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Animals Chickens DIY Farm Projects

DIY Chicken Feeders From PVC

As soon as our offer was accepted on the farmhouse last fall, I started researching chickens. In doing so, I kept coming across a lot of negative things that might come along with the chickens – chicken poop, bugs, rats, snakes, mice, etc.

Well, I’m not a bug or a vermin person. Who is though, right?

Well I’m really, really, really not a bug or a vermin person. It’s also gotten worse in recent years. My daughter had lice a few years ago and gave it to all of us. I think it really traumatized me when it comes to anything creepy and crawly.

In all my research one thing was clear: The creepy crawlies were there for the chicken poop and the chicken feed.

I’ll explain my poop solution in another post and after I see how well it works. However, I think I’ve found a great solution for the feed and I’m really loving it.

The solution

This solution not only seems to cut down on the amount of other living things that might be looking for an easy snack, but it’s also helped to reduce the amount of food waste caused by my girls.

Prior to this, it really seemed like most of the food ended up on the floor. I was buying them a very expensive, organic, non-GMO food off Amazon for awhile but I had to switch to the Purina Organic brand because I couldn’t deal with them wasting so much of the over-price feed that I could only buy in a small bag.

One night while I couldn’t sleep I was researching on Pinterest and came across PVC chicken feeders.In reading through other posts, it seemed like the best chicken feeders were the homemade ones.

I found this idea on a website called Instructables. (which is I guess a site where anyone can write an instruction project?). You can see it here if you want to see my inspiration.

PVC DIY Chicken Feeders



PVC chicken feeders 

The PVC chicken feeders were appealing to me because no other animals or bugs could get to the feed and four of them could store about half a bag of feed. Having so much feed in a protected spot sound like a good thing to me and it cut down on time in the morning as I am rushing to get the kids off to school because the feed was already there.

I decided to make the DIY chicken feeders with a few modifications.

1. I wanted to be able to completely close them up at night.

2. I didn’t want to drill into the pipe and allow additional moisture to seep in through those holes.

3. As an additional modification, I ended up needing to bond the pipes and the fittings together. I’ll explain more about that in a bit.

DIY chicken feeders project

Here are my materials for the DIY chicken feeders:

  • 1, 10-foot piece of 3inch PVC drain pipe, cut into four pieces
  • 4 – 3inch 90 degree elbows
  • 4 – 3inch 45 degree elbows
  • 8 – 3inch threaded caps
  • 8 – 3inch cap adapters
  • Metal pipe strap
  • Screws
  • PVC pipe glue and/or caulk
  • 4 – 3inch PVC pipe caps (standard, not drain caps) This is an add on after using the feeders for about two weeks. It’s become imperative though.

PVC DIY Chicken Feeders

PVC DIY Chicken Feeders




Where to find your materials

We found everything we needed for the PVC chicken feeder project at Home Depot. They were really helpful because they cut the 10-foot pipe for us. This made it so much easier because we didn’t have to dig out the saw and set it up in the middle of our barn renovation. We’re short on workspace right now with all the construction.

After getting the pipe cut, I literally just fit everything together and then my husband screwed them into boards on the run. We used a stone footer that I put their waters on to level them all out and are able to keep them secure without puncturing the pipe.

PVC DIY Chicken Feeders PVC DIY Chicken Feeders PVC DIY Chicken Feeders PVC DIY Chicken Feeders

PVC DIY Chicken Feeders PVC DIY Chicken Feeders PVC DIY Chicken Feeders PVC DIY Chicken Feeders PVC DIY Chicken Feeders PVC DIY Chicken Feeders



Rain, rain go away

After about two weeks and a lot of stormy weather, we noticed the chicken feeders were getting wet. This didn’t seem to bother the girls much, but the feed was getting moldy in the PVC chicken feeders due to the dampness. Moldy feed makes sick chickens.

Luckily, we caught it before anything bad happened. We ended up using the pipe glue to hold and waterproof the seams of the PVC chicken feeders.

As a side note, I’m not thrilled that I had to use the glue because I’m raising the girls organically and it just didn’t seem like a great thing to do. The glue is smelly, and you need to let it dry completely and then air out before putting feed back in. If you use it make sure you’re outside or in a well-ventilated area.

However, the glue doesn’t touch any of the feed and is only bonding the pipes and sealing the holes so that made me feel better about it. I’d rather their feed by dry versus moldy.

Caulk is another option and I might do that too since it’s just literally on the outside of the pipes and fittings.

One last fix…

Aside from the seams, we also found water was leaking in on the top of the pipe where the cap screwed in. So far, I’ve solved this problem by getting 4, 3-inch PVC pipe caps and laying them over the top of the feeders. If I need to, I can also attach them to the wall of the coop which should provide more shelter.

However, they’ve been working perfectly now with these small fixes. No more wet feed! 

