As a chicken owner, you want to make sure your feathered friends are well-fed, especially when you’re not around to monitor their food intake.
A large capacity chicken feeder that can withstand the elements and hold enough feed for an extended period is an excellent investment. But with so many options available, it can be challenging to find the right one without wasting your money.
In this article, I’ll share some advice on how to choose the perfect large capacity chicken feeder and provide some examples of what has worked for other chicken owners.
Choosing the Right Feeder
When it comes to choosing the right feeder for your flock of chickens, there are a few important factors to keep in mind. The first consideration is the size of your flock. A feeder that is designed for a larger group of chickens may be too bulky and take up too much space if you have a smaller flock. On the other hand, if you have a larger flock, you’ll need a feeder that can hold enough feed to last for several days and accommodate all of your birds.
In addition to flock size, you should also think about the type of feeder that will work best for your particular setup. Some feeders are designed to hang, while others are meant to sit on the ground. Hanging feeders can be a good option if you’re short on floor space or want to keep the feed out of reach of rodents and other pests. Ground feeders, on the other hand, may be easier for chickens to access and can be a good choice if you have a large open space for your flock to roam.
Another factor to consider when choosing a feeder is the material it’s made from. Feeders made from plastic are generally lightweight and easy to clean, but they may not be as durable as those made from metal. Metal feeders are typically more sturdy and long-lasting, but they can be more difficult to clean and may rust over time if they’re exposed to the elements.
Consider the Size and Material
When choosing a large capacity chicken feeder, it’s important to consider the size and material of the feeder. The size of the feeder should be suitable for your flock. If you have a small flock, a feeder designed for a large group of chickens may not be the best option as it can take up too much space and may not be very practical. Conversely, if you have a large flock, you’ll need a feeder that can accommodate all of your birds and hold enough feed to last for several days.
Apart from size, the material of the feeder is also an important factor to consider. It’s recommended to choose a feeder made of durable materials, such as metal or high-density plastic. These materials are sturdy and can withstand the elements better than other cheaper materials. The durability of the feeder ensures it lasts for a long time and does not get damaged easily.
Additionally, you’ll want to choose a feeder that is easy to clean and maintain. A feeder with a removable lid or an open top will make it easier to refill and clean. A removable lid allows easy access to the inside of the feeder for cleaning or refilling. Similarly, an open top feeder allows you to easily see how much feed is left and refill it as needed. A feeder that is easy to clean and maintain will save you time and effort in the long run.
When it comes to size and material, it’s important to consider the climate and environment in which the feeder will be used. If the feeder will be exposed to harsh weather conditions, such as rain, snow, and extreme heat, it’s recommended to choose a feeder made of materials that can withstand these conditions. Additionally, you’ll want to choose a feeder that has a cover or a lid to protect the feed from moisture and pests.
Examples of Large Capacity Chicken Feeders
Here are some examples of large capacity chicken feeders that have worked well for other chicken owners:
Trash Can Feeder
A trash can feeder is a widely used option for feeding chickens. It involves using a 35-gallon trash can and installing feeder cups in the bottom of the can. These feeder cups typically come with watertight lids that can be used to cover them if needed. The trash can feeder can be placed under a tarp in the chicken run to protect it from rain and other weather elements.
This type of feeder is quite easy to make and can hold a large amount of feed, making it ideal for large flocks of chickens. It is a cost-effective option compared to purchasing pre-made feeders, and can be customized to fit the specific needs of the flock. Additionally, the watertight lids on the feeder cups help to keep the feed dry and free from moisture, which can spoil the feed and attract unwanted pests. Overall, a trash can feeder is a practical and efficient solution for feeding chickens.
To create a bucket feeder, you can start by using a 5-gallon bucket, which is readily available at most hardware stores. Next, you will need to cut holes in the sides of the bucket for the chickens to access the feed. You can use a drill to create the holes or a utility knife if you prefer.
