Introduction: PVC Chicken Feeder

Picture of PVC Chicken Feeder

A simple, inexpensive way to feed the chicks and minimize waste!

Step 1: Parts Needed!

Picture of Parts Needed!

For this project, we found everything at Lowe's. We opted for PVC drain pipe rather than the schedule 40 (standard) PVC pipe & other pieces due to length of the curve at the bottom when completed & cost of pieces. Here's the supply list:

10' piece of 3inch PVC drain pipe
4 - 3inch 90 degree street elbows
4 - 3inch 45 degree elbows
4 - 3inch threaded caps
4 - 3inch cap adapters
screws with rubber washers (length doesn't matter tremendously)
metal pipe strap
2 - 3inch PVC pipe caps (standard, not drain caps) This is for the update given later.

Step 2: Putting Them Together!

Picture of Putting Them Together!

First, cut the connecting end of the drain pipe off. This is the 6 inch wider end of the pipe. You can use a saw, but I used our power miter saw and it did a great job, leaving a smooth finish to the cut end. Please have someone hold for long end of the pipe when you cut so that it doesn't pop back on you.

Cut the remaining pipe into 4 equal sections. I cut mine at 27 1/2 inch lengths.

Connect the 90 degree fitting to one end, then a 45 degree fitting to the 90. I didn't use any glue or screws to connect the fittings. They fit together tightly. I wanted it to be able to take apart to clean when necessary.

Place cap adapter on other end. I did have to use a screw in one of my cap adapters due to it having a loose fit and spinning on the pipe. Screw cap into adapter.

Assemble all the pipes and you are ready to install!

Step 3: Installation!

Picture of Installation!

Here's where you have to make it fit your coop. I chose to put it in the middle of the coop wall so that it has the most protection from rain. I installed a piece of 1X4 (shown in picture) to give me an area level with my bottom board. I painted the board and allowed it to dry.

Using the metal strap, mount the pipe at the intervals that you decide. I suggest doing the top strap first. I chose to use a single piece of the strap instead of cutting 4 sections. I didn't measure the strap but can tell you that I place a screw every 18th hole to secure the pipe. Secure the bottom with metal strap as you did the top. The pipe will be a little loose, but that is necessary for now. You will tighten towards the end.

(My chicks were quite curious during this project!)

Step 4: Adjusting Height for Your Flock

Picture of Adjusting Height for Your Flock

The height of the feeders will depend on the coop and the chickens. I have 2 bantams in my flock, so I positioned mine to make sure it was easy for them to reach. Once the night is determine, drill 2 holes in the pipe using the holes in the straps as the guide.

If your feeders are placed on an outer wall and will not need to be raised, skip this next step.

If your feeders will be in a place that will block areas that need to be cleaned such as ours, follow this additional step. Before putting the screws in place, raise the feeder up as high as possible and drill a hole in the pipe using the bottom metal strap as the guide. A screw placed through the strap and into the pipe using this new hole will keep the feeder up and out of the way when you are cleaning and maintaining your coop. When lowered for the chicks to use, keep the screw in place to keep the feed from coming out. The rubber washer screws work the best.

Once your holes have been drilled, move the feeder pipes into place and secure them to the metal straps using the screws. You're almost ready.

Step 5: Tighten the Straps

Picture of Tighten the Straps

Now is the time to tighten those straps if necessary. I used my multi-tool knife to press and bend the straps around the pipe. A little pressure on the metal strap with any flat edge tool should be all you need to tighten the pipe to the wall. Do both sides of the pipe to ensure a good fit.

Step 6: Fill Them Up!

Picture of Fill Them Up!

Ok, you are now ready to fill them up with feed! We use crushed feed, but I am pretty sure pellet feed will work in the feeders as well. Remove the screw in lid and pour in the feed. I set the lid on the opening of the feeder to keep the feed from coming out while filling the pipe.

Replace the lid and get ready for the chicks to have a feast!

Note: If you are getting close to time to clean your coop and the feeders are in a place such as ours (in the middle of the run area), fill only as much as your chickens will eat by the time it is cleaning time. You want to have the feed below all the screw holes before removing the screws to raise the feeders up. The amount wasted when the screws are removed is minimal if you have to raise them before the feed is below the screw holes, but I prefer not to make a mess if possible. I don't think this would be an issue with pellet feed.

