Topic-icon Sparrows in the hen house

  • Thunda
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29 Mar 2012 12:19 #31162 by Thunda

Hi everyone, I have 6 chickens and they are kept in a converted shed with nest boxes and range around during the day. The shed has no windows, they are great layers!
However I also have half the local sparrow population living in the hen house. They sneak in the small chicken door and roost there during the day and poop everywhere. The main issue is that they eat all my chickens food (peck n' lay). It is costing me a small fortune to feed them all! When I open the door to the chicken house it is like something out of an Alfred Hitchcock movie - all the aprrows fly out in my face!
I don't want to shut my chickens out at all as they have a good routine, breakfast at 7am, lay eggs in nest boxes at 11am then back to bed at 8pm. i don't want them shut out and start to lay their eggs all over the place.
We made the mistake of feeding 'not quite perfect' eggs to the pigs and my Golden Retrievers got a sniff and now want to eat any eggs they see lying around.
Any ideas please?

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  • 3scoremiles10
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29 Mar 2012 12:23 #419238 by 3scoremiles10

Get a chooketeria or other such style of feeder where the chooks have to step on a pedal to access the food. Sparrow won't get a look in :)

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29 Mar 2012 12:42 #419241 by Simkin

Yep, self feeder is the answer.

http://www.trademe.co.nz/business-farming-industry/farming-forestry/poultry/feeding-watering/auction-461469562.htm

This is the model I prefer (have 2 chooketerias but they only hold a fraction of the food this one holds). Go for a metal one. The wooden chooketerias had mouse holes in them within a fortnight but they make metal ones now, too.

These guys post to anywhere in NZ. Top quality (I don't get a commission), screws stay put. The guy who makes them is an engineer.

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29 Mar 2012 13:16 #419243 by hogies

I got one of these alot cheaper than the metal ones and has the same end result
http://www.trademe.co.nz/business-farming-industry/farming-forestry/poultry/feeding-watering/auction-461386252.htm

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29 Mar 2012 13:36 #419247 by stephclark

3scoremiles10;416331 wrote: Get a chooketeria or other such style of feeder where the chooks have to step on a pedal to access the food. Sparrow won't get a look in :)


HUH! so you would think... my sparrows swoop in when the lids up.. they dont care if they get 'stuck' inside when miss chooks steps of pedal either!

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29 Mar 2012 15:16 #419260 by Simkin

hogies;416336 wrote: I got one of these alot cheaper than the metal ones and has the same end result
http://www.trademe.co.nz/business-farming-industry/farming-forestry/poultry/feeding-watering/auction-461386252.htm

Yeah, those last about 2 years, maybe three if you are lucky.

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  • greenfingers
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29 Mar 2012 21:00 #419308 by greenfingers

We have a chooketeria, it is great! Have only caught one sparrow and one chick in it in 1 yr of having chooks...much to hubbies amusement.


9.5 acres with 300-odd pines and lots of wobbly fences [:D]

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30 Mar 2012 12:27 #419379 by Cinsara

hogies;416336 wrote: I got one of these alot cheaper than the metal ones and has the same end result

Do you have problems with chooks being hurt/killed while eating through the side when the lid falls down? I have just bought one of those and the lid fair thumps down.


>

Save the Earth... it's the only planet with chocolate!

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30 Mar 2012 15:43 #419412 by Simkin

Cinsara - sparrows don't survive the lid thumping down on them but chooks don't seem to be bothered. It's not suitable for little chicks anyway as they jump in and may get 'forgotten' in there - or poo in there - but anything from bantam size upwards should be fine.

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03 Apr 2012 20:53 #420009 by welshie

Cinsara;416487 wrote: Do you have problems with chooks being hurt/killed while eating through the side when the lid falls down? I have just bought one of those and the lid fair thumps down.

We glued on a thickish piece of foam to the underside of the lid to stop the very loud thump. The noise was completely freaking out the chooks! It cut the noise down a lot. Have only ever found one sparrow inside the feeder - and have only seen one chook get head caught. It was easily able to pull head out with no ill-effects.


welshie

Don't worry about what people think...they don't do it very often.

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  • billmckinstry
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04 Apr 2012 14:00 #420120 by billmckinstry

The lid makes a lot of noise but has little efect otherwise.
The lid is very light weight and just does not seem to do any damage.

Quite a lot of sparrows will get inside and leave next time the lid opens but this is a fraction of the food loss without the device.

Wished there was a version for chicks. They will grow soon enough I guess but in the mean time we are feeding the "locals" grower crumbs :(

Biggest problem is Mother with the chicks. We had a raised feeder for her to eat from but she just pulled out what she could for her babies to eat so we had to take this away and she had Starter and now Grower along with the little ones.

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04 Apr 2012 15:42 #420132 by josephal

Sneaky little blighters sparrows are, they get in the smallest cracks. Managed to dispatch two the other day but I get the feeling its a battle I can't win.

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