DIY chicken feeder

Discussion in 'General Survival and Preparedness' started by ditch witch, Jan 11, 2014.

  1. ditch witch

    ditch witch I do stupid crap, so you don't have to

    I really don't know what thread this belongs in. We have a green patch but not one for critter related stuff.

    The one thing I've disliked about our coop from day one is that every time I try to go in to feed, the girls all bum rush me to get out. Well that, and the fact that we can't go away for a weekend without finding a chicken sitter. SO, I designed a little free feeder that will hold 50 pounds erm ok 200 pounds of feed and today we built it and put it in the coop.

    One of our friends gave us a bunch of scrap lumber a while back, and there were 4, 2"x12"x24" pieces in there. We picked up a sheet of 1/2" plywood, and used screws and hinges we already had lying around. The feeder would be 4' wide, 2' tall, and 1' deep, with a feed trough that was 2" tall, 3" deep, and ran the length of the feeder.

    As it turned out, the 1/2" plywood wasn't stout enough for the front lip of the trough and the ends split when we tried to screw them on. We ended up ripping a leftover cedar fence picket to do the front. If I had to build it again, I'd probably go with a 1"x12" for the bottom as well.

    I wanted the feeder part just big enough for them to poke their heads in, but too small for them to get their nasty feet in. I swear those girls live to get poop in their feeder. After we got it hung and I dumped a sack of feed in it, we realized it was going to hold a LOT more feed than we'd originally thought. For now 50 pounds will last about 10 days. I'm going to set some cinderblocks underneath it for support before I fill it.

    Chicken Feeder - 1. Chicken Feeder - 2. Chicken Feeder - 3. Chicken Feeder - 4. Chicken Feeder - 2 (1). Chicken Feeder - 1 (1).
  2. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    To prevent the wood from spitting, pre-drill it. The screw or nail then can't wedge it apart. I often use one of the nails I am driving, as a drill bit. The hole is then perfect sized to the nails.
    Aeason likes this.
  3. tacmotusn

    tacmotusn RIP 1/13/21

    I wouldn't use it for every day feeding. I would use it if like you say, you were going to be away for a few days. If you use this feeder all the time, I can Guarantee Rats and Mice will find it and eat more than your chickens. They also will foul the feed with urine and feces. jus sayin'
    Aeason, 3cyl, VisuTrac and 2 others like this.
  4. Snake_Doctor

    Snake_Doctor Call me Snake...

    Very ingenius. Wish I had thought of this when we had chickens and other fowl. The problem I see, other than the rodents, is that your fowl will eat and eat and eat. I know mine did. We also had a turkey who would pout and tremble if she was nt allowed to take a few huge bites directly from the scoop full of scratch. It was truly a pitiful sight to behold.
    Aeason likes this.
  5. ditch witch

    ditch witch I do stupid crap, so you don't have to

    Well normally I'd agree on the rats and mice. However the lady directly behind us is something of a dog and cat hoarder, so every evening my back yard is filled with her cats. Mostly they climb the trees and murder the birds sleeping in them, graciously leaving the mutilated carcasses all over our backyard for me to clean up before letting the dogs out to pee each morning. The only upside to her forty cats is that in the five years I've had chickens here with feed left out 24/7, I've never seen any evidence of rodents.

    As for the wood splitting, it was 1/2" plywood with the middle section missing on the edge, ergo the split. Maybe if the Mr. hadn't tried to tighten the screw until the head was halfway through the plywood, I dunno.

    And as far as eating too much, they were real bad about that when I fed scratch or crumbles. Since I've switched to the pellets, they're more interested in scratching around in their yard than parking by the feeder. I've always had a pan full of feed lying out for them. This just gets it up off the ground so they stop kicking crap and straw all in it.
    Aeason likes this.
  6. Snake_Doctor

    Snake_Doctor Call me Snake...

