There are a lot of DIY chicken feeder projects out there, and many of them are very easy to put together. However, a lot of these are small in scale or require that you continually monitor when the feed starts to run out. Let’s take a look at a simple design that is intended to help reduce the need to keep a continual eye on the feeder.
Large plastic garbage can
2” diameter PVC pipe
2” diameter PVC connectors
2” diameter PVC flat caps
2” diameter male/female elbow joints
Drill with 2” diameter hole attachment
Knife or saw
Preparing the Can
The first step is to decide how many feed tubes you want to install on the garbage can. Consider using between 4-6 per can in order to give the chickens space to move around as they eat. Next, take one of the 2” inch straight PVC pipes and trace around one of the ends onto the garbage can. You want the holes to be about 2” inches above the bottom of the can. Then, bore out each hole. Space them so they are distributed evenly around the can. Smooth out the rough edges with some sandpaper or a file and set the pieces you’ve bored out aside.
Preparing the Joints
The next step is to cut out notches on the female ends of each elbow joint. The notches should cut out ½ the depth of the flange on each joint. You also want to cut a perpendicular line on either side of the notch along the flange. Space the sides so they encompass at least a third of the circumference of the opening. This will provide space for the feed to enter the tubes later on. Take a dremel and cut out this piece. Make sure to put all of the notches on the same area of each joint.
The next step is to attach the end caps to each male end on the elbow joints, but do not secure them with epoxy. Then, make a horizontal cut in the middle of the cap from the outside. Remove the top part of the cap and discard. Remove the bottom half of the cap and set aside. This will serve as a barrier that will prevent a lot of the feed from spilling out of the system.
Assembling the Feeder
All you need to do now is insert the joints into the garbage can. Fit each one so they bend down and just touch the bottom of the can. You may need to trim them or make the holes higher in the garbage can in order to make a customized fit. Then, attach the end cap pieces to the bottom half of each end of pipe that’s sticking outside of the can. Secure with epoxy. You can also apply some epoxy where the PVC enters into the garbage can as well.
Test the fit by filling the can with chicken feed until it covers the elbow joints. Give the can a good shake, and feed should emerge on the outside inside of each tube. If not, consider making the notch bigger to allow more feed to pass into the system.
Once everything is calibrated to your liking, simply fill the can up with feed and cover if necessary. If you cover the feed, cut out a few air vents near the top in order to keep the feeder well-ventilated. You can also place the feeder on some wood, cinder block or even wheel rims in order to adjust the height to make it more comfortable for the chickens.
Try this simple project today, and see how it can make feeding chickens easier than ever.