Feeder Maintenance Time Again

Wild tom turkey strutting and posing for a hen

Wild tom turkey strutting and posing for hen.

     It’s time for me to change the batteries in the feeders again.  Even though the manufacturers of the feeders claim that a 6v alkaline battery should last about 6 months, I have found that I have to change them about every 2 months in the winter, and every 3 months in the warmer times of year.

     I started out by using rechargeable 6v batteries, which saved money (6v alkaline = $7-$9 each),  but I found that they needed recharging every few weeks.  That got to be old real quick.

     So then I tried adding a solar charging panel to the system.  That didn’t work, because the squirrels would gnaw through the wiring, no matter what I did to protect it.

     So then I replaced the feeder with a new one that contained an integral solar panel built into the housing.  That solved the squirrel problem.  The only problem?  The integral solar charger wasn’t able to keep the internal battery charged.

     So then I replaced the new feeder with a newer one!  An OnTime Fatboy Feeder (pictured above) that used TWO 6v alkaline batteries.  The manufacturer claimed they would last about 1 year.  I don’t know, because the circuit boards in them would fry in about 2-3 weeks!

     So then I replaced the newer feeder (which replaced the new feeder) with the NEWEST of feeders.  Got that?  Back to one 6v alkaline battery, no solar charging, and they seem to be working fine – as long as I change the batteries every 2-3 months and keep them full of corn.    

7 thoughts on “Feeder Maintenance Time Again

  1. I’m looking at buying a fat boy 3 feeder with bucket for 45 bucks new from my farm store. I’m wanting to use it to feed my outdoor cats while I’m gone for a few days trucking. I plan on trying to funnel the cat food down to a dish. Then I would like to place it over my spring feed cattle tank and add some fish, for the remaining 9 months of the year I’m not trucking. The discounted but new feeder seems like a good buy, do you think I could pull this off as described. Answer is appreciated. jim

  2. Jim – As long as the cat food that you buy is not too much bigger than kernels of corn, I don’t see why this wouldn’t work. If the Fat Boy 3 is the same as the Fat Boy 2 housing, there is only a little bit of spinner plate adjustment available.

    I have not tried a Fat Boy 3 feeder unit. I bought three Fat Boy 2 units, and all three fried the circuit boards in a short period of time. I think buyers of that model were used as guinea pigs in a failed experiment.

    My father-in-law used to use a regular game feeder to supply the catfish in his pond with food. He built a diverter screen for the back side of the feeder so that the feed only went into the pond, and not the surrounding area. The only problem he had with that setup was that the raccoons raided the feeder quite often.

  3. can u tell me if u know the website for the fatboy feeders? i have google it and only get websites to purchase fatboys. the reason i ask is that i have had to replace two that i had and now a third one and would like to try to talk to some one. the feeders only last one season and were only used for about six months. thanks

  4. They are not reliable feeders. Bought a new one and it worked for about a week. I would look elsewhere.

  5. maybe it was me or just got a dud, have had other on time products and worked well.

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