We wanted a lot from our chicken feeder: it had to be easy to fill, hard to spill, safe from non-chicken life forms, weather resistant, easy to make, and inexpensive. We tried a number of other designs that worked to varying degrees, but this was the only one that did all we asked it to. Enjoy!

Step 1: Trial and error

There are lots of PVC chicken feeders out there, and several folks have gone with a design very similar to this one. But I haven't seen the extra three-inch piece added to the Y connector: without that small extension the chickens managed to spill quite a lot of food, but that three-inch piece cut spillage to almost zero! 

We tried a 180-degree elbow with the edge cut off: the birds were able to eat just fine but they spilled quite a lot, and closing the pipe for waterproofing and rodent-proofing would have required additional engineering. We considered quite a few other variations, but they all had drawbacks; mostly related to spillage and security.

At first the bottom part connected to the "Y" was only three inches long and the birds didn't like that much, so we set it up on a brick and the chickens seemed to like the altitude better, so the final version uses a six-inch length of pipe to place the food where the chickens can easily reach it.

Another way to go (and in response to some reader comments): if you add some kind of plug right at the bottom of the Y, the birds would be able to reach all the food. It will take you more than 3 minutes to assemble, but it would be more efficient. Of course, it's best to use plastic or something else that can be thoroughly cleaned. Most of the plugs I see out there would work, but you'd be back to the height problem (if you're concerned about chicken ergonomics). Easy to fix: just mount the feeder higher. Or: run a long carriage bolt through the base cap (or plug), letting the end stick out and hit the ground, like the spike that sticks out of the bottom of a stand-up bass or cello.