PVC DIY Chicken Feeders

In the photos the feeders look a bit uneven because I was testing if I could use just this cap or needed the twist top plus the cap. The twist top plus the cap wins. It rained for about 12 hours after I added it and the food inside was totally dry.

PVC DIY Chicken Feeders

With the exception of this water issue, the DIY chicken feeders have really been a dream come true.

I only have to fill them about once a week and my 12 chickens seem to be able to use them easily. There’s no to very little food waste with these. In the photo above you can see some of the feed on the ground but most of that was spilled by myself as I was taking them down to work on waterproofing them.

I think PVC chicken feeders will be a solution for us for a really long time. Right now my girls are still small enough that two of them can eat from a feeder at once. Soon though, I might make another set so that I can have 8 feeders for the 12 chickens.

TIPS

  • Fill the feeders with the cap on the bottom or you will have the feed come out.
  • Use a large funnel to help you fill the feeders so you don’t spill the feed. It will also help you do it more quickly.

What do you think for these DIY chicken feeders? Will these work for your chickens?

Find out more about the first things we learned raising these girls from baby chicks! Click here to read it.

 



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31 Comments

  1. Stacie

    That is pure genius! Why go out and buy some expensive feeder when you can make your own on the cheap? Love it!

  2. Sarah Bailey

    This is such a good idea of a DIY make for your chickens. I would 100% love to have chickens myself they seem like amazing animals to keep.

  3. Marta Rivera

    Thanks so much for sharing this! We’re hoping to have chickens on our property so this is a great idea for us!

  4. Tasheena

    This is sich a great tutorial and clever idea. I have to share this post with my friend who’s thinking about getting chickens.

  5. Jeanette

    What a clever idea! I don’t know anyone that has chickens personally but I have a few friends thinking about getting them!

  6. Anne Marie

    Our flock makes a mess also, and I hate to see all the feed go to waste. I like how you solved the problem, and how these are compact.

  7. Tara Pittman

    That is one cool feeder. I love that you can keep the food safe from water and bugs

  8. Amy Desrosiers

    These chicken feeders are so cool! My dad used to have DIY set ups like these when I a kid with our chicken and rabbits.

  9. Those are so neat! It seems like they would cut down on waste too.

  10. Melanie

    Your photos make me want chickens again! I would make these feeders for them for sure.

  11. Brianne Manz

    I have to say this is about the neatest thing I have seen when it comes to feeding chickens. I just love the whole idea of it. You are quite a genius!

  12. GiGi Eats

    DIY for the win!!! Way to take it upon yourself to create something for 1/2 the price, I am sure!

  13. Marissa

    This is so cool! I wish I was that creative.

  14. Gervin Khan

    Although I don’t own chickens but this idea of yours is really amazing and so helpful to those who have chickens in their backyard.

  15. Catalina

    Love this idea! This diy chicken feeders are so elegant!

  16. Jenn

    I love this idea! My neighbor has chickens so I’m going to pass this to her!

    Thanks,
    Jenn @ http://www.shawave.com

  17. Ricci

    This looks like a great idea for people on the go! I will have to pass this post off to my chicken friends!

  18. Ash

    That’s so crafty!! I don’t have chickens, but what a great idea! Glad you found something that works for you.

  19. Heather

    I totally hate bugs and snakes too! For those who have chickens this will totally help them and make farm life easier!

  20. Jenn @ EngineerMommy

    I love doing DIY projects with pipes. Ive used copper pipes before but not PVC. This is such a clever idea and it came out awesome.

  21. Myrah Duque

    That is genius! That’s one great DIY project. Will surely protect their food.

  22. Rika

    Love the idea. I wish I could turn my backyard into a farm! I want to adopt a piglet and chickens 🙂

  23. An absolute must-have! I wish we had PVC tubes where I lived when we had chickens. Love your chicks, too!

  24. Ruth I

    Oh, what a fab idea! This looks easy and cheaper to make. It would be great to make this!

  25. Shannon Gurnee

    That’s a great idea! We have chickens and my husband made some DIY feeders too. I’m going to share about them on my blog soon.

  26. Kasey

    This is a great idea. Currently we have one of those hanging feeders – but they seem to get the feed all over still. We may have to try this

  27. Swathi

    These looks like great idea, I wish I can have chicken in my backyard.However that is not possible.

  28. Marysa

    That’s a great way to keep the feed fresh! It is so frustrating when critters get into things. Looks so nice and neat!

  29. Lynndee

    What a brilliant idea! We have chickens in my hometown too so I’ll tell Dad about this. Bet he’s going to like that idea.

  30. Karin Usipuik

    ok, your chickens are adorable! These feeders look awesome. I love it when people get creative like this!

  31. Beth

    That looks like a really clever way to keep their food dry and vermin free. I think it would be fun to have chickens.


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