For anyone who raises chickens, finding a way to feed them without most of the food going to waste is always a challenge because chickens often peck and scratch their food into the dirt to be trampled upon. Rather than buying an expensive, commercially-made chicken feeder, why not use easy-to-find products from the hardware store and around your house to create your own homemade feeder?
PVC Pipe Feeder
One option is to use PVC pipe. For this feeder, you’ll need two pieces of four-foot PVC pipe, one elbow, and two caps. First, connect the two pieces with the elbow so that one sticks straight up vertically and one lies flat on the ground horizontally. Then, using a hand saw, cut a hole in the flat piece of pipe that is large enough for the chickens to feed from. A good size to cut off is half of the width of the pipe. Then use a drill to make small holes in the bottom of the horizontal pipe. Finally, add the end caps to the top of the vertical pipe and the end of the horizontal pipe.
This feeder works well because you can fill the vertical pipe with feed, and it is disbursed to the horizontal feeder pipe as it empties. Also the chickens aren’t able to waste the feed by scratching it out. The holes in the bottom serve as drains so that a rainstorm won’t make the feeder fill with water. A vertical pipe about four feet tall is the optimum height for easy filling.
Backyardchickens.com explains how to make another type of chicken feeder using a five gallon bucket and a 20-inch diameter plastic planter base. Using a two-inch drill bit, drill holes about two inches apart all the way around the sides of the bucket at the bottom. Then, use a bolt and nut to attach the planter base to the bottom of the bucket (it should sit in the planter base just like a potted plant would). Then, fill the bucket with feed. You can even keep the lid on the bucket once it is filled to protect the feed from rain.
Some advantages of this feeder are that it is easy and inexpensive to make. Plastic buckets can often be obtained for free from your local grocery store, so the only cost is for the planter base, nut and bolt. Also, this feeder holds almost five gallons of feed, so it does not have to be filled very often.