Homemade chicken feeder

Update (02/04/2009): This page describes the construction of a simple feeder from found items. If you are looking for chicken feeder plans, please refer to our more recent post regarding a larger capacity feeder built from wood.

Our chickens have a roosting habit.  Unfortunately, their only “roost” is the top of our mason jar feeders.

When you combine 8-week-old chicken fatties and feeders designed for baby chicks, you end up with this:

We go out at least twice a day to right all the overturned feeders and fill any that are empty.  Otherwise, the chickens stand around hungry.  Actually, a lot of things around a homestead are like this.  You have to just dive in to buying chickens because if you read everything in the book you’ll go crazy.  But then you never seem to have the right gear on hand and it makes your life harder.  The baby chick waterers took a lot of time to clean every day because they kept pooping in their water.  I baulked at spending $40 for a waterer at the farm store, but found a nice one at Premier for a fraction of that.  Since then we only have to deal with chicken watering once a week!

With watering out of the way, fixing overturned feeders became the sore spot.  I had been talking about building one out of scrap wood for a while, but our fencing project has been in the way.  Then, tonight we came up with a quick solution.  When Premier sent us the chicken waterer, they inadvertently sent the top from a discontinued model.  They FedEx’ed us the right one soon after, but we still had this waterer top sitting around.  Take one watering top, drill a large hole to fill with feed, add a cake pan connected by copper wire and you get:

We took it out to the coop and hung it onto a new hook using some scrap chain from the property cleanup.  As always, the chickens were first leary of the new presence:

So we added a little “crack” corn to the tray and they forgot their worries:

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4 Responses to Homemade chicken feeder

  1. Lynn says:

    Are you going to put something in there for the chickens to roost on?

  2. robin says:

    Yeah, we just haven’t got around to it with all the other stuff we have been doing. Hopefully we will get the roosts up this weekend since our garden fence is basically done. Our next fencing area is going to be the chicken pen.

  3. Lynn says:

    We went to the local farmer’s market yesterday & looked at chicks – they were soooo cute & tiny! Maybe soon we’ll be building a chicken coop!!!! I’m going to have to research the types of chickens the guy had available…

  4. lee says:

    I never thought to look for baby chicks at a farmer’s market. The feed stores in our area only have them until May 1st. Of course, this area doesn’t have a lot of commercial chicken operations.

    At this point I have only two suggestions regarding raising chickens: don’t build a grandiose chicken house like we did and don’t buy Storey’s Guide to Raising Chickens.

    Regarding chicken housing, I was unfortunately already committed to building the chicken sedan when I discovered Robert Plamodon’s site. If only I had found decent, thrifty, practical advice like that sooner! In particular, his article on chicken housing advocates simple open-air housing, which is supported by the old reprinted book he sells, but also by another book from the same era that I read for free on Google. All future chicken structures (such as a range house for meat birds) will follow his advice.

    Regarding the book, I always hear good things about Storey’s guides, but we were really unimpressed with this one. It’s terribly organized, full of excessive advice no chicken raiser actually does (clean water founts daily with bleach?), and devoid of important concepts (deep liter usage). I’ve heard better things about Storey’s Guide to Raising Poultry, but I’ve yet to browse others at the library or a bookstore to look for a replacement. I plan to e-bay our current book and look for a new one starting with the ones suggested by Premier.

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