“That’s not worth chicken feed!” is an expression that alludes to a trifling amount of money. The phrase came into usage in the 1800s when cracked corn and other grains too small for other livestock were considered a cheap feed for the family flock. Not these days, though…especially if you are buying organic feed.
Our hens are endlessly entertaining and provide us with gorgeous, healthful eggs, but they’re chickens and they are determined and purposeful when they eat…seeking out their favorite morsels and tossing the layer crumble willy-nilly out of their feeders.
We tried a number of commercial and Do-It-Yourself feeders, in different configurations, at different heights, and in different locations. My husband Eddie (a mechanical engineer who borders on OCD regarding wastefulness) was determined to design something that would reduce what he estimates to be 25% of feed wasted with typical feeders.
The result is The Ultimate Fowl Feeder. The key to reducing waste is to minimize “billing out”. Because the feeder openings are just large enough for the hens to get their beaks in – but not bill out the feed – waste is virtually eliminated.
Another advantage of this design is less frequent refilling. The feeder holds 25 pounds of layer crumble – enough to feed 12 hens for approximately one week. And, because it is gravity-fed, the crumble slides down and is smoothly dispensed until empty.
In response to feedback from some of our early customers, Eddie has now developed some accessories for the feeder, including a solid cover to foil night-feeding rodents, a wall-mount bracket and a set of hanging hooks.
Our flock of 40 laying hens earn their salt (or their feed) by producing about two dozen eggs a day, which we sell to friends and neighbors. With The Ultimate Fowl Feeder we have now made the endeavor a bit more profitable, much less wasteful and quite a bit tidier.