Deer eat almost any vegetation they pass by. But when the harsh winter season comes, finding food is hard for them. Whether you want to hunt, to observe, or simply entice them into your yard, a deer feeder is a reliable way to attract them. And when it comes to a deer feeder, the basic concern is choosing between the two types: Gravity feeder vs timed feeder.
Each kind of feeder has pros and cons. But one effective tip to help you identify what kind of feeder you should buy is to know your goals. Why do you need a deer feeder? How do you want to feed the deer? How often can you refill the feeder container? What is your budget?
Gravity feeder vs. timed feeder
The one thing that is common between the two types of deer feeders is that they both come in different shapes and sizes, food capacity, and more. Also, they can be left unattended in one spot. What are the differences? Is one better than the other? Let us look into gravity feeders and timed feeders and identify the pros and cons.
The gravity feeder
The gravity feeder has the most basic function: to distribute the feed. Through gravity, the feed falls to the port where the deer can eat. It is built with a hopper that holds the feed. The types varying capacities, but most gravity feeders have large food capacity. Sometimes, the ports are adjustable to let you control the amount of feed that it can store.
One major drawback of a gravity feeder is that raccoons, squirrels, and other wildlife might feed on it too. This will mean that you will regularly have to refill the container, which will cost a lot more, unless you don’t mind feeding all those extra critters.
The best gravity deer feeders
One good example of a gravity feeder is the Banks Outdoors Feed Bank Gravity Feeder. It has a durable construction of UV-stabilized polyethylene with a 300 lb. capacity. It is well built and will resist harsh weather conditions. And because it has a 300-lb. food capacity, you don’t have to regularly go back and to refill it with food. It is easy to mount and maintain.
Another good gravity feeder is the Spyder Deer and Wildlife Gravity Feeder Attachment. It has three food ports that prevent wasted food. Each port is spring loaded to keep the food in place.
It is lightweight, durable and easily attaches to buckets, drums, barrels, and other food storage containers. Also, it is more affordable compared to many gravity feeders today.
The timed feeder
The timed feeder has the same function as a gravity feeder—to feed the deer. With a hopper and a chute, the feed is dumped to a spin platter. This platter is fastened to a computerized timer and motor. Timed feeders are usually programmable to how many times in a day you plan to release the food. The control you have lets you save money by preventing any food wastage.
One major drawback of timed feeders is that the motor requires a power source such as battery. This adds up to the cost. Plus, the motor should be housed in a really durable casing to protect it against unwanted elements like water, harsh weather, and more.
The best timed feeders
One on the best-selling timed feeders is the Moultrie Pro Hunter Quick Lock Feeder Kit. It is programmable to 6 times a day and each feeding time has duration of 1 – 20 seconds.
It is built with quick-lock modular technology that prevents wasted food, and a metal spin plate and funnel. The Moultrie Pro Hunter Quick Lock Feeder Kit is resistant to wind and other elements.
Another best seller is the On Time 11113 Lifetime Elite Feeder Timer. It is constructed with an aluminum casing that provides durable protection for the LCD and other internal parts.
The LCD is easy to operate and is programmable for up to 6 feeding times per day. This feeder is powered with 15V or 10 AAA batteries which are sold separately. It also comes with a 90-day manufacturer warranty.
Now that you know the difference between gravity and timed feeders, you are better prepared to go shopping. Each kind of feeder has its pros and cons. Gravity feeder vs timed feeder depends on your objectives. This article also features several of the best deer feeders which guarantee reliability and durability.