SmartStep™ Poultry Feeders
Treadle-action poultry feeder reduces feed waste by keeping songbirds and rodents out.
- Stop small rodents and songbirds from eating your feed
- Feed stays dry and protected
- Reduces wasted feed
- Pre-assembled! Simply adjust tension spring to match birds' weight
The chicken’s weight on the roost activates the hinged door allowing access. When the bird leaves, the door closes.
- Stop rats, mice, wild birds and other small pests from eating your poultry feed
- Feed stays dry and protected in most weather conditions
- Side window allows for visual check of feed level. Lid opens toward back of feeder for filling.
- Recessed trough design and lip reduces wasted feed. Birds can’t reach in and scratch out feed.
- Roost is elevated 1.75" above the ground, which allows more manure to fall through, rather than collect and bind operation.
- Treadle can be adjusted for birds’ weight. Choose from 0.5 lbs, 1.10 lbs and 1.65 lbs settings.
|Feeds Up To*||2 hens at once||2 hens at once||2 hens at once||2 hens at once||4 hens at once|
|Feed Capacity||13 lb (6 kg)||26 lb (12 kg)||44 lb (20 kg)||66 lb (30 kg)||88 lb (40 kg)|
* Number Fed is determined by capacity multiplied by 4 oz (amount of feed the average adult chicken eats per day).
How to Use
To train chickens how to use the treadle, put a stone or weight on the footplate. It may be helpful to keep the stone in place for a day or two, this way the birds will discover where the food is.
- Chickens need to be trained to feeders. Select a trainee and place them on the roost to activate the door. They will see the feed and recognize that this is the place to be fed.
- Allow room under roosts. As manure and bedding accumulates, doors will not be able to open fully. Either hang the feeder or periodically clear bedding and manure. Partially open doors have the potential to scrape the combs of large combed birds.
- Because the feed lands far back in the feeder, we do not recommend its use with waterfowl.
- Use coarsely ground feeds for optimal feed flow in humid conditions (the same with all high capacity feeders). High concentrations of fines (powder) in feed bind easily when moisture is present (stopping feed flow).
Periodically check and remove accumulated build-up from underneath the footplate to allow proper operation.
Roosters with large combs may drag their combs on the edges of the door, creating minor cuts. We suggest looking to other style of feeders for your roosters.
Some bantam varieties may not be tall enough to reach feed low in the trough.
Not for use around small chicks. They may become trapped inside the feeder.
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Hunter H from Georgia
Took forever to get a few chickens to start using it and now the lever is somehow messed up where the door wont even open when you depress it with your hand. I like the idea but it is not practical or functional.
3D Farm from Wisconsin
I ordered 2 SmartStep 66 lb feeders. Partially because 2 units put the order over the free shipping threshold.
At 66 lb each, I find I can about empty a 20 gallon galvanized carbage can into the two feeders, which keeps all the feed out of reach of rats.
I observe my chicken feeder area through the night with the aid of a trail camera. And before the use of the SmartStep I could see the population starting to grow. As they came up to the older gravity style hanging feeder I was using jump up and help themselves. They also had plenty of spilled feed in the bedding below that they could search out and feast on.
Now that I have placed the feeders, and have removed the weight from the treadle, I have observed a few rats still there, but they do not get feed directly from feeder, and there is limited spilled feed in the bedding for them to feed on. And I can see they are struggling to find enough to eat. Which in turn, I suspect will keep the population from exploding.
I have a variety of chickens training to the feeders. I am not sure they all have it down pat yet, but even the bossy smaller pullets out there are learning not to chase other chickens off of the treadles, otherwise the door will go closed.
I also have a few geese, with access to the feeders. I think they are at least getting some feed sometimes, but there long necks tend to put there feet off the treadle and hence the door stays shut. I have observed them to get up the feeder diagonally at times and thus successfully hold the feeder open and get some feed. They are messier than the chickens, and tend to expel some feed out into the bedding when they eat. But they do seem to eat early in the day and the chickens mostly consume the spilled feed. Especially the loner chickens that do not always figure out how to open the feeder.
Once the feeders were available for order Premier 1 notified me and I put the order in promptly. The feeder arrived in individual boxes, that were packaged together in a larger box.
When I opened the first box I was surprised that upon lifting the feeder out, the treadle dropped down, and "Wa-La" it was ready for feed.
I hesitate to submit my review because, I may want to purchase another unit or two to extend the period of time, we could be gone on a winter get away, and you all may, buy them all up on me.
Oh well! I figure if I limit feed the rodents most of the time, there population won't explode to much during the time I have to use the old style feeders to extend my vacation period.
Chris S from California
Initially, I was very excited to get these feeders, they are made in Spain instead of China which I appreciate. They are also much more affordable than some other brands. However, the feeders were not as great as expected, the doors would get stuck in the closed position and my chickens were unable to get to their feed. I tried to troubleshoot it myself and eventually reached out to Premier 1 for support. They asked me to take a video of the issue which I did and they forwarded to the manufacturer in Spain. The manufacturer got back to me with a video on how to "fix" the problem. It turns out the manufacturer knew there was an issue with some of their feeders. I attempted the fix which was bending the sheet metal with a pair of pliers. It worked for a few days and then the feeders were getting stuck again. Premier offered to refund if I shipped the feeders back. It was all a huge hassle and I ended up keeping the feeders. Premier refunded me for one of the four feeders I purchased which was nice.
Instead of shipping the feeders back I took my Dremel to them and made it so they don't get stuck anymore. Your average person would probably not have the time, ability, or tools to do what I had to do to make this feeder work correctly.
I see lot of other good reviews and I wish that my experience had been similar. Due to my experience, I can't recommend these feeders. I think Premier needs to return any of the faulty ones and quit selling them to their customers immediately.
Sheng F from California
I purchased a 26 and a 66 lb. feeder. I love them but wish my birds did as well! My two year old hens won't eat from it no matter what I do or put into it. My bantam hens are too small to trigger the door but I am hoping they will learn to hop on when a heavier hen is eating. The feed is safe from weather and from rodents which was our biggest issue. I have high hopes for these feeders still. They were so easy to install, seem to work well and I like their construction over all others I have seen and researched.
Bobette T from Maine
Have 2 new large feeders. My birds are eating from them and getting plenty of feed on the ground. They sweep the food from right to left and it piles up over the trough. But I am smarter than my birds. I bought 2 large trays for the bottom of rabbit pens. Works like a charm. I just sweep up the leavings from the day and add them back into the feeder. They haven't "lost" the rock yet( only 3 days but they do step on treadle and I am gonna retrofit it) and I think a couple of birds are too light. I have 5 white leg horns. For a couple of tries they didn't like the top of the opening touching their tall combs. Hunger won out. LOL.
I found a large stew pot works best to fill them. I have the circular slotted feeders and they spill from filling. So using the stew pot no waste.
The birds can't seem to step on both red treadle at once. So I am gonna put a thin board to straddle the two treadles. I have also be holding them and letting them perch on my fingers and wiggle them so they can get used to the motion.