My favorite of the automatic chicken feeder designs readers have submitted so far is Darren Simmons’ PVC feeder, which is like the second generation of the PVC design I’ve been pointing folks toward. I’ll let Darren walk you through the construction in his own words.
“Before I built this auto feeder we were going through 100 lbs of food every 6 to 7 weeks. We now can go almost 14 weeks for the same amount.
“My first try ended up being like a “trough
“, which still wasted food on the ground. My second attempt were eight 2 inch holes spaced every two inches apart or so. What I ended up with is seen in the pictures.
“I’ve made our automatic chicken feeder out of 3″ PVC, if I were to do it again I would do it out of 4” but it wasn’t as easily found at my hardware store. Supplies I used:
- 1 – 10′ section of 3″ PVC (you could use any size over 2″).
- 2 – Long Sweep elbow 90 degree. Cost $2.69
- 1 – Street Sweep elbow 90 degree. Cost $3.29
- 1 – 3″ rubber flexible end cap (screw driver needed to
tighten). Cost $4.99
- 1 – 3″ end cap. Cost $1.39
- Total Cost: $23.54 plus taxes
“Because I already had T-posts in the run, I just ran a 2×4 between two T-posts so I could have a support for the “trough” or where the chickens are going to eat the feed from. The trough is about 9″-10″ off the ground, that way they don’t walk in it and scratch it out.
“I cut two pieces of the 3″ PVC one about 30″ and another about 40″ (this was the space that I had available). In the smaller of the two pieces I cut four (4) 5″ to 6″ openings for the chickens to eat out of. When I mounted this piece to the 2×4 I made it at a slight downward angle so the feed would slide all the way down. I used the 3” rubber end cap and one 90 degree elbow. I then connected the longer section of PVC to make the holding area of the feed.
“At the top of this piece I placed the two 90 degree elbows together and the other end cap. I did this because I needed to go outside of a little fenced in run area. I didn’t want to have to go inside the run every time they needed food. I also used no glue, this way if I needed to expand I could or to take it apart to clean out.
“To make it so the rats could not get in and feed freely as they leased I made a lid that has a section of 3″ PVC cut out, and screwed to the bottom of the lid to completely lock in the feed at night. I also put a 2.5 lb weight on the top to make sure the rats couldn’t open it. I tied a 1/4” rope to the lid so we could open and close the lid.
“I’ve also used something very similar for the water using your chicken nipples. It’s great because it holds about 5 gallons of water and I can go for about 9 or 10 days without having to add water.”