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The spring will have more effect on the closing pressure than the counterweight. Just carefully stretch it a small amount using two pairs of pliers and re try it. If you go too far put a small kink in the straight portion of the spring to effectively shorten it.
 

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Hi Karen,

I have five Rhode Island Reds including one rooster. Getting the chickens meant I was overrun with rats about a year later to the point they were killing feathered out chicks faster than I was hatching them out. Couldn't afford the Grandpa feeder which was over $200 at the time so I made some prototypes out of plywood and that evolved into this feeder.
 

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That bucket system is very clever but usually the rats and mice will just start raiding the feed in daylight and the birds can still rake the feed out onto the ground. Plus going away for the weekend or for vacation means someone having to come by to feed the birds.

Like you said, going with closing the feed off at night and safeguarding the feed stores keeps rats to a minimum but a good treadle feeder will cause the mice and rats to go elsewhere.
 

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it's definitely ongoing. Algerhart how long have you had chickens?

CQ, I don't do cats. For 19 years I had a horse or horses and never had a rat. I guess it just was not a rat area. I did have mice. they liked the house. so that was maintenance problem.
Since 2009 this time around but I was raised a farm boy so really since I was about six years old. Off and on, move into the city and not have any for a while, move back out to a property and pick right back up again where I left off. Of course now city birds are a bit easier to have in a lot of towns.
 

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That is so true, more humane for the birds, and it creates a little more freedom in this world as people are less dependent on the big corporations. Thomas Jefferson would love this movement taking root as his view of America was the independent artisan and small farmer.
 
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