Fall view

Fall view
A View From Our Deck

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Making A Corn Feeder

Recently we were gone from home on vacation.  We were gone for three weeks, and we were concerned our birds and wild animals would miss us.  They depend on us to have the birdfeeders full and to have corn available for the squirrels and deer.  I wrote about feeding the deer in a previous blog.  Apparently corn is not good for deer.  I sure didn't know that.  http://www.thecabincountess.com/2016/02/feeding-deer-properly-or-not-at-all.html

I was really worried about feeding the deer corn that would kill them, so I went out to find something better.  I bought horse feed.  What a joke.  The deer wouldn't have much to do with it.  They would nose it and walk away.  The horse feed was kind of sticky and would clump.  We decided to create a special food delivery system.  We thought if the food was despensed a little at a time, it would be easier to eat.  My husband created a feeder from an empty drywall compound bucket, a funnel and some hardware.


He cut some holes near the bottom of the bucket and assembled the funnel inside with a long threaded rod, washers and secured it with a nut.  He attached the bucket to the table using washers and screws.



Then we put some horse feed into the bucket and put the lid on.  The feed spilled out the holes, and we thought this system was going to work beautifully.


Before we went any further, we set it out for the deer.  First of all, they were scared of the bucket.  For a very long time, the deer would stand back and try to figure out where all the easy access corn went.



Several days later the horse feed was still in the bucket.  Neither the deer nor the squirrels were eating it.  It clogged the holes in the feeder and created a mess.

It was almost time to leave on vacation.  We had our daughter and grandson come over to fill the birdfeeders, but didn't know what to do about the deer feeder.  I got some advice from others and came to the conclusion that a little bit of corn wasn't going to be enough to kill the deer.  My brother in law mentioned that harvested cornfields are often full of deer grazing away.  Others suggested that people who bait deer put huge piles of corn out to lure the deer to their property.  We figured a couple cups of corn was going to be fine.  The new fangled feeder would only dispense a small amount at a time.  We set out the bucket with corn in it.  The deer were still a little leery of the bucket but came close enough to discover the corn was back.  Even the squirrels were happier having corn to eat.


At this point we have a feeder that will hold a large amount of feed.  We painted it with plastic camouflage paint so the deer wouldn't be so afraid.  We cut off the bucket handle so they wouldn't cut their tongues, and it would be safe.  We were able to leave for a period of time and didn't have to worry about getting food out everyday.  As far as feeding corn, we have done it for fourteen years without noticing any dead deer.  I think it will be alright.  At least, I hope so.


He kind of likes it, but still isn't quite sure.