what is the best feeder containers for chickens
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It depends on your budget really. The DYI section is great and has some of the best feeders around at a low cost. The Link is here: http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/homemade-chicken-feeder-waterer-designs-pictures
If you're looking to buy or with minimal building, the best is always an automatic waterer with the water source enclosed. The place where the chickens drink from (nipple, cup, trough style, etc.) should be easily removed from the rest of the parts for cleaning. If there is a pipe from a storage jug to the drinking apparatus, the pipe must be able to be cleaned, as well as inside the storage container. I prefer cups to nipples, but its just a matter of personal preference and what you think you'd prefer. Nipples must be easy to clean and there must be a filter somewhere in-case grit or dirt get into the nipple and clog it.
For non-automatic waterers, I suggest the largest waterer you can for your coop size and flock size. Buying 2 smaller ones is also a great idea. The regular plastic 1 gal. ones work great. Easy to clean, cheap, and hold a lot of water. Putting them up on a brick instead of on the floor or hanging helps keep them clean.
For feeders, automatic ones are best with a large amount of space for birds to come and eat, like a trough. Troughs though, waste a lot of feed due to overfilling. Only fill them up 1/3 of the way, but then you have to feed often. The tub style round feeders are better but can get contaminated easily so cover the top. I prefer the tubs over troughs because I can have enough feed set out for 3 days. Automatic feeders are even more enclosed and usually hold more food. They can be fashioned out of plastic barrels and hold enough grain for a week or more if you want one that large.
Also, consider the size of your flock. Your flock might be 10 or maybe 30 or even 100. Its better to have a couple smaller water/feed stations than one large one. If you have 10 birds, they should share 1 of each between them okay. I do every interval of ten, then add another waterer. Others do 15, 6, etc. I just depends on your chicken's personalities, flock numbers, and breed.
Best of luck!
After messing around with home made bucket feeders, gallon milk bottles with a hole, plumbing pipes, mud pans and large plastic bowls, I bought myself a proper feeder
I am very happy with it. When my chickens go to bed, after I close the coop, I take it out the run, in the morning I hang it back up. (rodents)
What I like: sturdy, very little waste, they cant scratch/dig in it, I can leave it in the coop for couple of days if I am out of town. It hangs so nothing can crawl in it. (snails, insects)
It looks good. They come under different brands.
Edited by bahamabanty - 12/30/13 at 1:22pm