Instructables
Picture of PVC Chicken Gravity Feeder
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Ok so I was looking on ebaY to purchase a feeder for chickens and I kept finding the usual varieties when I came across a neat design using PVC pipe.  They were asking $40 plus shipping for something that while cool, is not worth that much.  I decided I would make my own and try it out.  This has not been tested on chickens yet as they are still too small but I will post an update when they are ready.

This is a very simple, cheap, and quick build.

Enjoy...and "bock, bock"
 
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Step 1: Materials - Stuff

Picture of Materials - Stuff
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The list is very short...
  1. About 6 feet of PVC Pipe - 4 inches (I purchased a 10 foot section for about $7.50)
  2. 2 - 4 Inch PVC Caps
  3. 1 90 degree elbow (also 4 inches)
Tools...
  • Cordless Drill
  • Hole Saw Bit
  • Hacksaw or Compound Miter Saw
  • Small rasp or file
I build a gravity-based chicken feeder out of PVC also, and although I have not yet 'field' tested it, I think I have the solution for rodents and spilled feed. I will try and get some pics and create an 'Instructable', but I will try to describe it as best I can.

Picture a 4" vertical PVC pipe, with a three-way fitting at the bottom end.

The fitting should be attached so that there is a direct flow-through to the bottom, with the "Y" portion of the fitting positioned horizontally.

With a Sawzall, I scalloped out the bottom half of the horizontal opening, leaving the top half to act as a rain shield.

In the bottom opening of the fitting, I inserted a 4" - 2" reducer, and a very short length of 2" pipe protruding out the bottom with a threaded clean-out cap affixed.

Inside the top opening of the fitting, I positioned a 3" - 2" reducer coupling, with the smaller end pointing downward to act as a funnel. I then inserted a short length of 2" pipe, just long enough to reach to the 4" reducer below it. I also cut out a half-circle opening in the bottom of this 2" pipe, facing directly toward the horizontal opening of the main fitting. A cap on the top completes the project.

Functionally, you would fill the entire 4" tube with feed, and mount on a wall in the coop. The chickens can stick their heads in through the horizontal pipe fitting, and peck at the food as it dribbles out of the half-circle opening in the smaller pipe. The lower reducer acts as a feed trough, holding any overspill so they can get at it. As they eat, more feed spills through the half circle, but not so much as to fill the trough and overflow.

Also, since the opening is 12 or more inches off the ground, and at least 6-8" away from the wall, it should keep pesky rodents away.
" solution for rodents and spilled feed."

In my experience, rodents have no compunction (nor much trouble) chewing holes though PVC Pipe and similar solution for rodents and spilled feed.. Moreover, they are not above chewing through PVC to get at feed.
danmark1 year ago
this is a genius idea. looking at it, i think i am going to build this with one modification. i am going to add a 5 gallon bucket to the top of the feeder. by drilling out a hole in the bottom of the bucket and adding a threaded connection, i should be able to incorporate a bucket into this design. this will allow me to leave for vacation longer without the need of a neighbor having to tend my chickens. thank you for the great idea
PaleoDan (author) 2 years ago
http://www.instructables.com/id/PVC-Chicken-Waterer/

Here is the link for the waterer
You could always install a larger inner diameter PVC sleeve over the feeding holes to create an on/off function to allow you to close the feeder at night. This might lessen the issues of rodents.
PaleoDan (author)  Divergent Reality2 years ago
This weekend I am heading to the hardware store to see what options I can find to solve this. I will post an updated version once I have something that works.

Thanks
xina152 years ago
I have the same trouble - the bush rats & mice eat SO much of the chooks' food it's ridiculous !!! Could you make some sort of sleeve out of slightly larger diameter pipe and rig up a simple sliding system ? Love your idea !!
PaleoDan (author)  xina152 years ago
I think that could work - I just need to find a proper sized pipe and I have only seen 4 and 6 inch PVC so far near me.

I was also thinking about making a hinged lid out of PVC that I could open and shut as needed with a small lock of sorts.

I'll post what I come up with and a waterer that I saw once I find the float for it.

Thanks
Very good idea. Can't wait to see action shots!
PaleoDan (author)  jessyratfink2 years ago
Thank you - I will fill it up this weekend for a trial run - my chicks are still a bit small but we should get a good idea how it works in general.
hurten2 years ago
If your feed tries to bindup in the 90 degree elbow you might try changing to a 45 degree elbow.
PaleoDan (author)  hurten2 years ago
Thank you for the suggestion - I will keep that in mind. I think the trick will be keeping it dry. I am also thinking about a cover to keep rodents out at night when the hens are in the coop. I made this for the outside section.