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Make your own - No waste - 5 gallon (25# feed) bucket feeder for about $3

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by jimmywalt, Oct 28, 2013.

  1. jimmywalt

    jimmywalt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    First off thanks to JetDog who I first saw posted about this incredible feeder. I've been using it for the past couple months and I will NEVER EVER go back to any other kind of feeder!

    I started out with the basic red/white plastic feeder that all the feed stores sell............ the chickens wasted more food than they ate so I knew I had to figure out something else.

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    I then made a PVC tube feeder, but it only held a few pounds of food and seemed to need to be refilled all the time..... and I only have 5 chickens

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    So then I read about the 5 gallon bucket feeder from Jetdog.................... And I've never turned back!

    This thing is SOOO easy to make and it will hold 25 lbs of pellet food!!!

    First thing you need is a 5 gallon bucket. You can purchase one at one of the home improvement stores, or if you want to save a few bucks like me you can get a used pickle bucket from your local fast food restaurant for free, or even try your local bakery for a 5 gallon frosting bucket.

    Next you need 3" pvc elbow (about $3 at Lowes) and a 3-1/2" hole saw (you can get the hole saw cheap at Harbor Freight).

    Cut the end of the elbow off at the red line (see pic below) and then figure out where the hole in the bucket should be so that when you stick the CUT END into the bucket it's about 3/4" off the bottom. Silicone or pvc cement around inside and out, put the top on the bucket and you're set!

    I also added an "extension" to the end of the elbow that the chickens stick their heads in to get the food to make the hole a bit smaller and also so that they have to go farther in. This TOTALLY eliminated ALL spilled pellets! The "extension" adds about 1" deeper they need to go. See pictures below.

    I put the bucket on a few patio bricks to bring it up to about chest height on my chickens.

    My bucket only has 1 elbow but you could probably add up to 3 if you wanted to feed around the entire bucket.

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    You can see the extension (3" PVC pipe that I added to the elbow in the picture below)

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    Here is a picture of the bucket in my coop via my coop web cam.

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    Picture from inside the bucket
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    Here is the finished product sitting next to my 5 gallon heated water for the winter. There's a link in my signature below for instructions on the waterer.
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    Another BYC friend of mine (LoneOak) suggested using a "Street Elbow" - I think his idea might work better. -
    I used a street elbow in mine which has two different kinds of ends. I cut off the hub end and inserted the spigot end into the bucket. Then I cleaned up the hub end and put it over the spigot end (with the elbow still attached) and pushed it tight against the bucket. The hub fits securely over the spigot holding it all together without any fasteners or glue.


    Once you make and use this type of feeder you will NEVER use anything else again!!!!!!!!!!
     
    37 people like this.
  2. Kadra

    Kadra Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for the tutorial! Looks good.
     
  3. TheGeekySheep

    TheGeekySheep Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I come bearing pictures of how to make this feeder with a 90-degree street elbow (hub & spigot) per LoneOak's instructions. (Hope I got it right!)

    This is the street elbow with a hub end (the big part) and a spigot end (the narrower part with the flange). This method won't work with a plain 90-degree street elbow because the parts won't fit into one another at the end (you'll see) (EDIT: I was wrong about this, a regular street elbow without a flange will also work!). I had to check online before I purchased it because not all Home Depot's carry them. Here's a link to the product: http://www.homedepot.com/p/NIBCO-3-...Street-Elbow-C48072HD3/100347226#.UnBRP3BwpLc

    [​IMG]

    I started by cutting off the hub end right where it meets the pipe. I didn't need to make another cut after this because after I had cut the hub off, the cut end was still a 90-degree angle to the spigot end, which would allow it to be parallel to the floor of the bucket after installation.

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    To determine where to cut my hole, I put a scrap piece of 1"x2" under the cut end of the elbow (to ensure the pipe is 3/4" off the floor of the bucket after installation) and traced the hole on the outside of the bucket.

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    After I cut my hole I put the spigot end (the narrow bit) through the hole. You can see below the flange doesn't allow it to move any farther outside the bucket, which is good.

