A "Cheep" Feeder/WatererI was getting disappointed with some of the feeders and waterers you can buy at your local farm store or online catalog. While shopping at my local home improvement store I saw some rain gutter on sale (10' for $.99 after rebate) and remembered that many BYC'ers have used gutters for feeders and waterers before. The difference in my idea is that I am using parts from one of those disappointing waterers I bought years ago.
To start, you are going to have to shop for your gutter material. You can get steel, copper, aluminum, and PVC. The choice is up to you. I found PVC to be on sale and easy to work with common tools around the house. Once you choose the material you will need end caps. They are sold as Right and Left so pay attention to what you grab at the store. Nothing is worse than having 2 lefts and making a second trip to the store! As I said before, I found the gutter on sale for a buck after rebate but the end caps were $2.49 each. So if you are just in the market for a 10' feeder, you will have $6.00 invested in the largest feeder ever available!
Assembly is easy. What I did was cut the 10' section in 2. So I have 2- 5' feeders, capped at each end.
I made a simple 2"x4" wood base. 5' long and 2' wide for stability.
A tube of Liquid Nails bonds the gutter to the wood base. Please use the adhesive for bonding plastic. I found out the hard way that the general purpose adhesive doesn't hold up.
And there you have your "cheep" feeder!
I went one step farther and made an automatic waterer. Here is one of my over-priced, disapointing waterers I bought years ago.
It was too small and my birds found many, many ways to tip it over. The problem with an automatic waterer, hooked to a hydrant is that when it tips, the water keeps flowing :-(
So I took it apart to re-use the float. Sealed the end cap with silicoln adhesive so it wouldn't leak and water. I drilled the proper hole in the end and re-mounted the float valve to one of the ends.
I did a test fill in the shop and it works great!!
You can build a feeder for the price of a Starbucks coffee and a waterer for just $15.00 more.
If you don't have a float valve available an online search will find one for you. One company that I found that offers a small float valve is http://www.thevalveshop.com/menu/manual/kerick/kerickm.html
So go shopping (If you can't haul a 10' gutter, the nice guy at the store will cut it in half for you to fit in your car), get the proper adhesive for the gutter you buy (PVC glue, Aluminum rivits, solder for copper gutters etc.), some wood for a base (treated would be better, but I don't like having treated lumber by my animals), and start assembling!!!