Oh, I wish I had a picture of what Marty and I saw today!
The chooks have been using the treadle feeder for a while now.. and they have the hang of it just fine. They jump on the treadle, see the food and eat like there's nothing more natural in the world. Even Chicken, at the bottom of the pecking order, proudly shows off her treadle expertise now days. Infact, lazier chooks wait for her to open it up for them!
Anyway, today Marty and I spied a pidgen in the chook yard. It was unusual only because most of the birds have given up by now. We watched it for a little bit as it pecked around the treadle feeder. I thought "No way, it can't be that smart." and sure enough, it hopped on the treadle!
Thankfully it wasn't nearly heavy enough to open the lid, and it was soon gone again.
The chooks no longer have to put up with mice scuttling around the roof in the evenings.. they're all but gone! Little european finches aren't hanging around in flocks eating the feed (making a mess and giving chooks lice). As an added bonus (as if saving money and sanity wasn't enough), the treadle feeders hold plenty of food, so the chooks never run out or carry-on at me in the mornings for their breakfast.
Makes for a healthier, happier chook pen all round.