“Being an old farm boy myself, chickens coming home to roost never did make me sad; they’ve always made me glad.” ~ Malcolm X
Frankly, I was never really happy with it’s design. It was too big to fit in their coop, so it hung in the run. When a light shower ruined the feed and made it mouldy, I scrubbed it clean and made the feeder a protective plastic sombrero to keep the rain off.
But my girls are messy feeders and typically, feed ended up scattered on the ground. Not only was it a waste, it attracted vermin.
Eventually, in the sunlight, the plastic just disintegrated. When I searched for a replacement, I discovered our local pet shop no longer stocked them.
As we head into cooler weather, with rains coming, I wanted a better solution anyway.
And a quick online search revealed a number of ingenious solutions, but this one was my favourite (and the cheapest by far!)
DIY Plumbing Pipe Feeders
Here are the materials we used to construct two feeders.
1 metre of PVC 90mm plumbers pipe.
4, 1/4 connectors
1 pot of PVC cement (blue glue)
1 packet of zip ties
2 push-on pipe caps.
We cut the pipe in half with a hacksaw and made two feeders. We joined the two 1/4 fixings together to make a “U” shape and attached to pipe as shown. (While many of the feeders I saw had just a 1/4 pipe, I wanted to make double-sure feed didn’t spill out)
Finally, we connected them to the chicken run wire with the nylon zip ties. A strip of recycled reticulation pipe wedged between the feeder and the wall created a gap to ensure the cap could be removed and replaced with ease.
All up, we spent $22.00 and made two feeders. If you source your materials from a salvage yard it will be cheaper still.
You fill the feeders from the top of the pipe. As the chicken eats, the feed is replenished by good-old gravity. Genius!
I’m thrilled to report they are practically watertight. No soggy feed. The chickens have to stick their head into the pipe to eat, so there has been hardly any spill either, which is a bonus.
I think it’s a good idea to have two of these feeders. My three ladies are easygoing, with a well established pecking order, but a second feeder (and water source for that matter) is always a good idea to dispel any aggressive competitiveness.
What do you think? Will you give these feeders a try? I’d love to hear from you, please leave a comment below…