to secure the coop using chicken wire or hardware cloth. But rats can also gnaw on chicken wires, plastics, and wood. As such, if you don’t want to attract rats to your chicken coop, it will be best to store the feeds inside a metal container, not near your chicken coop. In this way, rats will not even consider coming near the chicken coop.
Avoid Leaving Food Overnight
The thing is, rats are nocturnal more often. They usually get out at night to forage for food. Thus, any scrap of spilled grain will be a big draw for them. So, avoiding leaving scraps and spilled grain overnight will be best. Remove these spilled grains and scraps immediately from the chicken coop. This way, rats will forage somewhere else, away from your chicken coop.
Ensure Your Chicken Coop is Entry-proof for Rats
If all the other tips don’t work, you can work on making your chicken coop entry-proof for rats. Use wire mesh to prevent rats from entering your chicken coop. Likewise, ensure that no gaps or holes are available for rats to explore and get inside the chicken coop.
If your chicken coop doesn’t have holes and gaps to allow rats access to it, you can sleep well, knowing that no rats will ever forage and bother your cute chickens.
Knowing the best rat-proof chicken feeders is the first step to making your chicken coop rat-free and rat-proof. Nevertheless, following the extra tips mentioned above will be best to ensure that no rats will gain access to your feed and chicken coop.
Rats, of course, are such pesky creatures. Their instinct drives them for food, and they would be attracted to a place with available food. But with proper planning and designing of your chicken coop and using the best rat-proof feeders, you can make your chicken coops impervious to rats, and your chickens can roost soundly.