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    Here you can see the spigot end coming out of the bucket and the hub that I will flip around and put over the spigot to keep the elbow from falling back in the bucket.

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    And here it is! No glue required, it's a tight fit. There's a little play in the elbow but it can't fall in or out of the bucket so it still works. I opted for the fancy screw-top for my bucket but if I had gone with a plain lid I could have made this for a total of $10 and about 15 minutes.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2013
  4. jimmywalt

    jimmywalt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have to tell you this is one of the VERY best DIY instructions I've read on BYC!!!!!!!!!!!!

    BRILLIANT idea to sit it on a 1x2 and to trace the hole!!!! Brilliant!!!!!!!! I just eye-balled mine.

    And now you've done it................ Tomorrow I have to go to Home Depot and get one of these elbows..... Only 8 in stock at my store and they are only $3.53 each!!!! I can make this feeder for $3.74 including tax!!!!!!!!!

    But why does the picture on HD's website look different than the one in your picture???? The HD website doesn't look like a 90 degree.... Ummmmm?????

    Now I just wish I lived somewhere that I could sell these already made for $10 bucks.

    Thanks for the tips on the street elbow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
  5. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

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    Last edited: Nov 19, 2013
  6. jimmywalt

    jimmywalt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You can put 3 of these elbows around the bucket............ So "serves 3" at a time. [​IMG]

    And if you have 20 birds you can make a few buckets if you feel they all need to eat at the same second.

    My 5 chickens are doing fine sharing the one hole. I watch them sometimes on the wifi cam in the coop and have never seen any fights.

    I wouldn't use this for chicks, but only for 18 weeks and older.
     
  7. TheGeekySheep

    TheGeekySheep Chillin' With My Peeps

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    *blush!* Thank you! Yes, I think HD used a picture of a 45-degree elbow for all the hub and spigot street elbows. I was skeptical too until I looked at it in the store. If my birds like it I might just add another elbow or two so that multiple birds can eat at once and the food will be distributed evenly around the bottom of the bucket. I only have four currently and they take turns eating throughout the day as it is.
     
  8. Bear Foot Farm

    Bear Foot Farm Overrun With Chickens

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    Grifton NC
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    Last edited: Nov 19, 2013
  9. AletaG

    AletaG Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Olympic Peninsula, WA
    Bear, it's only partly the original cost of a feeder; it's about seriously decreasing food waste ($). Also, we've found the bucket or pipe design keep the feed dry in our sideways rain (our run has a roof, but 90 to 180 degree blown rain sucketh). :)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 31, 2013
    1 person likes this.
  10. TheGeekySheep

    TheGeekySheep Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Georgia
    If there's anything hanging out on BYC has taught me it's that there's no one correct way to do things. Each design from coops to feeders and waterers has pros and cons. Por ejemplo:

    Standard metal or plastic hanging feeders are inexpensive, readily available at feed stores (no DIY skills required) and hold plenty of food. But even when hung at head level, chickens can waste a fair bit of food by flinging it out of the bottom with their beaks onto the ground, where it may or may not get eaten. An open top and bottom means food could get wet with heavy rain plus wind. You'll need a funnel or cover on the top if you want to keep birds from perching on top and pooping in the food.

    Vertical PVC pipe feeders are relatively easy to make, eliminate most waste if designed correctly and keep food dry. They're also great for small coops were space comes at a premium as they have a small footprint. But due to the limited diameter of the pipe, you could end up refilling them often, not good if you're short on time for flock maintenance.

    This bucket feeder is also relatively easy to make, completely eliminates food waste and also keeps food dry in the rain. However, a 5-gallon bucket takes up as much space as a large chicken so it might not be appropriate for small coops and runs, and as noted previously has a limited number of feeding points so might not be good for a big flock unless you make multiple.

    That's the great thing about BYC, there are so many people sharing their experiences and what works for them that with a bit of research you can house and feed your flock in a manner that truly suits your budget and time needs.
     
    15 people like this.

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