Chickens won't eat from new PVC feeder


May 20, 2017
We are nine months into our first round of chickens, so still getting things figured out. I just finished building a new coop and run for our 3 chickens. Then, yesterday, I built a waterproof PVC feeder as shown here. (Thanks, Dan, for the great video!) The only problem is that the chickens have not found the feed yet. We've hand-fed them grains near the PVC feeder. We've piled grain in and around it, and on the lip of the feeder, but no luck. Will they just find it over time, or is there something else you could recommend? Thanks, experts, for your ideas!
I watched the video...I like this feeder! But only one can put her head in at a time?....maybe that could be modified.
How old are your chickens? I find our older ones are more resistant to change than the youngsters....such as using a nipple waterer. My hens aren't interested in it, the chicks figured it out immediately.
Hi welcome to BYC! :frow

Chickens are creatures of habit for sure so change is hard sometimes. With only 3 they aren't as adventurous as larger flocks. When there are more, things seem to happen much easier.

I wish I had the answer. Best thing I can come up with is maybe put something shiny or red/colorful inside or even around the front opening to attract their curriosity. And I might not offer them another source of feed/grain beyond already having tried to show them. They are pretty curious and practically live to eat. So maybe not offering anything else will motivate them to search out the new feed source. I might even put some dried meal worms in there except that with only one opening, chances are only the chicken who found the worms would get them. However, they would keep going back to look for more worms and know that's where the feed is and the others *should* follow suit.

Looks like a nice feeder.

Good luck! :fl
I did the same kind of concept with the 5 gallon no waste bucket feeder. Using 90 degree street elbows. It took me about an hr to get one of them to stick their head inside and eat. I kept putting food on the edge. I figured if one starts the others will follow. They were only 8 weeks old when I introduced it to them. Take other food sources away, also.

I have been fighting with my 7 hens for the last week after building them a new more weather resistant feeder. It is PVC pipe that comes down into a wooden feed box that is a bit more resistant then straight PVC feeders (had one similar to the video to start but in bad storms we were still getting precipitation in). Unfortunately I am wondering if saying should actually be "you can't teach old *hens* new tricks".

I have tried a bunch of methods from hand feeding them in front of the box to leaving a trail of sunflower seeds (they don't like meal worms anymore) to holding one in the opening and just about pushing her beak into the feed. All of that left nothing. Even tried restricting their food to just the new box and instead they turned to egg eating. I am thinking about throwing in the towel until we cull and restart this coming winter/spring since the flock is about 4ish years old now. Would have done it this Spring but... life...
Hey Eric,
I've had difficulties with this myself, what ended up working best for me was a Peck-o-Matic. They have a bright red catch dish at the bottom that get's their attention that you can put some feed in to start. As they eat the feed you place in the catch dish food falls through the hole in the bucket and they learn that by moving the catch dish food will fall.

I've noticed that they enjoy it a lot more since they get activity out of it and it stops mice from getting into my feed. As other's have said it's important to remove other sources of feed as well. For particularly stubborn learners I've taken to isolating them inside with just the Peck-o-Matic and water for a day forcing them to interact with it. They have a Youtube page that shows assembly and how the birds use it,

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