Chickens are jerks. If they can shit on something they will; even if it holds their food or water. Every chicken feeder that we bought ended up full of chicken shit; so we went online in search of an alternative. We saw a picture of this DIY online and figured we would try it out and we are glad we did. In addition to keeping the shit out, they hold a lot of feed reducing the need to fill up their feeders as often. On a busy homestead, anything that reduces the amount of chores you need to do is very welcome.
Parts (makes 2 feeders):
3′ length of 3″ PVC Pipe
3″ 90° PVC elbow x 2
3″ 45° PVC elbow x 2
2 drain caps
12 wood screws
2 pieces of scrap wood
Building the feeder:
- The shortest length of PVC piping we could find was 3′, this was enough for 2 feeders when cut in half. We started by using the hack saw to cut it enough that there was a hole for the jigsaw blade to fit through, then finished it off with the jigsaw. We are not professional pipe cutters, so there may be a better way, but we made do with what we had. Don’t worry about making a perfect cut as this will be covered. Later in the year we added to our flock and decided we needed another feeder. When we went to the store this time we found an off-cut of pipe that was just less than 2′ long, there was no price on it and when we asked, the guy at the store gave it to us for free! It doesn’t hurt to ask.
- Attach the 90° elbow to one end of the pipe. Just push it on as tight as you can; it will stay there.
- Attach the 45° elbow on the end of the 90° elbow.
- Attach the cap. While there are more heavy duty caps available, we decided to go with a drain cap as it was 1/2 the price and did the job.
Attaching it to the wall of the chicken coop:
- Screw a piece of scrap wood about a foot long and 1/2″-1″ thick to the wall with 2 screws. This makes the feeder stick out enough from the wall that it is easy to get the cap off and on. Make sure the top of the wood is at least 3″ below where you will want the top of the feeder so it does not get in the way of the lid.
- Place the feeder so the opening is a few inches above the coop floor. You will have to play around with this a bit to get it the right height for your chickens.
- This part is easier with 2 people, but it can be done (with a lot of swearing) by one person. Get one person to hold the feeder where you want it and have the second person use the steel strapping to screw the feeders onto the wall. We found it was best to not cut the strapping until after you have attached the feeder on the wall or you might misjudge it and cut it too short. You can move the feeder up or down by loosening one of the screws holding the metal strapping, so make sure that there is room above and below the strapping. We started with chicks, so it was necessary to move the feeders higher off the ground as they grew.