Friday, March 31, 2017

Homemade Chicken Feed Gravity Feeder

If you've read through my posts then you know that I recently built a brand new chicken coop for my chickens.

On Sunday, April 2, 2017, I finally moved my chickens into their new coop.  They just turned 5-weeks old..  But, before I moved them in that Sunday, I had to design them a new feeder and a new watering system.

I started with a basic drawing.

I knew the height and depth dimensions that I wanted to use, but I wasn't sure of the full width until I could get a chance to pick a spot in the coop where I would be hanging the feeder.

After looking in the coop I decided that the most unobtrusive area to hang the feeder would be between the studs near the front door, so that is exactly what I did.  I apologize for not taking pictures of the build as I went, but I think I took enough detailed pictures of the completed project that a person can figure out how to build it if they are wanting to replicate it.

As you can see in the pic, I didn't make any side walls or a back.  I simply attached 1x4's to the existing studs, and used the studs and the backside of the exterior siding as the container.

This is a top-down view to give you a better look at the hopper, a.k.a. the inside of the feeder.

As you can see from this pic, the outside lip of the feeding trough is 1-inch higher that the inside bottom ledge where the food comes out.  This prevents the food from spilling over the edge and dumping onto the floor upon filling the hopper.

This is an inside pic of the feeding trough where you can get a better look at the bottom edge of the hopper.  The gap at the bottom where the food comes out is roughly 1 1/2-inches from the bottom of the feeder.

After making all my cuts, I sanded all of the corners that will be exposed to the birds, and to myself accidentally smacking my foot on it.

Next I built a lid for the hopper to protect the feed from getting foreign contaminants inside.  I started by building a flat lid and then added a 45 degree board onto that to prevent the chickens from wanting to perch on the lid.  Because of the 45 degree top I had to hinge the lid outward, as seen in the photos below.

The last thing I build was a small 45 degree roof to go over the food trough, just in case a chicken manages to perch on the lid.  I don't want them pooping into the food trough.
As you can see, I made the little trough awning low enough to prevent the prevent the chickens from pooping in their feed, but high enough for an adult chicken to comfortably put their head in the trough to get food.

The entire unit can be raised by simply removing the lid and the bottom 1x4.  Then place the removed 1x4 at the top and replace the lid, Then I would move the trough up to the 1x4 that is acting as the "new" bottom edge of the hopper and add a 2x4 between the studs to act as the new bottom to the feeder.