Marion Barnes Senior County Extension Agent Clemson College Feeding and attracting songbirds is an pleasing exercise for all ages, and it’s an effective way to introduce your kids to nature. Having a chicken feeder in your yard allows one to be taught chicken behaviors, hearken to their calls and songs and recognize the worth of wildlife. The earliest recognized account of chicken feeding in the US was naturalist Henry David Thoreau at Walden pond in 1845. The hummingbird feeder is believed to be the primary commercially made chicken feeder in the marketplace and dates to 1926. Feeding birds is a particularly fashionable exercise and helps an enormous business on this nation. Based on the latest information revealed, greater than fifty-seven million individuals over the age of sixteen participated in chicken feeding actions in 2016 with gross sales of untamed chicken merchandise reaching $ 2.1 billion in 2017. Information additionally signifies that individuals residing in rural areas usually tend to interact in chicken feeding actions than these residing in city or suburban areas. Typically a correctly designed panorama with native crops will entice quite a few species of songbirds and requires little upkeep. Nonetheless, chicken feeders can be utilized as a supplemental meals supply when native plant meals is scarce corresponding to throughout winter months or durations of drought in the summertime. Chook feeders additionally permit for shut remark of our feathered mates. Totally different birds are drawn to several types of feeders and meals. Think about the kind of birds you wish to entice earlier than putting a chicken feeder in your yard. To seek out the most effective feeder in your scenario, you could must strive a wide range of feeders and meals positioned in numerous spots round your yard. Yard chicken feeders are available in many alternative kinds, some being non-selective which attraction to all kinds of chicken species and a few which are selective, used to draw just one or two species. The next is a quick description of some of the extra frequent chicken feeders utilized in backyards. Tube feeders include a transparent cylinder, often constructed from plastic or glass with a number of feeding ports and perches and are appropriate for hanging in a wide range of areas. Seeds are seen so it’s simple to see when feed must be replenished. Some are made from metallic, though dearer, they resist harm from squirrels. Small birds corresponding to chickadees, titmice, finches and wrens are drawn to tube feeders. Goldfinches make the most of tube feeders with perches positioned above feeding ports which permit these small birds to feed whereas hanging the wrong way up. Hopper or home feeders are one other frequent kind of chicken feeder which are out there in all kinds of designs and maintain massive quantities of feed, which require filling much less typically. Because the title counsel, seed are saved in a hopper and stream with gravity as wanted or when birds perch on the feeder. Most hopper feeder designs do a very good job of protecting seed dry. Hopper feeders entice bigger species corresponding to cardinals, blue jays, grosbeaks and woodpeckers, in addition to the smaller species that use tube feeders. Platform or tray feeders include a tray with a screened backside which maintain seeds whereas permitting water to empty. Some platform feeders could have a high to assist hold feed dry. Since feed is uncovered to the weather solely sufficient seed for a day or two must be positioned in them. Platform feeders require common sanitizing to scale back threat of illness transmission, since chicken dropping can combine with the seed. Platform feeders work effectively when suspended from a pole or tree limb or positioned on a stationary put up and entice numerus species of birds. These feeders must be positioned at a top that may permit for handy filling and cleansing. Platform feeders are extra prone to visits from pesky squirrels. Fruit feeders are designed to carry massive items of fruit which are a magnet for all kinds of birds, together with blue jays and woodpeckers. They arrive in a wide range of designs and might be suspended or hung from a tree limb or positioned on a pole. Fruit feeders are higher fitted to offering a meals supply in cooler months of the 12 months attributable to spoilage in heat climate. Suet feeders are notably essential in colder climates and supply vitality for birds within the winter months. Suet feeders additionally entice bugs that birds feed on. Suet is a mix of solidified fat or peanut butter blended with assorted chicken seed or different grain merchandise. These feeders include wire cages that maintain the suet truffles inside and permit birds to cling to the surface and feed. Woodpeckers, bluebirds, cardinals, titmice, wrens and nuthatches frequent suet feeders. Suet will flip rancid in heat climate; due to this fact, it’s a higher choice in the course of the winter months. Hummingbird feeders, additionally known as nectar feeders, are stuffed with a mix of sugar water and are primarily used to draw hummingbirds by mimicking the flowers on which these birds feed. They arrive in a wide range of shapes, sizes, and designs, often with an abundance of purple which is the colour that draws hummingbirds Because of the speedy fermentation of sugar water, hummingbird feeders must be cleaned and sanitized frequently. Bugs like bees, wasp and ants are additionally drawn to hummingbird feeders. For extra data on chicken feeders and chicken feeding, take a look at the next publication from the College of Florida Extension Service, Attracting Yard Birds: Chook Feeder Choice. Info for this information article was taken partly from the College of Florida Extension Publication WEC Attracting Yard Birds: Chook Feeder Choice by Emma V. Wilcox, Mark E. Hostetler, Martian B. Major, and Manea Voigt.