Chicken Feeders

Chicken feeders

I made a few chicken feeders so that I could be gone for a couple of days and have the chickens kept in good shape.

Here is a close up on the watering bucket;

Chcken Water

Here is a close up on the food;

Chicken feeder

Here is a pair of them ready for action!

Here is a store bought watering system, and one I made in action.

Here is a feeder in action.

Feeder in use

Here are the parts, apart from the jugs needed to make it work.

Feeder parts

Here are a pair of jugs ready to go, one with water and the other with food.

ready jugs

Here are all the tools I used;


Here is the jig. Very important tool. It lets you space the holes at the right height, make and even spaced pair, and even make sure they are spaced evenly around the bucket.

A note on spacing around the bucket. The more slits, the less structure the bucket has. It needs some curved walls to remain strong. The examples here may have too many slits. The ones in the chicken pictures, have three sets of two slits. This allows for decent structure. A bad chicken can block the water for the rest of the chickens, so multiple slits are needed however. I put two food buckets and two water buckets in with a coop of chickens to make sure they are ok.

Here is the setup to drill the slit holes. The drill can grab and run, so I run the drill backwards to scrape a hole instead of cutting. It still works pretty quickly.

Here is an example of where the drill can run off track quickly.

Be sure when you drill, that you are safe, the area is clear, the bucket is secure in place, and that in the worst scenario, you cannot be hurt.

After drilling holes, this is how I connect them.

Here is what is going on inside the food bucket,

Here are the food and water stands on the jugs, ready to be put in the buckets.

The stands are made from nice big pvc pipes.

Here are the food and water buckets on the jugs, ready for inversion.

The whole point here is to be able to have a lot of food and water available when I am gone for the weekend. This allows the chickens who have to stay cooped up, to stay healthy and happy.


32 comments to Chicken Feeders

  • […] Posted in October 7th, 2008 by BobStrawn in Chickens, Husbandry, Livestock At one time I posted an article about Chicken Feeders. These feeders have worked out fairly well, but the measurements were not ideal. Feed was […]

  • Oybek

    This is a good idea guys! I found it at google image search and going to suggest my brother to use this method :).

    Cheapes and simplest method. NICE!

  • Glad to be of service! Be sure to check the update, I made a few simple improvements that really make a difference.


  • Dan of CDO

    Great job! keep em coming! this will be a great help to my feeding and watering problems of our chickens

  • Katherine

    Bob I was googling for feeders I could do at home, I have tried a few storebought and was VERY unhappy besides I am a complete do it yourselfer if I can, this setup is FANTASTIC thank you for sharing it! I know the new addition that will be going into my coop 🙂

  • Mike Merrill

    Cool stuff! Your feeder seems quell one of my concerns of the chickens wasting food with there beak or scratching, problem solved. I wonder if you can make the slots narrower to make the waste problem even smaller?

  • I constructed the water system described here with only two holes and it seems to keep the water cleaner between refills. The design itself is an excellent system, thanks for the design.

  • Bob Strawn

    Higher Bottom of the hole is the best way to reduce waste. Birds have been known to block others just out of spite, so narrow holes can lead to issues. I have lower holes for young chickens and prefer higher ones for the older ones.


  • Bob Strawn

    A cover, and higher bottoms on the holes seems to do the best for keeping the water cleaner.


  • Hi Bob,
    Thanks very much for these ideas and pictures, great!
    I am part of a small group of people who have come together online and on the ground to assist a teenage boy living in the slums of Kampala, Uganda, to set up a very small scale chickens business. We are collating links and information that we hope will be of help not just to him but to others who keep chickens on a small scale. Adding a link to this page in our ‘Useful Links’ document in our Facebook group, ‘Arnold’s Chickens Enterprise’, you are welcome to view and join if you wish!

  • Janet

    How do you keep the water from freezing in the Winter time? Will pipe heat tape work? Is it a hazard? OR would it be better to use a light bulb in a metal pan under the bucket? Which would be less costly?

  • jacqueline

    way to go bob, and thank you for sharing this idea and solving my problem for me.

  • deano

    thanks matey good idea ive got some of these bottles from my cooler they will come in handy for this cheers.

  • Joi

    How do you keep the chickens from eating the whole bucketload in 1 morning?

  • Bob Strawn

    I have never had that problem, but my chickens have a short life and give me so much, I don’t know if I could bring myself to restrict their diet.


  • Emily

    Where did you find the water bottles?

  • Bob Strawn

    You can buy a 5 gallon bottle of water to get one, or get one where they have a water refill machine.


  • Donna

    This is wonderful design, we use a float for the water, but have problems with the chickens standing in the trough and fouling the water,(they love to wash their feet, lol) May be able to figure a way to adapt the float. Thanks for the great design and the food for thought.

  • Lynn

    Thanks Bob for sharing this great idea of yours!

    I found the link to your design on the Backyard Chickens forum. The instructions and pics made it so easy to make. This is an absolutely wonderful design that is working perfectly for us. Since the bucket has handles, it also make moving the food around so much easier.

  • brad

    you beautiful genius you!


    I know what the wife is getting for her birthday!

  • Francheska

    Thank you so much for this tutorial!!! The hubs and I just made one for our flock from your design. It was super easy and works great! Thanks again for sharing!

  • Could you hang these from the rafter in the coop? I have tried the 2 gal bucket with the tray on the bottom, and the PVC type. I still have too much waste. These look like they may work.

  • Marie

    Hi Bob,
    Thanks for the great idea, I tried the feeding bucket and my chicken like it very much. But I have some trouble with the watering system, they don’t drink in it. I don’t want them to dehydrate so I keep using a simple bowl beside the bucket, but i would really like them to drink in the watering bucket. How do you make them drink in it?

  • […] Pour avoir plus d’information a propos de ce type d’abreuvoir, allez à l’adresse suivante : […]

  • Hello,

    Here my own version 😉 I did it yesterday and works really well 🙂 I put 3 pieces of wood to hold the bottle instead of the PVC pipe. I was about to cut the PVC pipe and my wife strongly suggested me to use pieces of wood. Since my relation worth more that PVC pipe, I’ve decided to use the pieces of woods and see how it goes 🙂

    You can have a look to my version :


  • Vin

    I love this. I would not use wood in the bucket in heat it creates bacteria and disease. Since the bucket waterer must be cleaned to ensure the health of both birds and people..thanks for the your practical and compassionate idea here Bob.

  • i like your idea for water in large volumes . my husband created One for the water last year. It’s great for hot day and help provide a lot. ~Amy

  • Amanda

    Do you have any issues with field mice with this design?

  • Jessi

    WOW I not only love it but I feel kind of slow for not figuring it out myself.

  • Just thought I would let you know that I have loosely followed your plans here for my rabbit colony and it works great!! Thank you so much for posting this, it’s really helped me out.

    To see it in action, here are a couple pics.

    Thanks again!!

  • Bob Strawn

    Ideally if you alternate low and high PH, you should get a better bond. Since I have not tried what you are doing, you may have to be brave and make the experiment yourself. 🙂


  • Steve Byrum

    Awesome! I have been looking for something like this simple and easy to clean.

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