PVC Chicken Feeder




Introduction: PVC Chicken Feeder

Warthog-faced buffoon.

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.

Step 2: Materials, Tools

We settled on three inch PVC pipe: two or four would work, too. The pipe itself normally comes in 10-foot sections, so you can get one of those and make at least three feeders using these dimensions.

-Three inch diameter pipe: 20 inches long. Or more. Or less.
-Three inch diameter pipe: 6 inches long
-Three inch diameter pipe: 3 inches long
-45-degree "Y" connector, like this, but this would be quite cool, too.
-Two three-inch PVC caps, like this.

-PVC cement

Step 3: Assemble

Assemble according to the image, following the tiny instructions on the label of your PVC cement. Glue only the three pieces that touch the the "Y" splitter and the bottom cap.

That's it.

You're done. 

It only took like three minutes, didn't it?

Let it cure for 24 hours, or until it is no longer stinky.

Actually, you can get by without gluing at all, as long as you're careful when filling and moving: it would be no fun if the bottom cap fell off of a full feeder during transport! But then it would only take like a minute and a half to build, right?

Step 4: Enjoy!

Remove the top cap to fill using a funnel, bungee the feeder to something, and invite the birds!

Place the cap over the opening at night to make the feeder weather- and critter-proof.

UPDATE: To add awesomeness, do what Flodado did:


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98 Discussions

for four chickens, how many of these would you think?.....

Hey there, thanks for the great design. I just got my first chickens
(bantams) a few weeks ago. I was about to pick up the supplies for this
but I was surprised at how large the Y connector pipe was. Does anyone
know if bantams will be able to access the feed with this design?

2 more answers

Ive often been surprised at how resourceful the birds are, stretching to reach higher than you think they will. I’d say give it a try. And if it’s too tall for your bantams, either whittle the Y so it’s shorter, or cut a hole out of a 2”x8” and sink the feeder into it. That has the added bonus of making it free standing. You could even create “stairs” by stacking two thick boards of differing sizes.

Hope that helps. Good luck!


Thank you for the response! I think I will give it a go and try those modifications if needed!

THANKS nice looking chicken.
I have spent literally Hours upon hours searching for the term Y Connector,

I was looking for elbows, connectors, etc. to add a sewage pump to make two pumps in pit...thanks so much, finally found it on amazon thanks to your post here.

2 replies

Wait... you SAVED time on instructables? ;) Glad I could help. Cheers!

this is what lead me to your post.

sewage 6 connector y connector.JPG

Have you figured a way to make a rain canopy for this? PS love it, made two already, getting ready to make a couple more!!

Fantastic idea (and ideas)! Having a community that adds ideas and suggestions is gold. I'm going to try this out.

How do you fill the feeder with out spilling feed all over the place? I love the design, but I am making a mess.

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!

Cool. I like that. It is simple and free. Thank you.

How do you clean it? Mice get in my feeders at night and I have to clean out droppings. Is it high enough off ground to prevent it?

2 replies

I haven't found a way around the mouse problem, Sharon.

This is awesome. I'm actually going to adapt this to make a wild bird feeder with multiple feeding stations by joining a series of the y-tees in a helical spiral, and the extension is genius, because one problem I have with our existing bird feeders is the birds peck in there and drop more food than they get. Thanks for putting this out there!

RCP 58Reply12 minutes ago

Awesome, I to have been looking for the right design. Your work and reworking to find what works for your chickens is what I've needed to do, but thanks to you I won't have to. I will be using ABS as it is cheaper where I live and I think a little stronger. I will be whiching to pellets for crumbles and also a bigger up pipe 6". I do like the chain down the middle of the filler pipe to help with any possible clog ups.

I' so glad I found you inscrutable ugarxfish, keep them coming.

Robert P.