The Best Chicken Feeders For Your Flock

The Best Chicken Feeders For Your Flock - Chickenmethod.com

In this post, I’ll discuss waterers and dry feed feeders and why it’s important to provide a feeder that your chickens can access easily and safely to get the nutrition and hydration they need to thrive.

When you’re responsible for a flock, you realize quickly that there is a lot more to it than providing a bowl for them to feast from. “Chickens” and “manners” are antonyms in my dictionary. Most animals don’t eat where they poop, but chickens are definitely an exception

Feeders also play a role in chickens’ health and egg production. An open feeder is an invitation for disease spread, and sick chickens don’t lay eggs very well, if at all.

Chickens come in various breeds, each with their own dietary needs. The feeder that works for a flock of Leghorns might not be ideal for Silkies. Moreover, the size and age of your chickens are crucial factors.

Small chicks can drown or get stuck in water feeders designed for adult birds, and large flocks require feeders that can accommodate multiple birds at once.

The fix for chicks is pebbles or marbles in their waterers, while the fix for larger flocks could be a common manifold fitted with nipples and filled by very low pressure or gravity. Pressure reducers can be picked up at most hardware stores and installed pretty easily.

Investing in a quality chicken feeder is investing in the well-being of your flock. A good feeder not only reduces waste by keeping the feed contained and fresh, but it also prevents the spread of disease by keeping the food off the ground where bacteria can fester.

Material matters as well. A feeder made from durable, weather-resistant materials like galvanized steel or high-density polyethylene will withstand the elements and hungry chickens’ pecks. The feeder’s design should prevent chickens from scratching out feed, which can attract unwanted pests and lead to feed waste.

In the next section, I’ll discuss some of the best feeders on the market. I’ve considered a variety of options, from DIY solutions to the latest in feeder technology, and gathered together what I think are some nice options.

Top Feeders – Reviews and Recommendations

When it comes to feeding my flock, I’ve tried various feeders and learned what works best through experience and research. Here are my top picks.

Sched 40 and Sched 80 PVC Pope Feeders - Chickenmethod.com

PVC pipe feeders are cost-effective for those who love a good DIY project. They’re simple to make and customize for any coop size, and a major plus is that they’re quite easy to clean. The key to success with PVC feeders is ensuring the pipes are the right size so your chickens can access the feed comfortably.

A couple of things to consider when putting the feeders together are: Don’t make them so tall that it’s hard to put the feed into them, and you can fashion covers for each end of the pipes to keep rodents out. You can see that my young girls figured these feeders out in no time.

These feeders are made with four-inch PVC. One is Schedule 40, and the grey one is Schedule 80. It makes no difference what you use. It’s what I had available when I built them.

Treadle chicken feeders are a game-changer for flocks that have trouble with rodents or wild birds stealing feed. The treadle design only opens when a chicken steps on the platform, which means less feed spoilage.

Grandpa’s Feeders Automatic Chicken Feeder – Sturdy Galvanized Steel Poultry Feeders – No Spill with Weatherproof Lid – Standard Size for 6-12 Chickens 10 Days (20lb Feed)
$189.95

 Grandpa's Feeders have a high-quality galvanized Steel finish, built to last in the toughest outdoor conditions.

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03/17/2024 06:49 pm GMT

They require some training for your flock, but once chickens get the hang of it, these feeders can save you a lot on feed costs. The main problem with the treadle feeder is that lightweight chickens such as bantams or young standards aren’t heavy enough to lift the door. You’ll want to keep a leaf blower handy to keep the space under the treadle clear

A plastic chicken feeder sitting atop a short piece of threaded rod screwed into the bottom of the chicken feeder. - Chickenmethod.com

For space-saving solutions, hanging chicken feeders do the trick. Hanging the feeder off the ground keeps the feed clean and reduces the risk of contamination from dirt and droppings. However, it’s crucial to hang them at the right height for your birds and to keep them steady to prevent spillage.

A short piece of threaded rod screwed into the bottom of the feeder acts as an anchor to steady hanging models. This silly illustration gets the idea across.

Automatic chicken feeders are becoming increasingly popular. Depending on the model, these feeders can dispense feed at specific times or when the chickens activate them. They’re fantastic for significantly reducing wasted feed.

I’ve sifted through user reviews and expert opinions to find the most reliable feeders. While the best feeder depends on your specific context, these recommendations have consistently been praised for their durability and functionality.

ZINZINULER Automatic Port Chicken Feeder and Cup Waterer Set - Chicken Coop Accessories, No Waste Poultry Feeder, 3 Gallon/16 Pounds
$39.68

This automatic chicken feeder can hold up to 16 pounds of feed, which is especially useful for those with busy schedules who can't always be around to feed their chickens.

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03/24/2024 01:43 pm GMT

Keeping Your Chicken Feeders in Top Shape

I understand the value of maintaining a clean, disease-free coop for your flock’s well-being. Regularly cleaning your feeders is a tidy, essential practice that safeguards against disease and infection within your chicken community.

I’ll share some tips I’ve found effective for keeping feeders in excellent condition.

Designating a weekly cleaning day can make a huge difference. Emptying, scrubbing, and rinsing feeders thoroughly will prevent mold and bacteria build-up.

I’ve noticed that strategic feeder placement impacts feed cleanliness and bird health. Feeders should be placed away from perches to reduce contamination from droppings, and they should be considered sheltering to avoid spoilage from the elements.

Thorough inspections of your chicken feeders can highlight any signs of wear or damage that could result in feed spillage or injury to the birds. Repair or replace feeders as needed to ensure safety and efficiency.

Lastly, by keeping a steady eye on how much feed is being consumed, you can adjust portions to meet the needs of your flock without excessive waste. Overfeeding can lead to spillage and spoilage, but the right amount ensures your chickens are satisfied and healthy.

Thanks for stopping by.

Dave

Chickenmethod.com

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