Update: Bought the Treadle Feeder and was NOT impressed. The chickens just scratched all the feed on the ground… wasting more than ever! 😦
Feeding free-run chickens and not the wild birds is a common problem. With the price of layer pellets near $18 for 50lbs, it’s become rather spendy just to feed my own birds. Pigeons, Doves and sparrows is where I draw the line. Aviary netting over the top of my chicken yard has helped, but there’s always those spots that can’t be covered, like gates for instance.
So, if you want to know how to get rid of those pesty wild birds, here’s your answer… you can’t. However, you can indeed outsmart them! It may take a little effort on your part, but definitely not as much as flapping your arms and chasing those unwanted freeloaders away all day.
My best advice?
Get rid of the ample feed source and the birds will go elsewhere. I have a 12lb feeder in the center of my chicken yard, it is kept covered with a plastic trash can except for two hours in the morning and two hours in late afternoon. I throw food scraps or scratch anytime, since those goodies are consumed quickly.
Better yet… check this out, waaaaaay cool!
This type of feeder is covered all the time, until a chicken stands on it. The weight of the chicken opens the lid automatically, then closes when the bird steps off. This video will give you a better idea of how it works.