Anyone tried making a giant rabbit feeder for chickens?

Tam'ra of Rainbow Vortex

Songster
10 Years
Apr 30, 2009
919
27
151
Rogue Valley, S. Oregon
I have seen a number of gravity feeders for chickens, but never one quite like what I am thinking of. I tried the pvc pipe style and was not pleased with it. Too hard to fill, didn't hold enough, got clogged too much. It also had a very small space for birds to eat from. I currently have hanging feeders. They hold a lot, but they are a pain to fill. You have to go into the coop (my feathered friends are underfoot and less than helpful!) and try to pour into a smallish opening because the hanger is in the way. Then you have muck on your shoes and have to try to get back out without them following you...I want a better option.

I want to build it into the coop wall so I can easily fill from the outside.
I want it big enough to dump in a whole 50 lb bag at a time to make it a less frequent chore.
I want enough space several birds can eat from it at once, but a narrow enough opening they wont throw too much on the floor.

It seems one could build something very like a rabbit feeder (with a much larger storage section) to accomplish all these things. If it were made the whole length of the wall about 2' high and at least 6' deep with a flip up lid like my nest boxes the feeder part could be covered with chicken wire to prevent food throwing and spaced up off the floor a good bit to keep the bedding from getting tossed in. It seems so perfect. It would even be possible to retrofit it into an existing coop pretty easily.

So has anyone tried this? I can't be the first to think of it. Unless I get some genuine feedback saying 'I tried it and it sucks' I am going to try it when I build my breeding pens this summer.
 

birdbrain5

Songster
9 Years
Aug 2, 2010
685
6
131
yes this is EXACTLY what i wanted to do for my chickens, because id like to be able to go off for a weekend and not worry. i have 6 pens to build for tho, so i decided against it because i just dont think id ever get to it, so i went and got pvc today. i havent put them up yet but now im kicking myself because you said they arent good, and get clogged. i know i wont be able to fit a lot in them, but i figured a couple quarts, and i have 3 chickens in each pen so im hoping that will last a little while
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i was going to go buy those gravity rabbit feeders with the solid bottoms, not the sifters, but they only hold a quart of food i think, and they are about 11 bucks each. ugh i hope my pvc works out.. darn.
 

NanaLantana

Chirping
8 Years
Feb 7, 2011
359
0
99
Lantana, Florida
I just built a feeder out of plexiglass. Mind you, I only have 7 chickens, young ones at that. I hang it on the outside of the run, and they have to stick their heads thru the 1" x 2" welded wire. I designed it myself to fit my needs. And since the coop and run are only about 15 steps from my back door, I just go out and fill it in the mornings. I may have to cut some of the wire as they grow bigger, to account for the comb and wattles - - -

I know you can come up with a good plan to fit your needs. Remember that whatever you build, add a 'seed guard' lip on the inside, under the chicken's chin, to reduce waste. My plexiglass feeder has one and no feed gets spilled out on the ground -
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Tam'ra of Rainbow Vortex

Songster
10 Years
Apr 30, 2009
919
27
151
Rogue Valley, S. Oregon
Thanks for the tip! Its so frustrating to have the flock yell at me for having an empty feeder when litterally a gallon of food is scattered on the floor. I know who the food throwers are, too. They would never eat off the coop floor!
 

Pineywoods Peepers

Certified Poultry Accruer
11 Years
Jun 5, 2010
386
23
184
Pineywoods of East Texas
We used this design for our feeder: https://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=59815-updates-from-week-16-and-on I think it could be modified to install on the outside of the coop. We installed ours inside the coop, and put a lip on it to prevent the peeps from billing it out. The picture of the feeder is at the bottom of our coop page https://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=59655-barnstylecoop I generally try to wait til the chicks are outside to fill it up, but I certainly agree that it's tough to fill it up with such eager little helpers!
 

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