Feeding the chickens that feed me.

This weekend’s project was a new chicken feeder. This is our fourth feeder design. The chickens think it’s our best.

The first feeders were made 3/4 inch pine, screwed together to form a V. Boards were screwed onto the ends to form legs. These were too low to the ground and the chickens got yard dirt into them. Because of the V and being made of wood, they were hard to clean.

The second feeders were made from PVC tube with wooden end caps and wooden legs. These worked well until the wood cracked. They were too low to the ground also.

Since the home made feeders weren’t working out, we purchased 4 feeders from the feed store. They were plastic with snap on lids. The lids have holes to allow the chickens access to the food, while keeping their feet out of the food. The chickens tipped these over and had trouble eating through the lids.

I screwed the plastic feeders onto two by fours, attached feet and left the lids off. This worked pretty good until it started to snow. Then the chickens wouldn’t go out, so we moved the feeders inside.

The plastic feeders weren’t tall enough to keep straw out of them and they took up a lot of room in the chicken house.

We needed something that had enough room for all the birds, was up high to keep straw out and didn’t take up a lot of room.

I made two 42 inch troughs from 3 inch schedule 30 PVC. The PVC is cut in half, as are the end caps. The end caps are held on with #10-32 stainless steel bolts and stop nuts. I made wood hangers from 3/4 plywood. The troughs are screwed into the wood hangers. The wood hangers hook into screw eyes, attached to the wall.

When cutting and drilling the PVC, I made sure to shop-vac everything. I didn’t want any of the PVC shavings ending up in the chicken house. Chickens will eat anything!

This design gives 7 feet of feed space. The troughs are 10 inches off the ground and since they are attached to the wall, it leaves plenty of floor space for the chickens. With the hook and screw-eye setup, they are easy to remove and clean.

I eat two eggs for breakfast and so does my wife. My children don’t care for eggs, but love pancakes and waffles (which take eggs). The chickens have been providing my family with our first meal of the day for a few years now. I am glad to be feeding them.

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