Best Chicken Feeder to Prevent Rats and Other Freeloaders

by Alex Kountry
Updated on

Feeding chickens can be simple, but having rats around is no fun. Rats stealing chicken feed and attacking chickens is one of the most rampant problems that chicken farmers face. Chicken feeders are the best option, and they should be easy to access for your chickens and prevent food spillage that attracts rats. That said, there are great options in the market, but which is the best chicken feeder to prevent rats?

Rat-proof chicken feeders work best to prevent and even stop the most determined rats from accessing your flock's feed. This saves you money and protects your chicken from rat attacks and diseases. Prevent or stop rat issues in your coop with any of these products we tested and reviewed.

1. RentACoop 20 Pounds Chicken Feeder

Chicken Feeder-Holds 20 Pounds-Pellets-Crumbles-Grain in Bucket - for 21st Century Chicken Owners -...
  • πŸ“ For chickens 12 weeks and older. (Younger/smaller chickens can crawl in the port) No-Roost Cap included! Place...
  • πŸ“ MADE IN THE USA with US and Global Parts!
  • πŸ“ No more squirrels, wild birds, mice or rats getting into your coop looking for feed on the ground 99% of feed...
  • πŸ“ 100% Food Grade and BPA Free Plastic - Comes fully assembled - Simply fill with feed and it's ready for your...
  • πŸ“ Available in Center or Corner placement Models

Last update on 2022-11-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This feeder made of BPA-free plastic comes fully assembled with a tight-fitting lid keeping the feed dry even when not undercover.

Image Credit: brunei.desertcart.com

The RentACoop No-Waste Hanging Chicken Feeder is designed to keep out rats, squirrels, mice, and wild birds. To feed, the chicken inserts its head inside the feeder to access the feed. Putting it to trial, we noticed that 99% of food remained inside, even with our most wasteful hens. This helped keep the rats away because there was no spillage to attract them into the coop. Moreover, this prevented food wastage.

The two issues we had with this feeder were the size and the material. It's great for two to four chickens. For our larger flock, we had to purchase multiple feeders. Also, it didn't last long when we left out in the sun. So while it's water-resistant, it's not UV-resistant.

Pros

  • Expensive
  • Unique rat-resistant design
  • No spillage
  • Made with 100% food-grade, BPA-free plastic
  • Water-resistant

Cons

  • Not ideal for large flocks
  • Non UV resistant

2. Grandpa's Feeders Automatic Chicken Feeder

Grandpa's Feeders Automatic Chicken Feeder - Sturdy Galvanized Steel Poultry Feeders - No Spill with...
  • BUILT TO LAST: Unlike other chicken feeders, Grandpa's Feeders have a high quality galvanized Steel finish, which...
  • FEED ON DEMAND - Grandpa's Feeders provide Feed on Demand for your flock. At the same time Grandpa's Feeders also...
  • LARGE FEED CAPACITY: The Standard Automatic Feeder will hold 20 lbs (9kg) of feed. This feeds approximately 6...
  • SAVE MONEY: Many customers tell us that their Grandpa’s Feeder paid for itself in its first year simply by...
  • TRUSTED FOR OVER TWENTY YEARS: Proven design, sold worldwide. Don’t be fooled, Grandpa's Feeders have been around...

Last update on 2022-11-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Grandpa's Feeders Automatic Chicken Feeder is made to last. It is made from waterproof galvanized alloy steel, keeping your flock's feed dry. Suppose you are looking for a premium feeder that prevents rats, Grandpa's Feeder scores high.

Image Credit: thisnzlife.co.nz

Grandpa's Feeder feeds your flock on demand; it allows the chickens to access the food whenever they are hungry, plus more chickens can feed at a time. What impressed us was the unique stepping mechanism. The chickens stood on the base to open the lid to access feed. Fortunately, the lid was heavier for the rats, and they couldn't get to the food.

This feeder with the built-in anti-flick grill to prevent feed wastage was ideal for our 12 backyard chickens. Grandpa's Feeder is also one of the best options to use with pheasants.

Some of the issues we found with this feeder are the fact that it is difficult to train some chickens to use it, and some chickens get frightened when the lid is closing. Also, it is not ideal for baby chicks.