The size and number of holes will depend on the size of your flock and the type of feed you are using. You will want to make sure that the holes are large enough for the chickens to access the feed but not so large that they can waste or scatter the feed easily.
Once you have cut the holes in the bucket, you can fill it with feed and place it in the chicken run or coop. You may want to secure the bucket to prevent it from tipping over or being knocked around by the chickens.
Ported Trash Can Feeder
A ported trash can feeder is a modification of the standard trash can feeder, designed to reduce feed waste. This type of feeder is constructed using a 35-gallon trash can with ports installed in the bottom. The ports are fitted with specially designed feeding ports, which only allow a small amount of feed to be available to the chickens at a time.
The ports in the bottom of the feeder not only limit the amount of feed available to the chickens but also reduce the likelihood of the feed getting wet, which is a common issue with traditional open feeders. This helps to keep the feed dry and fresh, which is essential for the health and well-being of your chickens. Additionally, the feeder is elevated off the ground, which helps to prevent contamination by dirt and other debris.
The ported trash can feeder is easy to make and can hold a lot of feed, making it ideal for large flocks. It is important to note that this type of feeder requires periodic cleaning to prevent mold and bacteria growth.
DIY PVC Feeder
A DIY PVC feeder is a cost-effective and easy-to-make option for chicken owners. PVC pipes and fittings can be easily purchased from hardware stores, and plans for building these feeders can be found online. With some basic tools and PVC glue, you can create a sturdy and long-lasting feeder that can hold most of a 50lb bag of chicken feed.
The design of a PVC feeder typically involves a vertical PVC pipe with a cap at the bottom, which serves as the feed container. The bottom of the pipe has a series of drilled holes or slots, which allow the chickens to access the feed. A cap at the top of the pipe prevents rain and debris from entering the feeder.
One of the advantages of a PVC feeder is that it can be easily modified to suit your specific needs. For example, you can add more or larger holes to the bottom of the pipe to accommodate larger chicken breeds or to increase the feeding capacity. Additionally, you can attach the feeder to the side of the chicken coop or run to save floor space and reduce the risk of contamination.
Metal Hanging Feeder
A metal hanging feeder is a great choice for those who want a durable and long-lasting feeder. The feeder is usually made of galvanized metal, which is rust-resistant and can withstand harsh weather conditions. It comes in different sizes, with 30lb being a popular choice, and larger sizes available for bigger flocks.
The metal feeder is designed to be hung from the ceiling or a support structure in the chicken coop. It has a handle at the top for easy lifting and hanging, and the feeder is suspended at a height that is easily accessible to the chickens. The feeder is easy to fill, and the feed can be poured directly into the top of the feeder.
One of the advantages of using a metal hanging feeder is that it helps to keep the feed dry and clean. The feeder is usually covered, preventing moisture and dirt from getting in and spoiling the feed. Additionally, the feeder is designed to keep the chickens from scratching and spilling the feed onto the ground, which helps to reduce waste and keep the coop clean.
Dog Food Feeder
Using a dog food feeder as a chicken feeder is a less common option, but it can be effective for some chicken owners. Dog food feeders are typically made of durable materials like plastic or metal and are designed to hold a significant amount of food. They can be hung from a hook or placed on the ground for easy access by the chickens.
One of the advantages of using a dog food feeder is that it is typically very durable and can withstand the pecking and scratching of chickens. Additionally, the design of the feeder often includes a lid or other mechanism to prevent food from spilling out, which can help reduce waste and keep the coop clean.
Dog food feeders can also be useful for holding other supplements, such as oyster shells or grit, which chickens need for digestion and eggshell formation. A smaller dog food feeder can be used for this purpose, and it can be hung next to the larger feeder for easy access.
A large-capacity chicken feeder can be a significant investment, but it’s worth it to ensure your chickens are well-fed, even when you’re not around. When choosing a feeder, consider the size of your flock, the material of the feeder, and the ease of cleaning. With the examples provided, you can find the perfect large-capacity chicken feeder for your flock, making feeding time a breeze.