Chicken Feeders, More Details

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 scattered, and the water on some of them did not flow as deeply as could be desired. So here are the updated dimensions, that for adult chickens, small and large, work perfectly.

For the support ring, I like a 3″ PVC pipe section. The bottom of the feet should be from 1/2 an inch to 1″ wide.

The top notch should be about half way up. I like a 1″ hole to start.

The critical measurement is the height, 5 1/4″

Here is a bottom view of the finished support ring.

The bucket holes should be high enough to prevent grain spillage. My holes here are 2 1/8″ in diameter, and centered 5″ above the base.

This way the water and the feed fittings are the same and work out perfectly.  This feeder reduces the mess made of the food and water, by the chickens, it mostly eliminates the waste of food, and it is quite reliable.


20 comments to Chicken Feeders, More Details

  • do you know your blog is listed on this blackhat site?

  • Valerie

    Thank you so much for sharing these designs!

  • I am glad to share, Valarie!


  • Angela

    I’ve built the feeder for my 3 little pullets, but I have to say, for pullets under 3 months of age…..a better choice seems to be to have ONLY a 2 1/2″ hole drilled with a center of 5″ from the base – NOT the taller slot. The two 7-weekers can get through those slotted holes, and there – ankle deep in food – scratch to their hearts’ content.

    I had to put about a gallon of crumbles back into my jug today (and wasted half again as much that had too much crud mixed in) that my pullets had scratched out the holes into the coop. I took a second bucket, cut round holes ONLY, and put the jug in that one.

    They’re sure messy critters, aren’t they?

  • You are correct on the pullets. Amazingly messy and they need a bit of a lower hole. I made the first ones after examining the little ones sixe and behavior.

    Once they get bigger, they will scatter much, much less with the taller hole setup, and the water will be a touch cleaner. Not that clean and water seem to go together around chickens. I have kept the original buckets for the little chickens.

    I made the slot, to accommodate their drinking habits and the variations in size, For pure feeding a simple hole is a lot cleaner.

    If chickens have a good spot to dust bathe, they will tend to remain much cleaner creatures. It is so cute watching them dig out holes and partially bury themselves.


  • Mydnight

    Bob, I know it’s been around five months, so if you happen to get this, hurray! I just had to write you about how much easier it has been for my meaties. I no longer have to run out to my field every three hours just so that they have fresh water!! Yay! I also have made use of your feeder idea. Whenever I show pics of my coops to people, they always ask what the buckets are for :). (and I always give you credit!) Thank you so much for making my life a lot easier.

  • Knightstar

    Good job Bob I have some input if its winter time. buy a water heater from here or some other place .Drill a 3″ hole on top of the water jug and a pvc pipe 3″ lone with threads on one end then glue the pipe on the jug. Now get a 3″ pipe cap and dill 1″ 1/4 hole on top of the cap. Get a piece of plastic circle 2″ 1/2 with a hole in the center. Then you cut the circle in half take the heater plug and slide it in the cap and take both circle half and glue them around the cord of the plug on the cap. Then plug and in sub-zero weather your birds will be happy.

  • The New Farmer

    Thanks. I’ve put these ideas into action. The problem that I’ve come up with is that my water dispenser will not hold a vacuum so all the water runs out. I tried to round the edges that the 5 gallon water container sits on but still no luck. Can you give me an idea of how to correct the problem?

  • Bob Strawn

    The mouth of the jug must be in contact with the water or it will not hold a vacuum. Either the bottoms of the openings in the bucket need to be raised, or the holder that keeps the bottle up needs to be lowered.

    Making a new bucket with higher openings, is probably best, they should be at least half an inch higher than the level that the Pvc bottle support holds the mouth. The higher the wall on the bucket, the less grain is lost, and the less water is spilled and lost. I have buckets for chicks that are quite low, but I change them out as they get bigger.

    The PVC bottle support does not need to hold the bottle mouth more than half an inch from the bottom of the bucket. If it is too low, then gunk (the stuff that is unavoidable in working with chickens) can stop water availability. For larger chickens however, I prefer about 3/4 of an inch. It seems like the deeper water tends to evaporate a bit more slowly and the chickens can more easily fill their beaks.


  • Bob,
    I can’t wait to locate some buckets and set this up. Thanks so much for sharing this! 🙂

    Will be especially handy for my pens of meaties.

  • krazeepolack AKA- Walter

    A couple things I don’t quite understand- # 1- Are the feeder holes to be elongated @ 5″ & again @ 9.5″? This question is for the feeder dimensions. Do the two holes connect together? # 2-what height from the bottom edge for the water tube? It looks like it isn’t near center of tube. Does this form an automatic vacuum somehow? I hope not to mess up my 1st attempt @ making one of these. I like your idea(s) here.

  • Bob Strawn

    At the top of the article is a link to the previous article, if you go to the link that should clear it up some.


  • Dax Yago

    You are a smart inventor. it is simple but can help very much to us. Thank you and God Bless!

  • Chuy and Hilda Flores

    Hello from Sonora, Mexico. This is a great idea. We´re working on it for our backyard chicken project. Thanks for share it.
    Just in case of baby chicks we’ve modified the idea to smaller containers and we have great results.

  • Janet

    Thanks for inventing these and double thanks for sharing them. Only thing I might add is something to keep them from flying up on top and pooping in the feeders and waterers. Yuck! I hate it when they do that.

  • Noman

    Thanks ….

    But I was unable to follow how this all gonna work, could you please send me schematic or step by step tutorial for building this chicken feeder. Currently I have around 25 two weeks old chicks and plan to add more.

    Hope you will reply and give attention to my request.

  • Bob Strawn

    The step by step details where in the previous article linked at the top of this one. Here is the link again.


  • Bob Strawn

    This is indeed the flaw with these feeders. A top can be fashioned or they can go under something that does not allow enough room for the chickens to get on top, I have not made a particular top for these that I think is the be all end all design yet.


  • Linda

    We only used a 2 inch by 2+3/4 inch oval cut. We have guinea fowl which have long necks and can access the food well. We made one with your dementions but changed it because they were still throwing out the crumble. We made 2 with 9 holes each that are working great!!! Thanks for the awesome ideas!!!

  • Russell

    To make it easier to fill the feeder, I pop riveted the jug to the bucket after making sure the 3″ pvc is firm against the bottom of the bucket. I then drilled a large enough hole in the bottom of the jug just big enough to hold a 2″ pvc female threaded adapter with a plug that screws in. I use the bottom half of a plastic milk jug to use as a funnel to pour feed into the jug. I also removed the handle from the bucket and re-attached to the bottom of the jug. The unit is easy to fill and carry.

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