Introduction: Hanging Chicken Feeder
A good feeder is essential to maintaining healthy happy chickens!
They can be bought at the store for less than $20 but where's the fun in that!
Here's how I put together a new feeder using my favorite used material - Trader Joes Floral Buckets.
Why a feeder is important:
- Keep food dry - avoid fungus or mold growth
- Auto-Feed to save you time
- Pest Free - Keep varmints out of your ladies food
- Limit Bullying - yes, a dominant chicken will peck her sister if they are standing next to her
The goal here was to build the feeder at no cost. Yes, that's right.
The Trader Joes Bucket and found ABS Wyes got me 90% there. The plastic twine was leftover from tying down a Home Depot purchase.
Step 1: The Trough
When cutting the bucket the goal is to give the chickens enough access but to still keep them separate while feeding. Also, to preserve the strength of the bucket.
The thin walls of the bucket cut easily with the Olfa L-1 cutting tool. Be careful when not cutting against a work surface because the blade can take off on you. Think of it more like carving than cutting.
Rounded edges is a good rule when preserving the strength of the bucket. I also maintained a little less than 50% of the material around any section going up the side.
Step 2: Trough Hanger
Make four holes at the top of the bucket. Just under the lip.
Honestly, I got a little excited because I rarely have a chance to use this tool I inherited. Even more surprised to find the 'Classic Yankee Handrill' is still being made!
I used the hand drill to puch holes in the bucket. It's always a delicate process but an enjoyable one on a sunny fall day.
Best if some scrap from the trough hols are used to provide support behind the material.
Step 3: Trough Hanging (pt. 1)
Wrap the twine around the bucket two times. Tie a knot at on end and use that to cinch down the fiber before making another knot to lock it in place. From there pass through the first hole to start securing the plastic pipe.
Step 4: Trough Hanging (pt. 2) - Secure the Pipe
You don't need to use an expensive 4" Wye. I found several abandoned outside of a construction fence. The 4x4x4 wye is almost $20 on amazon. It could be found closer to $15 at a big box but that's still a lot.
See the next step for an alternate using a simple cut of PVC pipe.
In the photos you can see how I wrapped and tied the twine around the fitting to hold it in place.
- Tie across the centerline
- Wrap each opening
- Secure on the opposite axis
--at each connection pass through a perimeter hole or tie at a connection point on the centerline.
Step 5: Alternate Pipe
Rather than use the plumbing fitting a standing piece of PVC pipe works just fine. Here I had 4' of 3" pipe. That provided 5 days of feed for 4 full grown chickens.
Important to notch the bottom of the pipe so the food spills out. But really, that's all it takes.
Here's a metal trough similar to the one we used.
---as my new flock gets bigger I'll likely add a section of PVC to the wye.
Step 6: Feeder in Action
The ladies are happy with the trough and I'm thrilled to have their food off the ground!
In the past we've always dealt with chipmunks and mice that will come to steal good. They find it easy to get through the chicken wire and into the food. Hanging from a simple piece of twine helps a lot.
Also great to not have them bullying each other as they eat. With four places the girls can all get at the feed and have some separation. During the winter months it would become more of an issue as they get bored.
Hope this helps!
The goal is to make it easier for others to start raising backyard chickens. Building a chicken coop and getting setup with a new set of ladies was the first thing we did at our new house.... after tearing out the old carpet!
Here are a few more instructables I put together on raising chickens:
Participated in the
Hand Tools Only Challenge