Pros

  • Made from galvanized alloy steel
  • Waterproof
  • The unique design makes it almost impossible for rats to enter
  • Anti-flick grill
  • Ideal for 10 to 12 chickens

Cons

  • Requires training
  • Expensive
  • Not ideal for baby chicks

3. Rural365 Galvanized Chicken Feeder

Rural365 Galvanized Chicken Feeder - Rat Proof Poultry Feeder with Lid Weatherproof Outdoor Coop...
  • [For Your Coop]: Provide a steady supply of feed for your chickens, quails, ducks, and other domesticated birds...
  • [Built to Last]: No need to worry about this chicken coop feeder rusting and crumbling after extended outdoor use;...
  • [Protect Your Feed]: This rat proof chicken feeder is designed to prevent your poultry from tossing seed out;...
  • [Holds Your Feed]: Metal chicken feeder holds up to 50 pounds (22.6kg) of feed for your chickens; Chick feeders...
  • [Secure in Place]: Rainproof chicken feeder has pre-drilled holes on the back panel for optional mounting to your...

Last update on 2022-11-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Rural365 Galvanized Chicken Feeder is made of galvanized steel, making it tough and water resistant. Even after extended outdoor use, we didn't have to worry about it rusting and crumbling.

Image Credit: whizz.co.ke

Its special design prevents feed waste because the chickens can't toss out food. Without the spills, we realized that there were fewer to no rats attracted to the coop.

We assembled the feeder trough with the attachable awning to keep our chicken feed dry using the screws provided. It also has a tight-fitting lid for easy refilling and cleaning.

For our large flock, this metal chicken feeder was quite resourceful. It holds up to 50 pounds of chicken feed but also comes in 11.5 and 25-pound capacities. If you'd wish to mount it, it has pre-drilled holes for optional mounting.

While this feeder reduces the spilling that may attract rats, the trough is fairly low to the ground, and sometimes we could get the big rats inside.

Pros

  • Made from tough galvanized steel
  • 50-pound capacity
  • Prevents feed spillage
  • Rain-proof awning included
  • Pre-drilled holes for optional mounting

Cons

  • Not entirely rat-proof

4. SuperHandy Chicken Feeder Automatic

Sale
SuperHandy Chicken Feeder Automatic 20lbs (9kg) Capacity Trough Feeds 6-12 Poultry/Fowl Up to 10...
  • SPECS - The Standard Automatic Poultry Feeder Trough will hold 20 lbs (9kg) of feed; Includes: Mesh...
  • RELIABLE DESIGN - Use Side Guards to train fowl to stand on tread-plate to access food and protect the feed from...
  • CAPABILITIES - Outlet opening enables large comb roosters to access feed with ease; This Trough provides feed to...
  • SAFETY - Do not use with young chicks as the feeder action may harm them; Chickens must weight atleast 1.8lbs to...
  • PROPER USE - Always place feeder on flat ground; Do not tighten up nuts and bolts on linkages; These have been...

Last update on 2022-11-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The SuperHandy Automatic Feeder is made of tough galvanized steel that can withstand extreme outdoor conditions. Its weather-sealed lid also keeps the flock's feed fresh and dry.

Image Credit: whizz.co.ke

Putting it to the test, we realized its anti-flick grills stopped the chicken from throwing out the feed. This reduced food wastage and prevented food spillage that may attract rats. Additionally, it has an anti-slip diamond pattern plate to keep your flock safe while feeding.

It features a treadle that opens the feeder door when stepped on by the chickens, keeping the feed safe from rats while your chickens are not eating. In addition, Its outlet opening enables large comb roosters to access food easily. This feeder holds enough food for up to 10 days for a flock of up to 10 birds.

On the downside, the lid makes a loud sound when opening and closing, which scares off some chickens from using it. Also, it is unsafe for younger chicks weighing less than 1.8 pounds. The side barriers, too, are lower, so some chickens can reach in from the sides, which may cause potential danger to them.

