This DIY chicken feeder is super simple. A quick trip to the hardware store for a bucket and some PVC elbows and you’re in business!
My flock of chickens is pretty small. With only four birds they’re pretty low maintenance. However if they want something they’ll let you know… loudly and for however long it takes to get what they want. Before I built their run they would literally come and peck at my door if they wanted food.
When I got them I had every intention of buying a feeder…. I’m not sure why I didn’t, I bought a waterer but maybe they didn’t have a feeder in stock?? Who knows?
Well recently I added three little baby chickies to my flock.
Aren’t they cute? Stay tuned for the story of how I ended up with them in a later post.
I figured with three more birds I better get a more appropriate feeder than the bowl and pie pan they’ve been using.
Here’s what I look for in a chicken feeder.
#1- Low maintainance – I want to fill it up and have it work well, something that makes my life easier!
#2- Something they can’t make a mess with. – Seriously these girls will scratch at anything and fling food everywhere, and fling bedding and poo into the food. It has to stay clean easily.
#3- Keeps the food clean and dry- I don’t like feeders that have a dish at the bottom, if the food is outside it can easily collect water and that can end up contaminating all the feed.
The feeders that are available at most feed stores fail in one or all of these areas.
The soloution? Make my own!!
This feeder makes life as a chicken keeper a whole lot easier. Instead of having to go out a few times a day to make sure their dishes are full I can make sure the bucket is full and it lasts for days! They can’t scratch in the food, or fling poo in it, and the way it is designed it is protected from the elements and can sit outside without worry.
It’s a great chicken feeder.
And it’s pretty simple to put together! It doesn’t require any fancy tools or hard to find supplies, a quick trip to the hardware store and you’re all set! If you happen to have a 3 inch hole saw you can use it instead of the razor knife and hacksaw blade, but since most people don’t have one lying around this can easily be made without it.
Here’s what you’ll need-
A 5 Gallon Bucket with a lid
4- 45 Degree PVC Elbows with one smooth end
A Nice Sharp Razor Knife
A Drill with a large bit
A Hacksaw blade Or a long thing serrated knife
A tape measure
First thing- make sure you’re 5 Gallon bucket is food grade (and don’t let your kids fall head first into it) You don’t want to reuse anything that has had paint or drywall… etc in it.
Now first you’ll want to mark where your going to cut the holes for your pipes. I went with 2 inches from the bottom of the bucket. This keeps you from having several inches of feed at the bottom that the birds might not be able to reach. If your chickens don’t like them down low you can always hang this bucket or sit it up on a brick or platform, that’s better than raising the holes.
Just measure up and then trace around the edge of your pipe.
Once you have it marked you’re going to use your razor knife and go around the edge of the circle a few times pressing as hard as you can while still controling the knife. You’re not trying to cut through the bucket just scoring the plastic.
Once you’ve done that take your drill and make a nice big hole in the center of the circle.
Now wrap your hacksaw blade with a rag to form a bit of a handle. Its not pretty but it gets the job done!
Stick the hack saw blade in the center hole and saw out to the edge of the circle. Do this up and down and across, making 4 sections.
Now if you scored your plastic enough you should be able to just press on each section and they’ll pop right out. If they’re stuck you can score them a little more until they easily come out.
Repeat this process with all 4 holes.
Now you can slip your PVC elbows into the holes until they are flush with the outside of the bucket.
Here’s what the inside will look like .
Once you’ve got all 4 in place you want to silicone the outside to make sure it’s nice and waterproof.
Let the silicone dry for several hours so it’s nicely set before filling your bucket with food.
When you’re ready just pour the food right into the bucket. You can fill it all the way to the top!
Now put the lid on securely and you’re ready to go!
My chickens are scared of everything and they were fairly certain this bucket was going to kill them so I sprinkled a little food around it so they would figure out what it was.
They eventually came around and decided it was their friend!
I’ve experimented with having it off the ground and on, they seem to like it better on the ground – I think it really depends on your birds though, if they don’t seem to be happy with it try raising or lowering it, a couple of bricks underneath do the job quite well.
And now you can just check the level every couple days and top it off! Happy chicken keeper and happy birds!
What tricks do you have to keep your chickens happy?? Do you have a feeder you love?
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