    Hmmm....nice tip on the pellets. Thanks!
  7. ditch witch

    ditch witch I do stupid crap, so you don't have to

    Mine did not like the pellets at all in the beginning. Only reason I even had them was the kid at the feed store messed up and sent me home with pellets instead of crumbles. I didn't feel like making another 30 mile round trip over it so I gave it to them. At the time I was mixing scratch with the processed, and they'd eat all the scratch and leave the pellets behind. Now I've just got pellets out for them and they're pretty ho hum about it.

    They ARE eating more... no doubt about that. I put 50 pounds in the bin last Sunday and by this morning (Sat) it was nearly out... 20 hens@.25# a day=5# a day-35# a week, so that's a def increase, however my bottom of the run hens no longer look like crap and I'm getting around 18-20 eggs a day with 2-4 year old heavy breed hens. Since I have a buyer for every egg I'll sell I'm still in the black even with the extra feed so I'll let 'em have the extra feed. :)
    Aeason, Ganado and Yard Dart like this.
  8. gunbunny

    gunbunny Never Trust A Bunny

    Ha ha, DW's running a happy hen house. :)
    Aeason and Ganado like this.
  9. ditch witch

    ditch witch I do stupid crap, so you don't have to

    It's coz they have no rooster around. Bunch of fat happy hens and no crime. ;)
    Aeason and Ganado like this.
  10. Gator 45/70

    Gator 45/70 Monkey+++

    My plan is to use a deer feeder with a solar panel and rechargeable battery, Set the timer to go off at a certain time of day and for so many seconds.
  11. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    Did that for feeding miniature show horses.
    Aeason and Gator 45/70 like this.
  12. Snake_Doctor

    Snake_Doctor Call me Snake...

    Nice. We had chickens because I moved my kid, a budding gang member, to the country. He wanted to raise chickens, then he got a murray mcmurray catalog and fell in love with the exotic breeds, Along with geese, turkeys, guineas and ducks . I drew the line at swans.
    Aeason, Sapper John and ditch witch like this.
  13. Michael Angel

    Michael Angel Monkey

  14. kckndrgn

    kckndrgn Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    @ditch witch , that's a nice feeder and even better it was built with free supplies. Even with the cats and dogs near by I would worry about the mice/rats and other critters.

    When I had chickens, before we moved, I made a PVC feeder similar to this (only one tube though)

    Worked great for the 4 birds I had. I had to fill it once a week or so. I have a deer feeder that's not being used, I might just have to repurpose it for a chicken feeder, thanks for that idea @Gator 45/70.

    When I get my birds in a few weeks (15 or so hens) I'm going to use "chicken nipples" for the water source. ***Threaded Style*** Oasis Poultry Water Nipples, 10 Pack, Sanitary Water for up to 30 Chickens, Turkeys, Geese or Ducks: Patio, Lawn & Garden
    Aeason, ditch witch and Gator 45/70 like this.
  15. arleigh

    arleigh Goophy monkey

    Actually if you teach you birds to eat mice it pretty much takes care of it's self . I did that .
    chelloveck, Aeason and Ganado like this.
  16. Aeason

    Aeason Monkey

    I like the feeder, I ordered a roll of coconut fiber 24in by 36ft to cut into squares for the nest, the pine straw was making a mess. I plan on putting it in the garden when I change it out. Just thought you might like to try it.
  17. chelloveck

    chelloveck Diabolus Causidicus

    The chicken manure encrusted coconut fibre may be a little too hot to be placed straight into the garden....either dunk it in a bucket of water to soak for a while to leach out the chicken manure into a liquid fertiliser (dilute by at least 10 :1 when applying to the garden...The coir can then be composted, or used as surface mulch.


    use it as bedding material for your worm farm...the worms will break down the manure and coir fibre into worm castings and worm tea, which your garden will just love. Just keep the coir damp, but not sodden.
    Ganado and Aeason like this.
  18. arleigh

    arleigh Goophy monkey

    Some where tree is a you tube of a woman teaching her chickens to eat rats, it worth watching. that's where I got the idea.
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