Last week I noticed that the chickens were starting to eat and drink their starter containers dry. I realized that they needed larger receptacles to hold the food and water (or else I was going to have to fill them more than once a day). Initially I was going to buy them from the feed store, but after some research I decided to make my own.
Making a homemade chicken feeder and waterer is quite simple. The parts I used are as follows:
2 gallon bucket (bought at Home Depot)
Lid for the 2 gallon bucket
12 plastic plant saucer
Plastic bucket slightly smaller than 2 gallons (we had one that was part of a gift)
12 inch plant saucer
1/4 inch bit
1 inch bit
Building the feeder:
1. Attach the 1 inch bit to the drill (as shown in photo above)
2. Drill 6-8 evenly spaced holes along the bottom edge of the bucket. The bottom of the holes should be about 1/2 inch up from the bottom of the bucket.
3. Place the bucket in the saucer and fill with food. The food will spill out of the holes using gravity.
4. Place the lid on the top of the bucket to keep the food clean.
This feeder is easily filled by removing the lid and adding more food. I have found it useful that the plant saucer is not attached because it allows me to shake the last bit of food out of the bucket into the saucer. This reduces waste.
2. Place the bucket upside down into the saucer (see photo below)
3. Mark 2 spots on the bucket that are lower than the edge of the saucer
4. Remove the bucket
5. The marks should be on the top edge of the bucket, near the open end
6. Drill 2 holes where marked
7. Fill with water and put the saucer on top
8. Holding the bucket and saucer together, quickly flip the waterer over. The water will slowly start flowing out of the holes and fill the saucer up to the level of the holes due to the vacuum created inside the bucket.
Since making the new feeder and waterer, the intervals of feeding and watering are longer now. The food will last about a week with 4 chickens. The water lasts about 5 days.
This is just one way to create a homemade feeder and waterer. If you would like to share your ideas and experiences, please leave a comment below for others to see.