I would be careful about doing their feet, I am a worry wart, but I think they need those sharp toes for defense and clutching on the roosts. I have 12 degrees this morning. The house even feels cold. Those feeders are great. I made them out of a 55 gallon cardboard barrel. I think you could make them out of a plastic one too. I have a hole in the bottom about 6-8 inches long and 4 inches high. The hole faces the corner with the feed build up. Make sure the hole is not higher than the board blocking the feed from the ground. I goofed on that in earlier versions. The only hang up is a hang up. Occasionally the feed will hang up and I need to hit the side of the barrel to get it to drop. but that does not happen very often. I set the barrel on a piece of OSB with 2x4s und it to support the weight of the barrel and hold the feeder up so the spoiled birds do not have to pick their food off the ground. It makes a good way to store the feed and feed it. The partial barrel on top the main barrel is meant to keep Ginger from sitting up there.. He or she thinks that is her roost. Above that OI have another OSB that simply keeps poop out of the feed. I use the same set up in the chicken coop, but I have no need of a poop board there, The chickens are smart enough to not roost on their feed or poop in it. It takes some experimenting to get the feed restraining boards the right height, The one I have in the creamette pen is too low and they spread the feed onto the ground. If I was not such a lazy bum I would have added another 2x2 to it. I guess I told you more than whether I had a hole there or not.