DIY trough feeder using gutters

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by tonnyx, Sep 6, 2016.

  1. tonnyx

    tonnyx Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 17, 2011
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    So, the PVC feeders look nice and all, but it seems to me that it's too much time, money, and effort to make these when you have a larger flock. I raise 50 meat chickens at a time, and even if they're pasture raised, they still are supposed to have enough feeder space to feed at least half of them at a time. When you start multiplying the number of PVC elbows you need to buy and the numbers of feed containers ... well, all of a sudden it doesn't seem so economical.
    The hanging feeders that you buy in the store are likewise not a great deal when you take into account the amount of space at the feeder per bird.
    So the logical thing is a trough feeder ... but how to do it cheaper than buying a brand new trough feeder? Vinyl gutters!

    [​IMG]

    Here's what it costs, new:
    2 vinyl gutters, 10' (~$8 apiece)
    4 cinder blocks (~$1.20 apiece)
    1 end cap for the gutter (optional) (~$3.50 apiece)

    <$25 for about 200 inches of feeder space ... I think that's a pretty good deal.

    Stack the cinder blocks about 8' apart, two high, with the holes facing each other. Put one end cap on a gutter, if using. Feed this gutter into the upper holes (if chickens are close to full grown). Put something under this gutter to help support it in the middle -- a log, or something. Put food in trough. Lay the other gutter upside down directly over the feed trough. This helps keep the chickens from getting up in it and scratching and pooping in the food.
    I use the one end cap to help food not spill from that end when I'm emptying the trough in the evening. I get it out from the cinder blocks and then pour it into a bowl from the open end.

    I don't know if others have done this before, but I've never seen it. Hope it helps someone!
     
    1 person likes this.
  2. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

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    That is awesome! I admire your ingenuity! You are correct - PVC add-ons get spendy quick! I think your idea is one I will use. Thanks for posting! :)
     
  3. MandalaMaMa

    MandalaMaMa Chillin' With My Peeps

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    southern Oregon coast
    What a great idea Tonnyx ...... Thanks for sharing. Need to show this to my hubby. :D:D
     
  4. Leigti

    Leigti Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I also made one of these, got the idea somewhere here on this site. But yours is much nicer. Do you find that the chickens jump up onto the top gutter? Do they have trouble reaching The food in the bottom of the trough window is up that high? I can't decide whether to have it in the first hole or the second hole from the ground.[​IMG]
     
  5. Leigti

    Leigti Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I feed fermented food or match. So the food is a little wet. Don't know if this matters or not.
     
  6. Beekissed

    Beekissed True BYC Addict

    Plenty of folks on here feeding FF in gutters. I fed my last batch of meaties~54~in a gutter, though I just screwed it into a couple of pieces of 2x6 to provide stability/legs instead of using the concrete blocks...makes it easier to move if you want to do so. I didn't mind them walking in it, as the feed was usually gone in a matter of minutes anyway, poop and all. You can't see the whole thing in this pic but they all had plenty of access to the feed this way and it was easy to fill without there being anything on top of the feeder.

    [​IMG]
     
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  7. tonnyx

    tonnyx Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 17, 2011
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    It depends on the size of the chicken, of course. :) For the smaller ones, I laid a large branch as a stepstool to help them reach it. I laid an upside-down gutter (it could be just a board or something) on top since they tended to hop up into the gutter, and, because mine is long, vinyl, and not stabilized in the middle, it wobbles and spills a bunch of feed on the ground when they do that.
     

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