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.
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
- Container –
- 90 Degree PVC Elbow 3 Inch –
- 2 for small bucket
- 6 for Drum
- Sealant (Caulking) (Outdoor Waterproof)
- 1 is fine for the small bucket
- 2 or 3 for drum
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.
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!