DIY No Waste Quail Feeder

Discussion in 'Quail' started by mdees88, Apr 1, 2018.

  1. mdees88

    mdees88 Songster

    Mar 15, 2018
    Lower Alabama
    My Coop
    Okay let's call this a minimal waste feeder that can be converted into a zero waste feeder very easily.

    I purchased a little giant 1 quart feeder from tractor supply. After a short period of use I found two problems with it. It didn't hold enough food and they spilled half of it on the ground.

    After doing some research I saw how someone modified it to hold more food and waste less. Here's what the finished product looks like.


    You will need the little giant feeder, either a 3" to 2" pvc reducer or a 4" to 2" reducer (depending on how much food you want it to hold and how much money you want to spend), and a short piece of 2" pvc pipe and either a piece of 3" or 4" pipe.

    (Disregard the duct tape, this feeder came out of my brooder and I didnt want the quail to climb inside)


    Inside the feeder there are plastic threads that stick out so the 1 qt bottle can screw into it. These threads need to be removed so the 2" reducer can slide in. I have removed them with a sharp pocket knife but you can grind them off with a dremel very easily.


    You need to cut a piece of 2" pvc anywhere from 1 1/2" to 1 3/4" long. This piece sticks in the bottom of the reducer. When installed this creates a very small gap at the bottom of the feeder for the feed to fall out which keeps the feeder from filling to the top with food. (You can adjust how much food sits in the bottom of the feeder by how long you cut this piece of 2" pipe...BUT... Make sure there is a big enough gap at the bottom for the food to fall out)


    If you plan on filling your feeder from outside the cage you will need to add a 3" or 4" 45 degree street elbow. This will connect directly to the reducer and allow your pipe to extend out the side of the cage. This is how mine are setup. I set them on top of a 2x6 that I cut in the circle so they cannot poop in the feeder and so their eggs will roll around the feeder.

    20180331_192825.jpg 20180331_192854.jpg

    This design is a HUGE improvement over the regular feeder but it can be improved upon so they do not spill a single drop of food. All you have to do is cover every other hole with duct tape. When the quail sticks its head in the feeder he knocks food left and right and any food spilled falls out the holes to his left or right. If you cover them up they cant spill anything.

    I didn't brother with the duct tape because they probably spill less than 5% of their food without it. I like having 8 openings over 4 so they don't fight over getting food.

    You can see in these picks that the level of feed is very low in the feeder making it harder for the quail to knock it out. You will have to figure out what length to cut your 2" pvc so it works right for you.

    Screenshot_2018-03-31-09-57-10.png Screenshot_2018-03-31-09-56-52.png
    I use this setup in my brooder too but I add some duct tape to the top half of the holes so they do not try and climb inside the feeder. I also remove the 2" pipe so the feeder stays full of feed. I did this so the little guys do not have to reach to the bottom of the feeder for food and so they won't try and climb inside it.


    These feeders are definitely not the cheapest option out there but they have worked great for me. Hopefully this helps someone looking for a feeder design. If you have any questions let me know.

    Last edited: Apr 1, 2018
  2. Overeasyplz

    Overeasyplz Songster

    Nov 8, 2009
    mdees88 likes this.
  3. WhiteRockCrazyBird

    WhiteRockCrazyBird Songster

    Nov 16, 2017
    central Illinois
    What a great idea! Thanks for sharing. My neighbor has quail and pheasants, I'm going to share this with him!
    mdees88 likes this.
  4. mdees88

    mdees88 Songster

    Mar 15, 2018
    Lower Alabama
    My Coop
    Good deal... Thanks for checking it out.
  5. Mamacast

    Mamacast In the Brooder

    Apr 10, 2018
    Breckenridge CO
    Would there be any way to make this type of feeder work with running the pipe out the side of a stacked pen? I haven't made it yet but I am thinking I will make each pen 18" high and with it being stacked I wouldn't have roof access for the lower one. Love your idea.
  6. mdees88

    mdees88 Songster

    Mar 15, 2018
    Lower Alabama
    My Coop
    Unfortunately I don't think it will work especially if you have the roll out egg tray. My cage in the first post is exactly 18" between the floor and the ceiling. If I wanted to add a second row of cages the floor would have to be around 18" above the ceiling for the feeders to not get in the way.
  7. Mraya

    Mraya Songster

    May 6, 2017
    Great I would use this to feed my chicks in the brooder.:thumbsup Well done
    mdees88 likes this.
  8. philipmadamson

    philipmadamson In the Brooder

    May 16, 2018
    Do you mind sharing a cost estimate? I roughly calculated it to be about $15 per feeder setup. does that sound in the right ballpark? Thanks so much for sharing
  9. wildone

    wildone Songster

    Jan 23, 2018
    you are like, the brillentist person I have ever heard of. thanks for sharing! this is a great idea!

    mdees88 likes this.
  10. mdees88

    mdees88 Songster

    Mar 15, 2018
    Lower Alabama
    My Coop
    The red plastic feeder is around $7 I think. The 4" to 2" reducer is around $7.

    You need a short piece of 2" pipe and a long piece of 4" pipe (if you want to increase the capacity). A 2"x10ft pvc pipe is $8. A 4"x10 pipe is $22 (but you could make 5 feeders with this much pipe)

    Also if you want the pipe to stick out the front of the cage instead of the top of the cage you need a 45 degree 4" street elbow $7.

    So for me to make just one feeder it would cost me $50. But if I make 5 it costs me $27 per feeder.

    They do sell 2ft long pvc pipes instead of 10fters. So if you only need 1 feeder you might could build it for $35-40 instead of $50.
    philipmadamson likes this.

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