The chickens are getting used to their feeder. Rather than have one which was continually open to the chickens, the elements and any vermin I invested in a footplate operated feeder. As the average chicken is not overly bright, pretty thick actually, one has to give them some time to become inculcated as to its usuage. For the first week the footplate was inoperative and the lid to the feeding tray remained fully open. I have now altered the settings so that the lid is only partially open. As a consequence the chooks can still see the food pellets but the lid only opens fully if they stand on the now slightly raised footplate. Next week the lid will be fully closed unless the chickens stand on the footplate.
The sales literature assures me that I will save oddles of money by keeping the food dry and not loosing any to passing rodents. Hopefully this all proves to be correct. The little beggars do manage to guzzle quite a lot of food in the course of a week, about 40p per bird I guesstimate. Garden eggs are not particularly cheap to produce.
As well as providing the chickens with their layers pellets I have been hanging up bunches of fresh nettles for them to peck at and I have also introduced several cabbage leaves to the coop. The latter have proved to be extremely popular. The ribs remain uneaten but none of the greenery remains.
Several manufacturers have poultry feeders of the type that I have purchased. The feeder which I selected is sold under the name or style of, "Grandpas Feeders." It comes in two sizes, a standard feeder which holds 9kg of pellets and a larger version with double the capacity. The latter was more than large enough for my mini flock.