Rats stealing chicken feed is one of the most prevalent problems that chicken keepers face. Many small-scale keepers simply scatter their chicken’s feed on the ground for their birds to forage and scratch for, but on a larger scale, this results in a great deal of waste and mess — and attracts rats.
Chicken feeders are the best options for most small to medium flocks. That said, these feeders need to be easy to access for your chickens, so they are usually easy for rats to get at too. Fortunately, there is a solution: There are great feeders on the market that can help prevent or even stop all but the most determined of rats. If you are having an issue with rats in your chicken coop, one of these feeders may be the answer.
Many people wonder how these feeders work and if they work as well as the manufacturers claim. You’ve come to the right place! We found seven of the best chicken feeders on the market and gathered them into one convenient place, complete with in-depth reviews, to help you find the best one for your flock.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites – 2022 Update
The 7 Best Chicken Feeders to Prevent Rats
1. Rural365 Galvanized Chicken Feeder — Best Overall
|Feed Capacity||50 pounds|
|Size||22 x 14 x 10 inches|
The Rural365 Galvanized Chicken Feeder is made from tough, water-resistant, galvanized steel and is our top choice overall. It has a 50-pound capacity but comes in 11.5-pound and 25-pound capacities for large flocks too. The feeder is specially designed to prevent feed from being tossed out by chickens, thereby reducing the attraction of rats, and has a detachable awning over the trough to keep your feed — and your flock — dry. It also comes with pre-drilled holes for optional mounting and a tight-fitting lid for easy cleaning and refilling.
While this feeder helps reduce the spilling that attracts rats, the trough is fairly low to the ground, and large rats may still be able to get in.
2. Rentacoop No-Waste Hanging Chicken Feeder — Best Value
|Feed Capacity||20 pounds|
|Size||10 x 14 x 10 inches|
The Rentacoop No-Waste Hanging Chicken Feeder is the best chicken feeder to prevent rats for the money. This feeder is specially designed to keep rats and other small mammals out. Chickens must insert their heads inside the feeder to access the feed, keeping the feed inside the feeder and keeping rats away. The feeder is made in the U.S.A. with 100% food-grade, BPA-free plastic and comes fully assembled. It also has a tight-fitting lid and doesn’t need to be placed undercover.
The main issue that we found with this feeder is the size. It’s great for three or four chickens at most, but if you have a larger flock, you’ll need to purchase multiple feeders. Also, while it’s water-resistant, it’s not UV-resistant and won’t last long if left out in the sun.
3. Grandpa’s Feeders Automatic Chicken Feeder — Premium Option
|Feed Capacity||20 pounds|
|Material||Galvanized alloy steel|
|Size||17 x 15 x 12 inches|
If you’re looking for a premium chicken feeder to prevent rats, Grandpa’s Feeders Automatic Chicken Feeder is a great option. This feeder is built to last, is made from galvanized alloy steel that won’t rust, and has a waterproof design to keep your flock’s feed dry. The feeder operates with a unique stepping mechanism: Your chickens stand on the base to open the lid and access the feed, which makes it almost impossible for rats to get to the food. The feeder is ideal for six to 12 chickens, and the built-in anti-flick grill stops feed from being spilled and wasted.
The only issues that we found with this feeder are the high price tag and the fact that it may be difficult to train some chickens to use it — some customers reported that the lid closing frightened their flock.
4. Roamwild Rat Proof Chicken Feeder Kit
|Feed Capacity||8 pounds|
|Size||75 x 8.27 x 8.27 inches|
The Roamwild Chicken Feeder has a unique spring-loaded feeding port that lets chickens feed easily but will close if a rat attempts to climb on it. The feeder has a strong metal lid to protect feed from rain, as well as stainless-steel hanging wire and gnawing plates, and it can be used with layer pellets or mixed corn. It also has a unique spill-proof design to prevent wasting food and attracting rodents, it is made from food-grade, UV-resistant material, and it can accommodate four to six chickens.
Although stated otherwise, this feeder is not spill-proof because feed can still easily be spilled by hungry chickens. Also, small rats or mice may not be heavy enough to trigger the door to shut.
5. Rural365 Chicken Treadle Feeder
|Feed Capacity||26 pounds|
|Size||1 x 14 x 9.8 inches|
The Chicken Treadle Feeder from Rural365 has an adjustable treadle platform (12.5 ounces to 3 pounds), that closes the feeder door when not in use, keeping your flock’s feed safe from both rodents and the elements. The feeder can hold up to 26 pounds of feed, suitable for 12–16 chickens, and is made from 1-mm galvanized steel plates and molded plastic that are weather- and UV-resistant. It also has four food settings that enable you to choose how much food is available at a time to help prevent spillage and wastage.