Step 7: Happy Chicks Lay Yummy Eggs!

Picture of Happy Chicks Lay Yummy Eggs!

Here is the finished feeders! As you see, the girls seem to like it. They didn't waste any time trying it out. Now, we will see if they can keep the coop a little cleaner by not scattering the feed.

Hope you find this helpful!

Julie ;)

Step 8: UPDATE!!!!

Picture of UPDATE!!!!

Added the cap after noticing the girls were scattering the feed more than we had anticipated, negating the entire reason for this project!!! Well, a simple fix did the trick! We purchased 2 of the standard PVC 3inch caps and cut them in half. That covered the end a little too much for our bantams, so we removed them and cut a little more off. It ended up being about a 1/3 of the cap for the right coverage. If you use a power miter saw, make sure to have a board to hold in place. We had a bit of an issue, but my hubby used boards to hold it in place while cutting. The first cut was a little scary, but the cap was salvageable.

We used a short screw in the bottom to secure the cap in place. The screw should be just long enough to secure the cap to the bottom.

I did put a board under the feeders for my bantams. They were having to stretch their little necks a little too much to reach the feed. I will replace the board with a couple of nice stepping stones in a couple of days.


smartrem made it! (author)2017-05-27

Finally made it! Chichens are happy with it. The place I put it unfortunatelly gets some rain and water sits were the grain is. I'll drill a tiny hole at the bottom to drain that and it'll be perfect. Thanks for the idea!

TeriFelix (author)smartrem2017-09-01

This looks to be pretty spill proof. Did you use two 90 degree elbows to get the rise you needed? I am a new chicken momma and am surprised at what they do to their store bought feeder. We are going to make these feeders this weekend. They will mostly be free rangers, but hopefully, this beautiful feeder will keep them coming for their organic feed. Our farm does have some lurking eagles, so I'd like to entice them to stay close to their feeders. Thanks for the picture!

smartrem (author)TeriFelix2017-09-04

No, it's 90° and 45° but my pipes seem a bit longer. It really needs to be covered somehow because if water gets inside, the seeds rot and germinate and the chicken won't eat them.

ugarxfish (author)2016-08-06

@ KelseyF6, we posted the watering plans under pvc chicken waterer.

ugarxfish (author)2016-08-06

@ rjessup, 4 pipes hold a 5 gallon bucket of feed. Approximately 20 to 25 lbs of feed.

SiroosS (author)2016-06-16

it's very useful ... thanks

SiroosS (author)2016-06-16

it's very useful ... thanks

KelseyF6 (author)2016-06-16

Anyone have plans to the water cooler set up in this post? Could you email them to please!

rjessup (author)2015-09-25

How much feed do four of these pipes hold? Is it a full 40 pound bag or is it more than that?

Cypher08 (author)2015-07-19

I am so going to make this! Thanks for posting. My only critique is there was not enough photos of your chooks :)

fendad (author)2015-07-07

how do you cover the pipes overnight to deter rodents?

BLASTFEMI (author)fendad2015-07-19

We use a pvc cap for the top after filling and cap the one on the bottom at night when we close them in.

ugarxfish (author)fendad2015-07-09

We have not had any problems with rodents so far. Our coop is pretty tight with 1/2 inch hardware cloth covering all openings, I am hoping they won't squeeze or chew through. If we have the issue to come up and figure out a solution, I will definitely post it! Thanks!!!


ldabague (author)ugarxfish2015-07-09

I have the same concern. The ideia is great but I already have issues with rodents.

lorre0330 (author)ldabague2015-07-13

If you have rodent issues - you need a nice cat. Our chickens quickly let our cats know who is boss, the cats don't mess with chickens at all.

mountainfish (author)2015-07-08

I will very likely be making this. Awesome! This will save me time from filling up their current food setup every other day. Now I just got to figure out something for water too.

ugarxfish (author)mountainfish2015-07-14

Good Morning Mountainfish! I just wanted to let you know that I finished the PVC waterer yesterday. So far, so good except I have to add a support piece to keep them from walking behind it and twisting it around. Thought you might like to see a pic of it (preview time!). Hoping to get the Instructable up today. Let me know what you think!


jameskirk (author)ugarxfish2015-07-14


ugarxfish (author)mountainfish2015-07-09

We are working on a waterer using a 3 gallon water dispenser jug, PVC, and the BeakTime water cups. I will be sure to post a guide on that. I have seen similar ones, but will be adapting it to fit our needs. Stay tuned for more ideas as we learn all about chickens!


jameskirk (author)2015-07-12

How may of these would you need for 10 laying hens?



