Some months ago, I received an interesting item in the mail from a favorite company of mine, located on line at www.ChickenWaterer.com. You may recall that I wrote, a year or so ago, about the BriteTap waterer (Product Review: BriteTap Chicken Waterer) …now the same group is offering a BriteTap feeder, and they kindly offered me a chance to try it out.
The new product for feeding chickens is advertised to keep “chick’s food free from contamination, is easier to fill than other chick feeders, and can be used outdoors to provide scratch, grit, mealworms, and oyster shells when the chicks mature and leave the brooder.”
Well, let’s see how the advertising holds up to my flock’s tests.
Food free from contamination: The first thing I noticed is that the shield prevents chicks from using the top of the feeder as a resting spot. No more droppings in the food. I liked that—not only it is cleaner, but saves money on feed. The shield also protects the feed from rain, when it’s used in a yard, although heavy rain does cause some splash up and wind blows water and soil into a low hanging feeder, whether or not a shield is in place. I found the rubber gasket on the shield worked very well to keep rain from seeping in from the top. The flock scored this 15 out of 16 points.
Easier to fill than other feeders: The BriteTap feeder is nice, because I don’t have to fill the container, and then flip it over; I can use the nifty little scoop (which is included in the package) and easily fill the feeder and screw on the top. No flipping and spilling. I’ll admit that two-piece feeder bases cause me some problems, especially when I’m in a hurry and the feeder is freshly filled. Unless the feeder base is aligned and turned, the bottom falls off and the feed goes into the pen. That, however, is an operator problem, but because of that, my flock scored this 16 out of 16 points and wanted to add more. They like it when the feed falls into the pen in a pile. Personally, I also give it 16 out of 16, because it is neater.
I noticed that an extra feeder tube is also available, so as chicks grow, the additional tube can be screwed onto the existing one and the capacity of the feeder increased. That’s a great idea. I tried this tube with small turkeys, and after they figured out how to eat out of it (the shield made them nervous at first) they gobbled (pun intended) their feed quickly. Meat birds, particularly, finish their allotted feed in record time and want more immediately. An extra feeder tube would be handy.
Used outdoors when chicks mature: I haven’t yet tried this feeder with scratch, but I’m certain my flock will approve. (Anything involving scratch receives 16 out of 16 from my girls.)
When I first received this feeder, I had no chicks, so I used it first in the yard for the mature hens. I hung it on a low hook, filled it with grit, and let them try it out. Even hung as low as it was, the girls easily figured it out and gathered around to try it out.
The claims in the advertising are all true.
Additionally, I’d like to mention that one of my favorite features is the separate top of the tube feeder—specifically the loop attached to the top. I use hanging feeders in the coop for the laying hens—floor litter stays out of the feeder and the height and swinging motion really deter chickens from standing/sitting/roosting/ on top of them. A hanging feeder for small chicks is great. It can be hung very low and raised as they mature; they learn early on the trick to grabbing feed from a swinging feeder (which is one less scary thing to have to figure out when entering the world of Big Hens); and it is, of course, easier to keep clean.
You can read more about the BriteTap feeder on the website www.ChickenWaterer.com, where you will also find information about the company and instructions for ordering your own BriteTap Chick Feeder kit, which includes the feeder tube, lid and shield. If you do not already have a chick feeder base, you can also order one of those, or you can purchase the extra feeder tube.
I have found the ChickenWaterer company to be a delight to work with, and their products receive high marks from me AND my flock. And yes, I did receive a complimentary BriteTap feeder kit, but the comments are all my own (with just a bit of assistance from my 16 hen investigative crew).