This is my version of the feeder. I recycled an plastic oatmeal can to cap both ends. Since my chikens are small, I decided to deleted both 3 in niples. My materials came from my yard.
<p>Before filling with feed, mix a shovel full of motor, grout or concrete and fill the base so the feed wont go below the Y. It will make the feeder heavy and solid and no feed rot in the bottom. You can buy a 6x3 reducer and have a 6&quot; column of feed, easy to fill and less often. Do not spend the money for PVC pipe, use the cheaper Poly Styrene drain pipe and fittings.</p>
<p>How do you fill the feeder with out spilling feed all over the place? I love the design, but I am making a mess. </p>
<p>I know this is kind of a late response but I just found this. I cut the bottom out of a gallon jug of grape juice and use it as a scoop. When I transfer to the PVC, I merely place the container lid over the opening and twist it off. Works like a CHARM!</p>
<p>Cool. I like that. It is simple and free. Thank you. </p>
<p>I used this pattern to make a feeder with a hopper, four feed tubes, and an extra tube for oyster shell. It came together in a few hours and well worth the time. Took more photos and measurements if anyone has questions. I had an old shop table frame sitting around and used particle board to give it a top. The clear plastic container tells me when I need to throw a couple more bags in.</p>
<p>that is awesome!</p>
I use a similar setup for now. My solution to the dead space under the &quot;y&quot; was to put a &quot;plug&quot; at the bottom of the &quot;y&quot; (not the heavy pvc plug, its more of a lightweight plug for keeping the unfinished plumbing for getting fouled by construction debris) and putting a pvc pipe section in that end of the fitting. You can make this piece any length to adjust the feeder height and no feed goes down the bottom section of pipe below the plug.
<p>After having made &amp; used this feeder for a couple weeks, I'm finding that the gravity feed doesn't work so well with &quot;crumbles&quot; feed. Even though the pipe is capped, humidity &amp; heat causes the feed to clump. I think this design may work better with pellet-style feed.</p>
Ive never used crumble, pellet only but you might hang a metal chain of some sort down the vertical pipe so you can give it a jiggle when you get clogs. Larger pipe would work best so you can hang a more substantial chain. I use a 4 inch pipe on the outside with a reducer to 2 inch, then two 45 elbows to pass through the wall. Just a thought.
<p>I built the one with the 90 and the 45 coupling. Works nicely.</p>
<p>check out <a href="http://www.instructables.com/id/Auto-Door-For-Chicken-Feeder/" rel="nofollow">http://www.instructables.com/id/Auto-Door-For-Chic...</a> for an automatic door upgrade!</p>
<p>check out <a href="http://www.instructables.com/id/Auto-Door-For-Chicken-Feeder/" rel="nofollow">http://www.instructables.com/id/Auto-Door-For-Chic...</a> for an automatic door upgrade!</p>
<p>I had a problem w/ the birds perching on and pooping into the feeder (nasty!), so I made this simple fix:</p>
<p>In my version, i added a 2&quot; pipe reducer that feeds into the Y- but now the starter feed gets sticky from the humidity &amp; plugs everything up. I tried it without the insert, but the waste was ridiculous..</p>
Hi all. Im from the UK and I cannot get end caps in this country at all. Anyone know a site that will deliver to UK from US for the 3&quot; end caps and also the threaded ones in 3&quot; and 2&quot;? Thanks.
<p><a href="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00VGJPVMQ/tharofdost-20" rel="nofollow">http://www.amazon.com/Amazing-Wooden-Chicken-Feeder-liters/dp/B00VGJPVMQ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&amp;qid=1429471224&amp;sr=8-1&amp;keywords=amazing+chicken+feeder</a></p>
<p>So cool...</p>
Thank you :)
<p>Here's how I solved the problem of the &quot;well&quot; of unreachable feed. I just found a plastic cup that fit: 22oz, a standard to-go cup size at lots of restaraunts &amp; bars. Jam it in the bottom of the Y-connector and cut off the excess plastic. Or, you could leave the excess on to raise the height of the feeder. (My hens are all bantams, so I needed to keep the feeder low.) It's simply a friction fit, which seems to work ok, bt you could also glue the cup in place.</p>
<p>Nice!<br><br>We haven't had any trouble with the feed being unreachable because our girls rotate through the feed so quickly, and we pour the last bit into another tube long before it has a chance to sit there too long. And we haven't had any clumping problems with crumbles, maybe for the same reason? We definitely live in a high-humidity town, but not a whole lot of heat. Could be the content of the feed, too - maybe some formulas have a higher clump factor?</p>
I agree w/ your last thought.... I'm currently using chick starter crumbles for my pullets. It seems like these crumbles are softer and more powdery than layer feed. The moisture content seems a bit higher, too. I might switch to pellets when they get bigger
<p>The link in the Update at the end seems to not work.</p>
<p>Apologies, not sure what went haywire there. Fixed, and thanks for the heads up!</p>
<p>I really wanted to make one of these, but I've searched all over for the PVC and have had a lot of trouble finding anything over 2&quot;. I could use ABS, but that stuff is too pricey -- I'd wind up paying something like $40-50 for one feeder.</p>
<p><a href="http://www.ebay.com/itm/DWV-PVC-Wye-1-1-2-National-Brand-Alternative-Pvc-Dwv-Elbows-92351-/281538376766?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item418cfeb43e" rel="nofollow">http://www.ebay.com/itm/DWV-PVC-Wye-1-1-2-National...</a> </p><p>If you use one of these 2 chken can eat at the same time </p>
<p><a href="http://www.ebay.com/itm/DWV-PVC-Wye-1-1-2-National-Brand-Alternative-Pvc-Dwv-Elbows-92351-/281538376766?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item418cfeb43e" rel="nofollow">http://www.ebay.com/itm/DWV-PVC-Wye-1-1-2-National...</a> </p><p>If you use one of these 2 chken can eat at the same time </p>
Instead of using PVC glue, avoid toxic fumes and allow for reuse by sealing joints with white electrical tape. Also, more then one chicken in the coop will crowd around and fight over access to the feeder. Why not create several outlets by daisy-chaining "T" connectors. Nice idea. An improvement over the wooden trough feeder I made as it prevents the chickens from walking in the trough and using it as an outhouse.
Daisy chaining the Y connectors would make them go vertical.. the upper ones would <br>go empty as the food level diminishes. that type of feeder wont work horizontally, because its gravity fed. Maybe more then one if you have chickens with bad manners ;)
You could make a double feeder by using this instead of a &quot;Y&quot; Connector. <br>http://www.homedepot.com/p/Charlotte-Pipe-6-in-x-6-in-x-4-in-x-4-in-PVC-DWV-Double-Wye-Reducing-PVC-00612-1600/203956276#.UjEA8Masg40 <br> <br>Although that part is over $100, you could probably get away with something like this http://www.homedepot.com/p/NIBCO-3-in-PVC-DWV-All-Hub-Double-Sanitary-Tee-C4835/100343532#.UjEBXMasg40 and a couple 45 degrees and get similar results. <br> <br>
Whether it's a feeder or a nest box or a treat tossed to the flock, they are all about &quot;prize envy:&quot; the things they find most appealing are the things another chicken has. So yes, they do all want the same feeder, and every meal is another pecking-order negotiation. But yes, this design would br fine for a few birds, but out flock hovers around 15, and three feeders seems to sufficiently keep the peace.
Around here there are troughs with a rotating perch above the food, running lengthwise. <br> <br>If chickens try and step into the trough, they'll fall. <br> <br>You can do the same with a piece of pipe hanging on a steel wire.
<p>I found this style worked better for my girls: </p><p>http://www.aquabarrel.com/product_poultry_bucket_feeder_parts.php</p>
<p>I used this to make my feeder. So easy and works great! I added a feed level indicator to it. I also made this little stand to hold it steady while I fill it.</p><p>http://www.instructables.com/id/PVC-Chicken-Feeder-with-Meter/</p>
<p>Very nice, love the meter and the stand, well done!</p>
<p>I took a similar design for a Deer Feeder</p>
Thanks! Saw this and built one. Makes life easy.
Great idea - I built a variation of the U (or J) shaped feeder which works ok - It had a cap on the end and then I cut a couple of large holes in the top of the flat section to provide access - works ok but occasionally if things get wet and the grain sprouts it is a pain to clean out - your design would be easier and take less space Thanks <br> <br>
MUST HAVE! Thank you!!!
I've bee using this ever since the instructable came out. I used a 2" tube instead and had the 3" tube on the bottom. I also used a 1 1/2" ring to lessen the spillage. I just dump out the feed from the bottom and refill instead of remixing it. I haven't had a problem with mol because it's hot and summertime here. I also Velcro it to a post and another one to the chicken wire and all under the roofing of the coop/run. You guys worry too much.
This is awesome!
You could provide some rain protection by cutting the protruding pipe at an angle--so the bottom would be 3&quot;, and the top at least 6&quot; long. It might make it more difficult for the chickens, but it would protect against rain that's not blowing. <br> Another idea is split a length of larger diameter pipe (6&quot;?), and bolt it to the top. The half pipe would allow the same access from below, while the extra width better shelter the opening.
One could also use black ABS using the same design... <br>and yes.. glue is not mandatory... you could easily use a <br>small wood screw into each joint if you need it. The parts <br>should fit pretty snugly without any glue...
Clever, simple and useful, nice instructable, thanks.
Very clever. Simplicity is high value. Just use a wider pipe.

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