aart's Waste-Free Funnel Bucket Feeder

Waste-Free Funnel Bucket Feeder.
By aart · Oct 29, 2014 · Updated Jun 3, 2017 · ·
  1. aart
    Another update/addition.......5 gal water bottle as funnel...scroll waayy down.

    Updated 6-2-17:

    As of a couple months ago, I am now exclusively using the water bottle version.
    Scroll way down to see it.

    Had some less than crumbled crumble and larger pieces kept jamming the trigger orifice,
    so went to the bottle version and haven't looked back - it's just simpler, both how it operates and to build.

    Been thinking about this for months, finally today I had all the parts and the time to put it together.
    I don't know if it will be successful in the long run, and will update page with more details as time passes, but I am hoping it is. I usually make everything easy to take apart for modification after I see how it works out.

    Wanted a feeder with a high edge to eliminate billing-out. Was also intrigued with the trigger feeder, so came up with this:

    The 3" high sides at the bottom should eliminate billing out.
    The 4 access holes are 5 1/4" wide by 6" tall with 3" in between each one.
    The lid sits on top of the funnel, snug enough not to be knocked off but easy to remove for filling.
    That's a 12" galvanized funnel from TSC (~$10), thought I would have to cut it down to fit into the bucket but a couple of very small notches filed into the edge allows the bucket handle to snap in and hold it steady.
    Note: Trigger in this pic is outdated scroll down to see updates.

    The 5 gallon bucket handle hangs from a couple of hooks and 2x4's under the roost board.
    The top 2x4 is screwed to the roost board support and the lower 2x4 is held to the top one with 4" long 1/4-20 bolts and wing nuts, this allows the height of the feeder to be easily adjusted.
    I ended up lowering it after watching them use it for awhile, and can always put longer bolts if needed.

    Didn't work well...see below for updated trigger.
    But you can see where I cut off the end of the funnel spout.

    New trigger 11-1-14: 1/4-20 threaded rod 6" long with an escutcheon attached 'upside down' for mini dish/trigger device, same material for top of trigger shaft but drilled and tapped for 1/4-20 and cut down to resemble the trigger feeder many know from the UK.

    The 3" deck screw goes into a small chunk of plastic, 3/4 x 3.8 x ~1", left over from another project
    Insert hole has been enlarged to 5/8" for new 1/4 trigger assembly.

    Update, 4-19-16, Disc mod:
    Disc kept being unseated by vigorous tugging on trigger, dumping all feed into bucket bottom.
    Added small sheet metal screws to hold it in place.
    Hopefully this works and protruding screws do not inhibit function.
    Electrical tape around screw heads to keep screws from falling below and being ingested should happen to work loose.




    Added a wing nut screwed tight against the escutcheon plate to keep them from coming unthreaded.[​IMG]

    New trigger 'dish' seems to work well, it's lower than the old one and holds a bit of feed that they zeroed in on quickly. Wing nut not shown in this pic.
    They were HUNGRY after 2 days of struggling with other triggers......might be a incentive to figure how to use this one.


    ADDITION 11-7-16
    I played with making a no waste funnel feeder using a 5 gal water bottle.
    This was kind of an experiment for my brother, using the bucket from my trigger feeder above.

    We were chatting on the phone about various feeders for his friend, and looking at websites.
    I told him I always really wanted to try this but never found an easy to nab bottle,
    so he ordered me 2 and had them delivered without telling me.
    It was a jaw dropping(literally) day of delight for me....that rascal!

    ANYway......Here some pics and drawings.
    Not entirely detailed out here, but you can figure it out.
    I cut the bottle roughly in half to fit inside bucket.




    Ridge on bottle neck had to be filed down a tad to fit snug inside 2" PVC pipe.
    Notches where feed comes out are about 1" wide at bottom and 1" tall.
    Start notches smaller then enlarge until you find the right size for the feed you are using.

    Share This Article

Recent User Reviews

  1. Cragg Klefor
    "So much wasted.. on rats!!"
    5/5, 5 out of 5, reviewed Jan 19, 2019
    Great idea!! I love innovation :) Well done Aart! I wonder could this be modified to allow for soaked pellets..... hmmmm?!
    1. aart
      Wet feed doesn't flow...so, no.
  2. Compost King
    "I like this design better than others I have seen"
    5/5, 5 out of 5, reviewed Dec 1, 2018
    Great way to make a feeder with the expensive plumbing footings.
  3. ronott1
    4/5, 4 out of 5, reviewed Sep 1, 2018


To make a comment simply sign up and become a member!
  1. SavKel&RynKel
      TCCL and aart like this.
    1. aart
      You left the riser pipe out...do they have enough head room??
      SavKel&RynKel likes this.
    2. SavKel&RynKel
      I was wondering what that was for... I thought it was just for easier hole making! Making those holes in the bottle was a pain, and they will need some more work definitely, I wanted to start small like you suggested. We'll check today to see about head room. I thought raising it with the plates on bottom might also help that, i guess we'll see!
  2. Mark Armstrong
    Pretty cool, always looking for a new feeder design, I've got a couple of 3 gallon water bottles I can use, So many good ideas on this forum but I really like this one, about to order some bantam chicks, this would be cool idea for a 1 gallon jug if I could find one
  3. CJM
    I am pretty new and dealing with chickens. This past summer I had a lot of rats eating my food all night long. What is to keep the rats out of your feeder??
    1. aart
      I don't have rats here. I'd suggest you put the feeder in a metal garbage can at night.
  4. WVduckchick
    I have access to plenty of buckets and pvc...now to source some more water bottles. (we have a water dispenser, so I'm kinda stingy with those lol)
      aart likes this.
    1. aart
      My brother bought me a couple of them as a present, they were pricey at amazon...but I just saw some at the grocery store for like ~$20 near the bulk water sales dispenser
      WVduckchick likes this.
    2. WVduckchick
      We can get them full of water for around $15. :)
    3. aart
      Is that rental type deal, like a bottled water service...or do you refill yourself?
      Maybe they were $10....I look, and probably buy one, next time I'm there.
  5. aart
    I am now exclusively using the water bottle and pipe version.
      SavKel&RynKel and WVduckchick like this.
  6. CapricornFarm
    Very clever! Not sure i could do all that, but good for you!
    1. aart
      You could figure it out, you've become quite proficient at building stuff. The 5 gal bottle and pipe version is much easier to do than the trigger version, and works better too. Keep it in mind for the future when not so much on your plate.
  7. Farmer Connie
  8. aart
    Just added the 5 gallon water bottle funnel option.....didn't use it long term tho.

    The original trigger feeder has work excellent for almost 2 years now.
    No feed ever gets spilled on floor....even tho a couple birds keep yanking on the trigger until there is a lot of feed in the bucket bottom.....silly birds.
    It holds about 2 quarts of crumble which is more than my ~20 birds eat in 24 hours.
      rbnk1 likes this.
  9. lazy gardener
    Nice design. How's it working? How many birds does it service? Have you noticed that the lower pecking order girls are not getting their crops filled??

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: