After many hours searching on the internet for ideas for my new bulk chicken feeder, I was impressed at the various and fairly complicated PVC feeders that are out there. Some are super cool, don’t get me wrong, but I suspect they were $100 or more per feeder with all the parts and pieces as well as the cutting, drilling and assembly aspects involved. Now, we’re fairly handy with power tools and all here at Windhaven, but to be honest, I just wanted something simple that I could construct within an hour and would be cheap. And work. (haha) That was one thing I was finding, was that people built these crazy involved feeders and then if you were lucky to find a post or comment after it’s initial use, half of them required modifications to work properly, or they just really didn’t work well. That wouldn’t do.
Well, I went to Lowes and I got several pieces of 4 inch PVC pipe. I got a long piece, that was 4 feet tall. Already cut and ready to go. It was about $7. I got a piece that had an angled piece coming out at about 45 degrees and that was $5. I had to get a coupler, to attach the two together. It was $1. I did get a plastic plug for the bottom, and it was 97 cents but in hindsight, I would have probably just used duct tape on the bottom. Still, it was nice to have a solid piece in there. $14 total in parts.
First off, I fit the three pieces together, placing the angled piece so that it was facing upward, on the bottom. And then I fitted the piece into the very bottom and duct taped it in place. Now, sure, you can use that pvc joint glue and make this all nice and glued, but I wanted to be able to get in there and clean it out now and then. So a few pieces of duct tape did the job perfect.
It was odd, the 4 foot piece was super snug into the coupler. But the feeder part was really loose. So, I added just a strip of duct tape to make sure it didn’t get bumped by a rouge sheep or some other barnyard shenanigans… just to be safe. That all took about 10 or 15 minutes, max!
I knew that I had a post and some wire to fasten the feeder to, so I just used a bit of bailing twine and tied it in place. If you wanted to be more fancy, you could cut a few keyholes and hang it on a few screws or cup hooks. Or you could get some plumbers straps and screw those into the wall or where ever you’d like yours. I was going to easy and so, the bailing twine and a few piece of duct tape were perfect! This way, I can easily move it as well. Since I’m planning to add two more like this, I might make a little holder for them, but that’s for later.
I was not surprised to see our girls very quickly figure it out. They are pretty inquisitive and smart, for chickens. It was about, oh ten seconds after I got feed in it that Cruella and Floppy were right there to check it out. The rest watched for a moment or two and then rushed in to take advantage of this lovely little feeding station.
I did add a little strip of duct tape at the bottom, just to sort of keep the feed from falling out. The girls are a little messy, and it just looked like it might keep some in the feeder. However, the hens would clean up any on the floor for sure, so I guess, you really don’t need that strip. It took 7 or 8 pitcherfuls of feed to fill the tube up. And the girls were still eating out of it three days after I filled it. Considering that we are winter feeding over 22 chickens, that is pretty good. Our feeder in the main barn takes about 3 to fill up and they tend to eat that empty within a day, day and a half.
Floppy Chicken approves!
I have a 2 foot piece, and I think I will make that an oyster shell feeder for grit and calcium. And I might get another 4 footer for cracked corn. Make a sort of feed bar for the ladies! That way they can take their pick from the various offerings and make room for up to 6 or 7 hens to feed at the same time. When I filled it up, they swarmed it, but after a few minutes, they were really good at taking turns and just idling over to get a little snack. I just like the fact that we might only have to fill it every three or four days, especially once we add the second feed/corn tube. We are also going to be making some larger capacity watering stations for the ladies. We like chores, but hey, its nice to not have to worry morning and evening that everyone has what they need for contentment. We like to sleep in, and this way, we know the girls are going to be perfectly happy with their feed bar!
And I am happy to report that it’s been in operation for a week now and working perfect!Pin It