Raising chickens requires providing protection from dangerous predators. Hen houses, coops and sheltered runs are vital to a chicken's well-being. But taking all the necessary precautions to fend off potential intruders by installing chicken wire and keeping garbage away from the birds' habitat isn't enough. Some predators are more interested in the stores of chicken feed provided for the birds, and this can be just as powerful an attraction for unwanted guests who will exhaust supplies and cost you money. These nuisances could spread disease and put the chickens' lives at risk as well. Building a securely-sealed feeder will discourage repeat visits from rodents or any other prowlers looking for a free meal.
Things You'll Need
- 2 PVC pipes, 4 to 6 inches wide
- Elbow connector, 90 degrees
- PVC pipe cap
- Band saw
Select the desired diameter width of PVC pipe. This depends on how much feed to store in relation to how many chickens are being fed. Most standard feeders run 4 to 6 inches in width.
Cut two pieces of pipe to desired lengths for the size feeder being built. Some people like to store a specific amount in the feeder before they need to refill it; this is determined by the number of chickens you are feeding and how much and how often they eat. A common length of pipe for the storage portion of the feeder runs about 3 to 4 feet, but adjust dimensions as appropriate. The second pipe from which the chickens will feed should also be trimmed under the same considerations and can extend from 1 to 4 feet.
Saw holes in the pipe length from which the chickens will feed. Make two or three small openings for the chickens to peck from, ensuring that none is bigger than 1/2 inch in diameter. Rats, squirrels and other rodents can't get into openings this small and, therefore, are unable to gain access to the food, while chickens' beaks are tiny enough to fit inside the small spaces. This method keeps rodents from getting the food, and the small openings prevent the chickens from making a mess by spreading their feed all over the ground, which can also attract unwanted scavengers.
Connect the two lengths of pipe with the connector so that it is shaped like an L. The length of the holes should be on the horizontal bottom and the other one should point vertically.
Fill the vertical length with feed and then place the cap at the end, sealing it shut. The cap should fit snugly so that nothing can get inside of it. The feed will spill into the horizontal length and remain there until the chickens peck it out.