Avian Aqua Miser: Automatic, poop-free chicken waterers

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Homemade automatic chicken feeder

Automatic chicken feeder

Chicken bucket waterer A week ago, Mark and I went to visit Missy and Everett from Living a Simple Life.  They kindly took us on a tour of their new homestead, and we snapped a lot of photos of their automatic chicken feeder.

Their turkey and chickens run free most of the time, but now and then Everett and Missy like to leave home and shut the flock in to protect them from predators.  They installed two of our chicken bucket waterers to keep the poultry hydrated, then constructed their own automatic chicken feeder so the birds will never go hungry.

The feeder is simply a collection of sections of PVC pipe and elbows that allows chicken feed to fall by gravity into a trough at the bottom.  If you fill up the entire pipe with feed, you can go out of town for several days without worrying about your flock.

In the turkey pen, Everett has a slightly different setup --- he placed an elbow on the bottom of the vertical pipe so that the turkey can stick in her long neck and peck up the feed.  However, when Mama Turkey hatched out a chicken baby, the new chick just wasn't big enough to poke its head in the elbow and find the food.  Instead, Everett turned the elbow downwards.  So that side of the coop no longer has an automatic feeder, but it does have a handy shoot through which Everett can drop cups of feed without having to walk into the turkey's pen.

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This is over a year old now, how does the feeder work? Any complaints or redesign work gone into it?
Comment by Heath Tuesday night, November 29th, 2011
This isn't actually our feeder, but it seems to work well for our friend. I've seen several similar feeders online, and might make one for our coops to keep the flock's food handy during trips. (For day to day, I'm a huge believer in giving chickens just what they need once or twice a day rather than offering them free choice food. That way, they have an incentive to forage for food and don't overeat on the storebought stuff.)
Comment by anna Friday evening, December 9th, 2011

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