Seeing how much the self refilling feeders cost at the feed store put me in financial shock. The cheapest one was $30 bucks !! I decided to scour the Internet and see if anybody had any DIY ideas on how to build one at home. There's thousands of ideas! Unfortunately most were not as durable or were too complicated for me to do quickly and easily. Until I found this pin on Pinterest http://www.juxtapost.com/site/permlink/938a61c0-c274-11e1-bef7-b526981001c8/post/build_a_chicken_feeder_on_the_cheep/ . I remembered seeing a dish like that at the dollar store and so my build began.....
Step 1: Materials Needed
1) chip and relish dish from the Dollar Tree $1.
2) 2.5 gallon bucket from hardware store $3 (you can get this size bucket for free from the grocery store in the bakery department. They are used to transport icing. You just have to be diligent and persistent as they disappear quickly).
3) 2.5 gallon bucket lid $.99 (if you don't find a free bucket).
4) Various nuts and bolts , drill, small and large drill bits. Hopefully you have these or can borrow them from someone who does :)
Step 2: Attach the Dish to Bucket
If you flip the bucket upside, you will see a small little divet from the manufacturing process. On the underside of the chip and dip dish, you will find the same thing. You can use these to guide where to drill your first attachment bolt. Drill at a slow speed and without pressure or you risk cracking the plastic.
Step 3: Reinforce
After attaching the main center bolt, you can then drill 4 smaller holes to attach through the ribs of the plastic chip dish. This is just extra reinforcement in case you decide to hang the completed feeder or just need to tote it around a lot. You do not need to finish connecting the bucket to dish yet.
Step 4: Make Openings for Feed
Still using the smaller drill bit, drill guide holes over each compartment in chip dish. This will make it easier when using the wood drill bit to drill the larger holes needed for the feed to pass through.
After removing the main center bolt and the dish, use the wood drill bit to drill the larger feed holes. We used a 3/4 drill bit size to feed crumble but if you are feeding pellet or whole corn, I would recommend going up to a 1' or even 2' size.
Step 5: Putting It All Together
Flip the bucket back over and attach using the appropriate size nuts and bolts with the protruding parts being inside of the bucket. If you plan on hanging the dish, not having protruding pieces is all the better to not have any friend or fowl hurt themselves.
Pour the feed in, snap the lid on and you're done! The feed will flow freely through feeder holes until the compartment below is full. Now take it out to your leaders ... er flock and see how they enjoy their new feeder!!!