I’ve had a few tries on building the perfect chicken feeder and this one has to be the best yet. As anyone knows who has chickens, they are very messy when they eat. Plus if you use a traditional feeder, then other birds and even rats can get at the food very easily. The bucket feeder stops most animals (probably not rats though) from getting at the feed and also ensures that it doesn’t go everywhere when your chicken feeds.
There are a few different ways to make one of these (just put in to Google – bucket chicken feeder), but I thought I would make a ‘ible to show how I went about making one.
Step 1: Parts and Tools
1. Bucket – I chose a medium sized bucket. It must have a lid as well.
2. 2 x 70mm PVC elbows. You could use larger ones if you wanted to. I found though that 70mm was a good size for the chickens to get their heads through.
3. Hot glue or silicone. I didn’t need any but if your PVC pipe doesn’t form a tight fit, then you may need some
I also added a window so I could see how much grain was left. Maybe wasn’t the best idea as the girls were pecking at it for about a week thinking that they could get at it (not the brightest creatures). It does however make it easy to see how much grain is left in the feeder
1. Clear piece of plastic
1. Stanley knife
2. 70mm hole saw
4. Rivet gun
5. Hot glue gun (if necessary)
Step 2: Design
The size of the bucket will depend on how many chickens you have. The bucket I used holds enough feed for the girls for about 10 days. Once you have the bucket you want, you’ll then need to work out where to make the holes for the PVC elbows.
1. Mark out where to make the hole in the bucket. You want the PCV elbow to be close to the bottom of the bucket but not touching. If you leave about 15-20mm then it will be far enough off the bottom so the grain can move up the PVC pipe.
2. Place the PVC pipe on the actual bucket and with a marker go around the edge to mark out the size of the pipe. If you imagine that the bucket is split into thirds, then each PVC elbow should be in one of the thirds – see drawing attached
Step 3: Making the Holes
1. Find the middle of the circle you drew and drill out the sections using a 70mm hole saw.
2. You may find that you need to make the hole a little larger to allow the elbow to fit through. If this is the case, use a file or sanding wheel and dermal to remove some of the excess plastic. You want the holes though to be a tight fit for the elbows. This way you won’t have to add any hot glue or silicone to patch-up any gaps.
3. Once the holes are big enough, push the PVC elbow through it and turn so that they are facing down
Step 4: Viewing Window
The viewing window isn’t necessary as mentioned in the intro. It does however mean though that you won’t have to keep on opening the lid to see how much grain is left.
1. Mark out the area to remove with a marker
2. Carefully cut away the area with a Stanley knife (exacto knife)
3. Clean-up the edges if necessary
4. Next, cut a clear piece of plastic so it completely covers the area removed. You will want to have the plastic a good 15mm larger on either side so you can attach it to the bucket. I did try superglue first but this was a monumental failure. Hot glue might work ok as well but I decided to use rivets
5. Drill holes around the edge of the viewing window and also into the clear plastic section
6. Attach with rivets
Step 5: Fill It Up
That’s pretty much it!
Now it’s time to fill it up with grain and get the girls to use it. I placed mine on a couple of bricks so that they could easily each the holes. To get them to look into the PVC elbows, I pulled some grain out and placed it on the lib of the elbow. The girls are curious by nature so it didn’t take then long to work out that if they stuck their head in the hole, they’d find food.
This is a really simple way to feed your chickens and best of all there is hardly any mess as the food stays inside the bucket and doesn’t get flicked everywhere