While this feeder will prevent rats from coming in with its adjustable door, the plastic lid is still vulnerable, and several customers reported rats gnawing through the lid within a few days. Also, the metal construction may cause condensation, which can cause the feed to clump.
6. SuperHandy Automatic Chicken Feeder
|Feed Capacity||20 pounds|
|Size||7 x 17 x 11.2 inches|
The SuperHandy Automatic Chicken Feeder is made from tough galvanized steel with a weather-sealed lid to keep your flock’s feed fresh and dry. It has anti-flick grills to reduce the spillage that may attract rats, and it has an anti-slip diamond pattern treadle to keep your flock safe while feeding. The treadle opens the feeder lid when depressed, keeping the feed safe from rodents while your flock is not eating. It can hold enough food for up to 10 days and is ideal for flocks of up to 10 birds.
Unfortunately, the lid makes a loud noise when opening and closing, which will scare off some birds from using it. Also, the side barriers do not reach out far enough, so some chickens can reach in from the sides, which may cause potential danger to them.
7. Sunshine & Water Galvanized Chicken Feeder
|Feed Capacity||50 pounds|
|Size||13 x 12 x 23 inches|
Made from galvanized steel and having a large 50-pound capacity, the Sunshine & Water Chicken Feeder is water-resistant and the ideal solution for large flocks and outdoor use. The feeder trough is designed to prevent chickens from tossing out feed, reducing the attraction of rodents. It also has a tight-fitting lid that makes refilling and cleaning the feeder a breeze and a detachable awning to keep your flock dry while feeding.
While this design may help reduce spillage, rats can still easily climb up into the feeder when your chickens are not around.
Buyer’s Guide: Selecting The Best Chicken Feeder To Prevent Rats
There are tons of chicken feeders on the market, but few promise to prevent rats from accessing your flock’s feed. It’s important to note that while most of these feeders will help prevent rats, either by reducing spillage or concealing access, no chicken feeder is 100% rat-proof. Let’s look at a few of the factors to consider when choosing a chicken feeder for your flock.
Chicken Feeder Type
In general, there are three different feeder types available for small flocks. The right one for you depends on your flock size, where you want to place the feeder, and how often you want to refill the feed.
Chicken Feeder Material
Most trough and treadle feeders are made from steel, and it should ideally be galvanized. Galvanized steel has a protective zinc coating that protects it from rusting and makes it highly resistant to weather, so you can use it outdoors without worry. Steel feeders are durable and long-lasting but somewhat heavy to move around.
Bell feeders are usually made from plastic, which is lightweight and easy to clean. The plastic should ideally be food-grade and UV-resistant. Since they are so light, they can easily be hung up to prevent rodents.
The feeder that you choose will also depend on the size of your flock. Bell feeders are ideal for small flocks of up to five or so birds, as only one or two chickens can feed at a time. If you have a flock larger than this, like 15 chickens or more, you’ll need a treadle or trough feeder and possibly, multiple feeders. The capacity of your feeder is also important because you’ll need to refill smaller feeders daily, while larger capacity feeders can be left for several days before they need refilling, depending on the size of your flock.
Conclusion: The Best Chicken Feeders That Prevent Rats
While no chicken feeder is 100% rodent-proof, the Rural365 Galvanized Chicken Feeder is our top choice overall. The feeder is made from galvanized steel, has a 50-pound capacity, is specially designed to prevent feed from being tossed out by chickens, and has a detachable awning over the trough to keep your feed and your flock dry.
The Rentacoop No-Waste Hanging Chicken Feeder is the best chicken feeder to prevent rats for the money. It is specially designed to keep rats out, is made in the U.S.A. with 100% food-grade, BPA-free plastic, and comes fully assembled.
If you’re looking for a premium chicken feeder to prevent rats, Grandpa’s Feeders Automatic Chicken Feeder is a great option. This feeder is made from galvanized alloy steel with a treadle design that makes it almost impossible for rats to get to the food. It is ideal for six to 12 chickens.
Rats are the bane of chicken keepers the world over, and using a feeder that prevents them from accessing your flock’s food is a great way to help solve the problem. We hope that our in-depth reviews have narrowed the options and helped you find the best chicken feeder to prevent rats from stealing your flock’s feed.
Oliver (Ollie) Jones – A zoologist and freelance writer living in South Australia with his partner Alex, their dog Pepper, and their cat Steve (who declined to be pictured). Ollie, originally from the USA, holds his master’s degree in wildlife biology and moved to Australia to pursue his career and passion but has found a new love for working online and writing about animals of all types.