Hens approach a feeder by turning their heads and training a side-placed eye on their meal. Then they use their beaks as a spreader to reveal the choicest morsels, like corn. Our friend over at My Pet Chicken dot com has put together a great tutorial for making a “no waste” chicken feeder.
I have an embarrassingly large number of chickens who eat quite a bit of food. (Let’s not get into actual numbers of birds I may or may not have, because then the chicken math I keep in my head starts to break down.) So when my friend Judi showed me her DIY No-Waste feeder, I had to make one, too!
I love a good do-it-yourself project, so a DIY no-waste feeder was right up my alley! With most flocks, you have to deal with the issue of feed waste: it is in the hens’ nature to scratch and peck, and that throws feed onto the ground. My hens very much enjoy throwing their food around. On a good day, the smaller hens and bantams eat the food off the ground. On a bad day, it rains and the food is wasted. This feeder design really reduces the problem of feed waste because it’s so much more difficult to scratch food out.
DIY No-Waste Feeder Instructions
- A large container with lid. Note: I like the clear containers, so I can easily see when it needs a refill. However, the clear plastic will dry rot in the sun faster than other containers, so be sure to keep the feeder in 100% shade so it lasts longer.
- 4-6 (depending on the size of your container) 3-inch PVC elbows (90-degree).
- Silicone caulk or NP1 caulk.
- Caulking gun.
- A drill.
- A 3.5 inch hole-saw drill bit.
- Something 1 inch tall, to help mark the placement of the elbow bends.
- Safety goggles.
- Helpers/an audience.
This is a pretty quick project, all in all, and can easily be completed by one person. My husband wanted to help, which was great, as it made it easier for me wrangle munchkins and take pictures!
Step 1: First, use a 1-inch tall level to measure where the elbows will go. You want the bottom of the elbows to be one inch above the bottom of the feeder, so the chickens have a “well” to peck from.