Homemade gravity chicken feeders

Deep dish chicken feederTips for making cheap but
efficient homemade versions of the
gravity feeders
have been pouring in.  Here are some of my

The deep dish feeder

Karen Juarez wrote
“Here’s the feeder we use — a 5 gal bucket with a lid bolted to an
aluminum pan.  Notches are cut out around the bottom of the bucket
which allows the grain to flow out as needed.  We use a similar
feeder for our chicks with a 3-lb plastic coffee container and a ‘pan’
cut from the bottom of a 2-gal bucket.  The lids keep it clean,
and both pans are deep enough to prevent the chickens from scratching
it out.”

Bouncing chicken feeder

Bouncing feeder

Sue Tengan’s feeder is
much like the deep dish feeder above, but she hangs it from a bungee
cord or chain.  “With a bungee, the bucket’s weight will stretch
when full and will retract when empty,” she wrote, “but chains need to
be at a certain length for chicken to reach food, as chain will not
retract when empty.”  I’ve found that a less-than-solid hanging
arrangement is actually good for preventing feed waste and chickens
perching on the feeder, so the bungee idea appeals to me.

Cabinet chicken feeder

Cabinet chicken feeder

Although it’s not going
to solve the spilled feed problem, Paul Alexander’s huge feeder will
let you store several bags of feed right in the coop.  If you’re
less interested in saving money and more interested in lowering work
and being able to leave your chickens alone for long periods of time,
this may be the way to go.

Funnel chicken feeder

Funnel feeders

Michael Kenner, inventor
of the
budget automatic chicken feeder
I posted about previously,
emailed me several more designs.  My favorite was this
bucket-within-a-bucket-with-funnel.  He wrote, “Here’s a feeder
made out of an old petroleum 5-gallon bucket (the walls are thicker
than regular buckets from Lowe’s or Home Depot), a two gallon plastic
flower pot, a screw-on lid, and a 6″ funnel (to keep the grain flowing
and from piling up in the center of the feeder).  The holes are
cut in the bucket and the 2-gallon plastic pot (with the bottom cut
out) is glued/caulked into the bucket.  The bottom of the plastic
pot is below the bottom of the feeder holes and a funnel is attached
inside to keep the grain flowing out to the birds.”

Retrofitted storebought chicken feederMichael went on to explain,
“I bolt funnels in all my feeders to eliminate that cone-shaped pile of
feed that collects in the feeders.”  This second photo shows “an
ordinary small flock feeder with the cheesy wires replaced with

3/16″ All-Thread, with
NY-Locs and washers”, plus a funnel, of course.  Michael concluded
that this retrofitted storebought option is “not a great

feeder, but commonly
available in feed stores and something to get a new owner
started.  It’s a little pricy but the birds use it and aren’t able
to poop in it but

it could have been made

Keep those ideas
coming!  The
chicken feeder contest

continues until November 16 at midnight.

While you’re at it,
don’t forget to pick up an
automatic chicken waterer to keep your flock hydrated
with clean water.

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