Pros

  • Made from tough galvanized steel
  • Anti-flick grills
  • Anti-slip treadle
  • Ideal for up to 10 chickens

Cons

  • Noisy operation
  • Not safe for younger chicks

5. Roamwild Rat Proof Chicken Feeder Kit

Roamwild Rat Proof Chicken Feeder kit - Rat Proof Poultry Feeder – Weather Proof - 8lbs Capacity -...
  • VERMIN PROOF - Not just 100% Rat proof poultry feeder, also mouse & large bird proof. HYGENIC & NO MORE NEED FOR...
  • NO SETTINGS TO ADJUST - AUTOMATICALLY RODENT PROOF - INDIVIDUALLY spring loaded feeding ports only let chickens...
  • LARGE CAPACITY OF 4LTS / 8.00LBS - WEATHER PROOF - so no feed clogging & no need for constant refilling - Ideal for...
  • HYGENIC & NO MORE NEED FOR RAT POISON - Unique anti spill design means LESS FOOD WASTAGE. The Unique design also...
  • EASY TO CLEAN & EASY TO FILL - ANTI-SPILL DESIGN - Comes with carry handle, a metal hanging bracket and screws,...

Last update on 2022-11-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Roamwild Chicken Feeder is not just 99% rat proof but also prevents mice and wild birds. It features unique spring-loaded feeding ports that only let chickens feed but close if a rat attempts to climb on.

Image Credit: desertcart.co.ke

We used this feeder with layer pellets, dried mealworms, and mixed corn. Unfortunately, it wasn't suitable for mash because the chickens could spill it a lot, leading to feeding wastage.

The feeder is made from food grade UV resistant materials and non-rust stainless steel hence weatherproof. It also has a strong metal lid to keep the food dry. To keep the feed safer, we could use the stainless steel hanging wire to hang the feeder.

Its unique anti-spill design prevents food wastage and rodent attraction. It also minimizes raking and thrashing actions. Additionally, this hygienic feeder is best suited for you if you are a chicken owner with 4 to 6 chickens. It is easy to clean and refill, and you do not need rat poison to keep rats away.

 Although stated otherwise, we could still notice food spillage with our hungry and wasteful chickens. Also, small rats may not be heavy enough to trigger the door to shut. Plus, you cannot use this feeder with other chicken feeds, such as raw cabbage.

Pros

  • The unique spring-loaded feeding port
  • Water-resistant
  • Stainless-steel gnawing prevention plates
  • Food-grade materials
  • Ideal for four to six chickens

Cons

  • Not entirely spill-proof
  • Small rats can still access the feed

6. Sunshine&Water Galvanized Chicken Feeder

Sunshine&water Galvanized Chicken Feeder - Rat Proof Poultry Feeder with Lid Weatherproof Outdoor...
  • For Your Coop: Provide a steady supply of feed for your chickens, quails, ducks, and other domesticated birds with...
  • Galvanized Steel Paint: Our chicken coop feeder is constructed of galvanized steel finish that is water-resistant...
  • Protect Your Feed: This rat proof chicken feeder is designed to prevent your poultry from tossing seed out; Chicken...
  • Holds Your Feed : Metal chicken feeder holds up to 11.5 pounds of feed for your chickens; Chick feeders include a...
  • Time Saving :There is an openable lid that comes with our poultry feeder; you open it when you want to refill the...

Last update on 2022-11-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Sunshine&Water chicken feeder is made from galvanized steel and has a capacity of 11.5 pounds. It is undoubtedly the ideal solution for outdoor use with small to medium flocks.

Image Credit: ecopeanut.com

To use this rat-proof chicken feeder, we attached the feeder trough with the attachable awning using the screws included during the purchase. This feeder trough's design prevented the chickens from tossing out feed, reducing the attraction of rats.

Refilling and cleaning the sunshine and water chicken feeder was a breeze thanks to the tight-fitting lid that also keeps the feed fresh and dry.

Even though this design may reduce spillage, on rare occasions, rats could still climb up into the feeder when the chickens were not feeding.

Pros

  • Galvanized steel construction
  • Water-resistant
  • Attachable awning
  • Spillage resistant design

Cons

  • Comparatively expensive
  • Rats can still access the feed

Buying Guide for the Best Chicken Feeder to Prevent Rats

Image Credit: chewy.com

There are tons of hen feeders on the market, but few have the capability of preventing rats from accessing your flock's feed. Here are three factors to consider when choosing a rat-proof chicken feeder for your flock.  

