Chicken Feeder




About: I make pet pig harnesses and more

This is our first instructable so we will start by showing you how to build a chicken feeder that will feed 4-6 chickens and remain free of droppings that chickens so often leave behind.
We have alot of that at our farm.
So lets get started!

Our animals can be seen by visting the link below
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Step 1: Intro

Sure you can go the feed store and buy a feeder made from plastic or galvanized metal. Some of these are cheap and will last many years since they are not environmentally friendly. Lets face it; we all know how long plastic takes to decompose. Not to mention, plastic and sunshine are not the best combination either. I have bought a few plastic water feeders and none have lasted more than 2 seasons. So I started thinking of ways to keep the chickens safe and not pollute the environment. You are now reading the results of one those grand ideas. Its a fun project and should only take 30-45 minutes. Have fun and be careful.

Step 2: Materials

1= 1 x 2 x 6 board (NOT pressure treated)
1= 1 x 6 x 8 board (NOT pressure treated)
1= 1 x 4 x 8 board (NOT pressure treated)
Circular saw
Carpenters square or Speed square
30= 2 exterior grade screws
Drill with a #2 phillips head driver
A pencil
Tape measure
Table saw (optional: if you have a table saw you will not need to buy the 1 x 2)
Saw horses or solid work bench
Safety glasses (You only get one pair of eyeballs!)

Step 3: Materials Dicussion

First, we need to discuss the materials. As mentioned next to the board, do not buy pressure treated lumber. Chickens are curious by nature and will peck at the wood. The chemicals used in pressure treated lumber are most definitely not a good source of food for your poultry.

You can get the lumber at any hardware store, or if you are lucky enough to have a local sawmill, get your wood from them. Lumber purchased at local sawmills is generally sized the exact dimensions you order.
Lumber from your hardware store is commercially sized and is smaller in dimensions than what you pay for. Either way, the results will be work just fine.

Next, you will need to pick up 30 screws to keep the chicken feeder intact. These can be purchased at any hardware store. I do recommend that you use an exterior grade screw, but a typical drywall screw will also work. At the size specified ( 2) you will get about 99 screws to a pound.

Step 4: Cutting the Pieces

Finally, we are ready to build our chicken feeder.
The feeder consists of:
2 side walls (1 x 4) cut to 12 in length
1 base piece (1 x 6)cut to 12 in length
2 end caps (1 x 6 ) cut to 6 in length
1 handle ( 1 x 2) cut to 12 in length (needs to ripped to 2 wide if not purchasing a 1 x 2 board)

Start by measuring the first sidewall piece to 12. Using the carpenters square, make a straight line. Make sure you cut the first piece on the outside of the line you drew so the 12 in length. The outside will be on the long side of the board.

Great, now just repeat that process 2 more times and you will have both side walls and the base. Be sure you only measure and cut one at a time or you will have different lengths of wood.

Step 5: Measuring End Caps

Now for the end caps, measure back 6 draw your straight line and cut on the outside again. Repeat this one more time and you have both end caps. While we are working on the end caps, lets measure and cut a 45 degree angle to clean up the edges.
Start at the top of the board and measure in 2. Make a mark at the top of the board at 2 line. Then repeat this process on the other side of the board so that you have two marks on the top edge of the board, both at 2 from the outside edge.

Now place your square with the angle edge facing the top of the board and slide it up until the edge of the square is touching the 2 mark you just made. Draw a line down the edge of the square. Then flip the square to the other side and do it again.

Using the circular saw, cut the two lines you just drew. Then repeat the whole process on the second end cap.

The final cut is the handle. Using the 1 x 2 x 6, cut off a piece 12 long making the cut on the outside edge. Be sure to cut on the outside of the line so the board will be 12 in length.

Step 6: Adding End Caps

Its time to put all those puzzle pieces together. Lets start by placing both side panels on the table with the short edge facing up. Now place the base piece on top and line up the edges, outside to outside.
Using 4 screws/nails, start at one end and screw/nail the base into the sidewall, working your way to the opposite end. Be sure to keep the edges even. Repeat these steps on the other side until the base is secured to both sidewall pieces.

Step 7:

On a flat surface, place the assembled base and sidewalls, base down. Take one end cap and place it against the base with the angles on top. Line up the edges and secure the end to the base using 3 screws/nails per side and 3 screws/nails along the bottom. Repeat this process on the other end.

Step 8: End Caps

Take the assembled piece and stand it on one end. Now place the handle between the two end caps and line it up between the two angled cuts you made. It should be flush with the outside edge or what will be the top when placed flat. Use 2 screws on each end screwing them thru the end cap into the handle. Try not to get to close to the outside edges or you will split the wood.

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    11 Discussions


    9 years ago on Step 6

    lol screws/nails which ever you prefer


    9 years ago on Step 6

    That sure is a funny looking screwdriver you are using.


    9 years ago on Introduction

    I've made the chicken feeder and I am very happy with it, but the chickens jump up in it and kick out the food, so I drilled holes top and bottom to put in 3 / 16 steelwire with 2 inch spacing in the feeders length, so now the chickens can't come in to the feeder and kick out the food.


    10 years ago on Introduction

    I don't have much experience, but it seems that that board on top would invite roosting, and hence bird waste just where you don't want it - in the food. No?

    2 replies

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    I thought of that after I built the first one, but since they have a roost in their coop they don't roost on the feeder. The handle does stop them from scratching in the food and spilling it out.


    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    That's what works for me. They would jump in to the "trough" and flinging food everywhere. This prevents the bigger pullets from doing it but I have a couple youngsters that cant help themselves. All in all, a good instructable. I had some scrap wood lying around and used that. I also made mine a bit longer. Thanks Matt!


    10 years ago on Introduction

    I don't think your 'ible said this, but you should use solid wood (like your pictures show), not plywood, chipboard, or any manufactured wood, for this outdoor project. Solid wood will last longer while plywood will last only 1 season. Try to use cedar if possible. It will last longer. If no cedar, use a hardwood like oak, maple, or hickory. If not, then go with pine as a last resort. Neat idea, though.

    2 replies

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    we used pine because we get a great deal from our local sawmill. While I agree that hardwoods will last longer, pine is cheaper and more readily available for our region. Cedar on the other hand is not good for any birds. And should also be avoided with small mammals, (IE..hamsters, rabbits, and other little not peoples)

    Phil B

    10 years ago on Introduction

    You did a nice job and I am sure you have a good deal of satisfaction from it. It is a nice Instructable, too. At the risk of speaking where I should be quiet, I noticed the photo of you ripping a board in Step 5. I remember reading an article on using table saws in which they encouraged lowering the blade so it sticks up above the wood you are cutting only about 1/8 inch. The geometry of the teeth on the blade is supposed to give a smoother cut, and if your hand slips you receive a flesh wound rather than losing part of a finger or a hand.