Awesomekid27 (author)2015-07-11

this is PERFECT for my farm!

FarmerKJS (author)2015-07-08

could I cut holes in the bottom of a 55gal drum and put the pipes into that?

ugarxfish (author)FarmerKJS2015-07-09

Hmmm...I think as long as you have an adapter to funnel the feed through to the PVC pipe, it might work. My concern is that the weight of the feed in the drum may be too heavy and the feed will continue to come out of the bottom neck. May have to change the 45 degree piece to another 90 degree street piece to give it more curve and stop the flow of the feed. ???? Let me know if you try it. I am assuming you are suspending this drum from overhead or are you planning to put it on blocks?

gmw2 (author)ugarxfish2015-07-09

I made a couple of these yesterday, but used hooks rather than mounting them so they can be easily moved. I also found that the 45 degree elbow was unnecessary

kayakdiver (author)2015-07-07

NICE & EASY! I'll send this to my daughter.

I'd simplify this a little further by simply driving a longer screw all the way through the PVC into the "ledger" boards, eliminating the hangar straps, a couple of screws, and any chance of the pipes slipping down.

ugarxfish (author)kayakdiver2015-07-07

Great idea! I would love to have not had to deal with the strap, but needed to be able to raise them up out of the way without having to take them down completely. Our run continues under the coop, and is a bit of a challenge to clean out as it is before hanging the pipes. Thanks for the input!!!


canman200 (author)2015-07-07


SteveR2 (author)2015-07-07

This is a PVC chicken feeder. My chickens are made out of bones and feathers and stuff. Will your design still work?

cadofe (author)2015-07-07

these would work great in a rabbit run as well.

DDW_OR (author)2015-07-07

good idea. will be making a coop this fall-winter to be used next year.

will be converting a 8x16x8 storage shed, width by length by height. adding insulation to all walls and floor. then cover with rolled linoleum flooring cut and shaped to form a tub. will have vents added to deal with moisture.

will add a wall inside to make a front area, 8x6, for feed storage, and a larger 8x10 rear area for the chickens. there will also be a large outdoor screened area. cannot have free range because of all of the predictors in my area. the nesting boxes will be sloped to role the eggs away from the hen.

i like this idea.

jig10 (author)2015-07-07

Great instructable, thanks for sharing. I wish I had chickens! I've got two cats and may get on to making one for their dried food. I'm also thinking of hacking it a bit for garden birds... hoping to keep starlings, crows and pigeons from gorging themselves on my wild bird food. I'll have to have a think. Any ideas or tips gratefully received : )

hippyhopfarm (author)2015-07-07

years ago I built some that used a 3 way and put a plug in the bottom had cut a piece of plywood in a 1/2 moon and screwed it into the opening to keep the scratchers out . we also used water line the green pipe that worked great to. And for those who read Best of Farm Show these feeders can be made into waters. Great layout and instructions keep up the good work

ethan_hair7 (author)2015-07-05

If I had chickens this would be great but I'll recommend it to some friends that do.

hmasoud (author)2015-07-05

I like it

bravoechonovember1 (author)2015-07-05


I have a few chickens and they do scatter the feed a lot!

CurtosNoirDesign (author)2015-07-05

I like. Nice add on at the end

USMC-USAF-USN (author)2015-07-05

Very nice! I'm already thinking of something similar for our cat. The concept could be adapted for other farm animals and pets as well.

louie cevasco (author)2015-07-05


DIY Hacks and How Tos (author)2015-07-05

Nice feeder set up.

About This Instructable




Bio: We love working on DIY projects together, and yes, conflict does happen, but we just work through it!
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