Chickens can form part of a healthy garden, where their primary purpose is to provide fresh eggs and pest control. Garden chickens have an insatiable appetite for slugs and grub, which they will consume all day. They also provide manure for the compost pile and can till the ground for you in preparation for planting.
But chickens can be mean and raising them can be exhausting, especially when you don’t have the right tools and materials for it.
Now if your current feeding system is causing you some issues (such as contamination, feeds all over the place, or critters getting to your chooks’ food) this DIY bucket chicken feeder is what you need!
This DIY bucket chicken feeder prevents chooks from scattering their food everywhere. The feeds are contained in a covered bucket with holes just big enough for the chickens to access them. It prevents other animals from getting to your chicken feeds and it protects it from dirt or rain.
The bucket chicken feeder shown here is of medium size and can fit a maximum of three PVC elbows. If you’ve got more chooks in your homestead, you can use a 20L bucket and install six PVC elbows.
To make things even easier, you can also install a small vertical window on your DIY bucket chicken feeder so that you can see if it needs replenishing without having to take off the lid.
Is this the kind of chicken feeder you need in your backyard? Make one now by following this step-by-step tutorial from lonesoulsurfer!
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- Medium-sized Bucket
- 70mm PVC Elbows
- Hot Glue or Silicone
- Clear Plastic Sheet
- Permanent Marker and Ruler
- 70mm Hole Saw
- Rivet Gun
- Hot Glue Gun
Design: The size of the bucket will depend on how many chickens you have. The bucket I used holds enough feed for the girls for about 10 days. Once you have the bucket you want, you’ll then need to work out where to make the holes for the PVC elbows.
Mark the spot on where to make the hole in the bucket. You want the PVC elbow to be close to the bottom of the bucket but not touching it. Leave an allowance of about 15-20mm so it will be far enough from the bottom so the grain can get into the mouth of the PVC pipe.
Place the PVC pipe on the actual bucket and with a marker and trace around the edge to mark the size and placement of the pipe. If you imagine that the bucket is split into thirds, then each PVC elbow should be in one of each part – see drawing attached.
Making the holes: Find the middle of the circle you drew and drill out the sections using a 70mm hole saw.
You may find that you need to make the hole a little larger to allow the elbow to fit through. If this is the case, use a file or sanding wheel and dermal to remove the rough edges of the plastic. You want the holes though to be a tight fit for the elbows. This way you won’t have to add any hot glue or silicone to seal any gaps.
Once the holes are big enough, push the PVC elbow through and turn them face down.
Viewing window: The viewing window isn’t necessary. It does however lets you see how much grain is left without having to open the lid.
Mark the portion to remove with a marker. Carefully cut away the portion with a knife. Clean the edges if necessary.
Next, cut a clear piece of plastic so it completely covers the area removed. You will want to have the plastic a good 15mm larger on either side so you can attach it to the bucket. I did try superglue first but this was a monumental failure. Hot glue might work as well but I decided to use rivets to secure it in place.
Drill holes around the edge of the viewing window and also into the clear plastic section. Attach with rivets.
Fill it up: That’s pretty much it! Now it’s time to fill it up with grain and get the girls to use it. I placed mine on a couple of bricks so that they could easily reach the holes. To get them to look into the PVC elbows, I pulled some grain out and placed it on the mouth of the pipe. The girls are curious by nature so it didn’t take them a long time to figure out how it works.
This is a really simple way to feed your chickens. The best part is there’s hardly any mess as the feeds stay inside the bucket and not all over the place.
Thanks to lonesoulsurfer for this great project.