Chicken Feeder DIY No Waste Small or Large Flock

If you have a wasteful chicken, then this no waste chicken feeder is for you.  We have 16 chickens as of this writing, but a few of those chickens are very wasteful, almost comically so.  I estimate this DIY is saving about $1 per chicken per month.

No Waste Chicken Feeder DIY

Do you have one of these wasteful chickens?  Their eating is akin to a person using their entire hand to scoop way to much popcorn to their mouth and then spilling most of it . . . The good news is that after 5 years of owning chickens and trying a few different methods, I found a chicken feeder design that combines the best of all worlds.  The great news is that this DIY costs as much as or less than the steel feeders or only about 1 bag of chicken feed (~$15).

DIY No Waste Chicken Feeder Components

Make multiple small ones or choose a larger container to feed more chickens. Two elbows have been plenty for our 16 chickens to eat.

Detailed Steps to make your own No Waste Chicken Feeder

Step 1:  Your elbow should have a smaller end, line that up on your container and draw circle on the container.  Height of your circle is important, you want it to be about 2 inches off of the bottom of you bucket.  For me, this meant the bottom of my traced hole was about 5 inches from the bottom of my bucket.  Repeat for the number of Elbows you purchased (only two will fit in a cat litter box).

Step 2:  Cut along your outlines (BE CAREFUL!!!!).  I used a pocket knife and took my time.  Test fit your elbows and make adjustments as necessary.

Select the height of your holes to you leave about 2 inches below the inside opening of the elbow

Step 3:  Angle your elbows down slightly to keep the rain out of your chicken feeder.  Caulk the outside (and inside if you can) of each.

Step 4:  Allow time to dry.  I allowed mine to dry for a week so the caulking wouldn’t be damaged by the weight of the food or stick to the food.

Step 5:  Fill with food and introduce to your chickens.

Pros & Cons of this No Waste Chicken Feeder Design

Pro #1  –  Obviously you will save food.  I estimate we are saving approximately 10% of our food.  This might boil down to only about $10 dollars a month for our small flock, but could be substantial for larger flocks.

Pro #2  –  Since this feeder has a lid and the elbows are angled downward it is fairly rain resistant.  I certainly don’t want food going to wasted due to mold

Pro #3 –  I really enjoy this feeder because I don’t need to walk a scoop or two of food out to my chickens daily.  Instead, I can fill up the container once every weekend.

Pro #4 –  The chickens learned quickly to use the feeder.  All sizes were capable of using the feeder

Con #1 – If the food gets too low, a rat can fit through the opening and have a buffett

Con #2 –  If water gets in, mold could grow.  We haven’t had any problems  with any water getting in yet even through some pretty weird weather . . .

Con #3 – Mixed Size Birds.  A 2 inch elbow might be a better choice for a bantam.


This DIY no waste chicken feeder has been working very well for our family and flock.  Our daughter prefers to feed the chickens with a scoop every day and I just check once a week and top it off.  We are saving about 10% food or about $10 a month for our flock of 16 chickens.  Since I only had to buy the elbows, that means after a month of use, they have paid for themselves (already about 2 months in at the time of writing and still going strong!)

What are you waiting for . . .  use these instructions to build your own then comment below!

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