The Hanging Feeder Life

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**This is a sponsored post in partnership with Manna Pro. Connect with other backyard chicken owning friends by following @CityYolks on Instagram and Facebook.

We’ve always fed our chickens out of a set of raised dog bowls. Quite literally, our dogs used them for awhile and then it got handed down to the chickens. What? Don’t your chickens get dog hand-me-downs? LOL. It’s always worked fine (yay to the world’s most okayest chicken feeder!), but it also comes with plenty of down sides. One of which is that the chickens will kind of get in there and kick it around, and a lot of the feed goes to waste on the ground (and not to mention becomes susceptible to mold and becomes a draw to rodents). I meeeeeeeean, what’s the point of feeding a high-quality, non-GMO feed like Manna Pro Layer Mini-Pellets if most of it gets trashed?

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I was, of course, aware that hanging feeders were a thing, but until recently, I hadn’t been very motivated to change the way we do things. I and my chickens are quite resistant to change. But a few weeks ago, one of the very full dishes got flipped over for what is probably the hundredth time, and for some reason, that was the straw. I decided that it was time to try something else.

Manna Pro to the rescue.

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They sent over a 10lb Harris Ranch feeder for the chickens to try out. The idea with this is that the birds are able to only eat out of this; not kick the feed out everywhere. But I was skeptical. This seemed like something my flock of suspicious hens would take one look at and be like: NOPENOPENOPE.

So I strung it up with some vibrantly-colored rope just to add a little dose of color to the equation, and I filled it up with Manna Pro Non-GMO Layer Mini-Pellets. Also, just to add a little more incentive, I topped it off with some Manna Pro Mealworm Munchies, which the girls can’t seem to resist. If anything is going to get them to eat out of a somewhat moving target, it’s a combination of these two things.

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Also…while I was busy hanging things, I decided now would be a good time to install a swing. YES A SWING. Ask the interwebs. Chicken swings are a thing. Will MY chickens actually swing? Jury is out.

At first, it seemed that all my concerns were valid. The chickens all huddled together as far from the new items with a flock-wide facial expression that clearly said: WHAT FRESH HELL IS THIS?

After a few moments of tapping at the feed and begging them to be reasonable, Princess Vespa got her nerve up. I can always count on the princess.

After a thorough inspection, she sidled up and began to eat like she’d been eating out of this thing her entire life.

Slowly but surely, they all began to get up the nerve to eat out of this new-fangled contraption.

The swing on the other hand…not sure that’s going to be a thing in this coop.

Okay so maybe the swing isn’t going to get used. But it seems like the feeder is a big hit, so I’ll take it as a win. Especially since it looks like our days of flipped food dishes are a thing of the past. No more precious Manna Pro Layer Mini-Pellets being trampled into the ground. HUZZAH!

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Kate Richards

Kate Richards

I spend a lot of time in the garden. Probably too much. Most days I’m out there digging feverishly like a feral forest child—hissing at anyone who disturbs me during my garden Zen. LEAVE ME TO MY DIGGING! I’m burying magical things that will grow into…well, cocktails. Because, somewhere along the line, that’s what the garden became: a place to grow stuff that could go into cocktails. Furthermore, said cocktails are always consumed in said garden. It’s the circle of life. And then one day…chickens. There are more than a few cocktail recipes that call for egg whites, you know. So…it seemed only logical and somewhat unavoidable that the garden should be making fresh eggs. Furthermore, cocktail hour in the garden of good and evil needed a little…comedic relief. There is something transcendental about a bunch of chickens doing clumsy ballet as they’re getting Jurassic on unsuspecting bugs in the fading evening light. Especially after you’ve had a little rum. Or a lot of rum. Did I say transcendental? Rum makes me so profound. You will probably realize quickly that I am not a professional mixologist. I have not had a lick of training. But, yes, you’re damned straight I’m a professional drinker. I believe the official title is “Drinkin’ Lady” (as bequeathed to me by my seven-year-old nephew…I’M SUCH A GOOD INFLUENCE), and it takes years of hard work to achieve, people. But what I lack in proper technique, I make up for in over-enthusiasm towards really good, fresh, local drinks. And also in chicken antics. So you see, ‘drinking with chickens’ is really a metaphor. Grow some stuff. Put it in a glass with alcohol. Drink it whilst you relax in the garden with whatever garden friends you’ve got: Chickens? Dogs? Goats? Humans? Imaginary? Cocktail garden-drinking is an equal-opportunity endeavor. And for gawdssakes make sure there are some party lights somewhere. Hi. I’m Kate. I drink with my chickens.

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