1. Chicken Feeder Type

Three different types of feeders are available for small to medium flocks. The right one depends on your flock size, placement, and how frequently you'd want to refill the feed.

i) Treadle Feeder

Treadle feeders are popular and effective for deterring rats. They use a unique treadle system that chickens stand on to open the feeder door to access the feed. The treadle feeders' design keeps lighter animals like rodents, squirrels, and wild birds from accessing the feed.

ii) Trough

Trough feeders are feeder styles used by chicken keepers with a slightly large flock. They usually have high sides that prevent food from spilling out, stopping rats' attraction to the feeder.

iii) Hanging Feeders

 These feeders are popular among chicken farmers with small flocks. Hanging feeders are simple and need to be hung and refilled fairly. This design makes it more difficult for rats to access, but feed can still be spilled easily.

2. Chicken Feeder Material

Trough and treadle feeders are mostly made from galvanized steel. Galvanized steel has a protective zinc coating protecting it from rusting and making it highly weatherproof. However, steel feeders are somehow heavy to move around.

Hanging feeders are usually made from lightweight and easy-to-clean plastic. The plastic should be food-grade and UV-resistant. Their weight makes them suitable for hanging which prevents rodents.

3. Flock Size

Your chosen feeder also depends on your flock's size. For example, hanging feeders are ideal for up to 5 chickens, as only 2 or 3 chickens can feed at once. On the other hand, with a flock of 15 chickens or more, you'll need treadle or trough feeders, possibly multiple.

Small-capacity feeders require refilling daily, while the larger capacity feeders can be left for up to 10 days before refilling, depending on your flock's size.

How to Protect Your Chickens against Rats

Image Credit: noosapest.com.au

Besides investing in rat-proof chicken feeders, there are three things to consider to protect your hen house from rats.

a) Food Storage

When storing extra chicken feed, use a metal container with a tight-fitting lid. This prevents rats from chewing the container to get to the extra feed.

b) Coop Protection

Protect the coop using hardware cloth on the floor and cover any ventilation areas and existing holes. Most rats can squeeze through space, so be thorough as you search for holes, and cover even the small ones in hardware cloth or stuff them with steel wool.

It is best to have a door that securely closes, with no gaps around the frame. You can also use a light sensor to close and open the door or manually set the time.

c) Water

Rats are attracted to water sources. Put the water away at night to limit their access to water. Ensure water is enclosed within the hen house. Alternatively, put it into a garage or shed for the night and put it back for the chickens when you let them out in the morning.

 Frequently Asked Questions

Image Credit: goodnaturetraps.co.uk

i) Do chickens attract rats?

Rats are not attracted to chickens. But, they are attracted to chicken feed and love stealing freshly laid eggs. They are also attracted to nice, warm, cozy places to live, especially if there is a reliable food source. 

Make your chicken's home a place not attractive to rats by having a well-designed coop, rat-proof feeders, and good feed storage.

ii) Do rats attack chickens?

Chickens eat small rodents, including rat babies and small wild rats, although most of the rats are too large for them to attack. However, letting rats hang around your chicken coop is not okay. Rats attack and eat chicks; if desperate enough, they attack older chickens. But they are more likely to eat chicken feed than to attack chickens.

iii) What diseases and pests can rats transfer to chickens?

Rats carry diseases, such as salmonellosis and leptospirosis, that can transfer to your chickens. They can also carry fleas and mites into the coop, which might infest your entire flock. The fleas also carry horrible diseases, like the bubonic plague. Keep in mind all these diseases can be transferred from chickens to humans.

iv) Can rats chew through chicken wires?

Rats' teeth are hard and sharp. They can chew through many things, including chicken wire, wood, cinder blocks, and plastic. They can also squeeze through the openings. Chicken wire is great protection from large predators. Steel may be the only thing rats cannot chew through.

Bottom Line 

There can be no question that rats can not only be hazardous to your flock but can cost you a substantial amount of money in feed costs. One of the best methods of getting rid of this trouble is to get the most effective rat-proof chicken feeder. Also, keep your chicken feeders clean. You can use vinegar or any disinfectant to clean your chicken feeders.

We hope these detailed reviews have narrowed the options and helped you find the best chicken feeders to keep rats and other rodents at bay.

Featured Image Source: instructables.com

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About the author

Alex Kountry

Alex Kountry is the founder of HayFarmGuy and has been a backyard farmer for over 10 years. Since then he has decided to write helpful articles that will help you become a better backyard farmer and know what to do. He also loves to play tennis and read books