In Preparedness Tips

Chickens eatingNowadays, people are becoming more interested in knowing the source of the food they eat. This is the reason for the growing trend of raising backyard chickens. This can be an incredibly rewarding experience as well as an excellent way to teach children about agriculture, nature, and the responsibility of caring for animals.

Chicken breeds come in many varieties, which are developed mostly for meat production and egg production.  While there are many breeds that can adapt to a backyard setting, there are certain ones that are better than others for backyard conditions. For cold winters, medium to large breeds are ideal. Some popular backyard chicken breeds include:

  • Rhode Island Red
  • Ameraucana
  • Wyandotte
  • Orpington

 

Top DIY Chicken Feeders and Waterers

Here are some great ways to make your own chicken feeders and waterers.

 

Feeders

DIY PVC Feeder:

This is a salient DIY project for backyard chicken keepers. This PVC feeder can hold about 10lbs of chicken feed, although this depends on how long the vertical tube is. It also has two feeders with a 22-degree bend so that your chickens do not accidentally scoop out more food than they can eat.

You will need:

  • 5’ length of white PVC pipe – 1
  • “T” – 1
  • 90-degree elbows – 2
  • Cap – 1
  • PVC cement

How to Assemble

  • First, cut off two 3”-long pieces of the 5’ pipe. You need them to join the elbow to the “T”.
  • Apply the PVC cement into one of the T’s side holes and place one of the cut pipes into the holes as quickly as you can. It is important to work fast as the cement becomes solid almost instantly. Once you are done, repeat the process for the other side.
  • Dry-fit the elbows into the stubs of the 3” inch pipes. This means that you should not cement it yet. Turn the elbows in a slightly forward (roughly 22-degrees forward) and upward position.
  • Take a black marker or sharpie and make a line on the pieces of elbow and directly across to the T’s joining part. This will make it easy for you to get the right angle when the time comes to actually glue the parts together in the next step.
  • Now glue the pieces in the step above with the PVC cement.
  • Glue the long pipe in the T’s top hole.
  • Pick the place where you want to install your feeder and strap in 2 or more places. This will hold it up at the level you want and also give the tall tube support so that it does not move. Make sure that you leave enough room at the top for refilling. Also, make sure that the feed bowls are not higher than the height of your shortest chicken’s chest.
  • Now all you have to do is fill the tube with your chicken feed and put the cap on.

 

Easy DIY PVC Feeder

If you are tired of wasted chicken feed, this is the feeder for you. It is easy, quick and really inexpensive to make.

You will need:

  • 1 irrigation tubing or high-grade PVC pipe. Get it cut to the exact length that will fit the location of your feeder. For the feed, you can use a 3” or 4” wide pipe. For the oyster shell, you can use a smaller one. Keep in mind that various sizes will work.
  • 1 PVC pipe cap to use for the top.
  • 1 high corner litter pan
  • 1 piece of scrap wood
  • 3 screws
  • 3 washers
  • Extra-long zip ties
  • 1 drill

How to Assemble

  • First, drill 4 holes – 2 on each side so that they align with the holes in the stud.
  • Then drill 2 holes through the studs at measured increments so that they mirror the holes in the pipe.
  • Mark where you will mount the feed dish. Note that the pipe should sit roughly ¼” to ½” above the feed dish’s bottom. If you place the dish too close to the bottom of the pipe, the feed will not be able to flow out into the dish.
  • Next, secure the scrap wood to the stud with the screws and washers.

For the grit dispenser or oyster shell:

  • Pre-drill 1 hole in the PVC cap. Make sure that the cap is 2 inches wider than the pipe.
  • Tightly secure the cap to the stud with a screw and washer.

For a feeder with a high corner litter pan:

  • Pre-drill 2 holes in the litter pan’s back where it will mount to the stud. Space them in such a way that the washers are aligned one above the other.
  • Use screws and washers so the corner litter pan is secured to the stud.

Now, take the zip ties and thread one through the 2 holes that you previously drilled in the pipe as well as the 2 holes in the stud, securing the zip tie to itself. Repeat the process for the pipe and stud’s second set of holes.

 

Waterers

Here is a concrete and clever idea to make a chicken waterer with PVC.

You will need:

  • 48 inches PVC sewer pipe
  • 4-inch cap end – 1
  • 4-inch female adapter – 1
  • 4-inch threaded cap – 1
  • Beakup – 1
  • PVC solvent
  • Silicone sealant

How to Assemble

  • Seal the cap to the PVC pipe bottom with the PVC solvent.
  • Drill a hole of 3/8 inches through the pipe and the cap.
  • Apply the silicone sealant to the threads on the beakup.
  • The next step is to insert the beakup into the hole you drilled through the pipe and cap. Let it set, depending on the sealant’s drying time.
  • Now place the female adapter to the PVC pipe’s top.
  • Add water and place the threaded cap on top.

You need to mount this chicken waterer so that the cap sits roughly as high as your smallest chicken’s back according to the direction. There you have it! A tremendous chicken waterer that you made with a few inexpensive items that are easily available.

 

Chicken Nipple Waterer

This is a simple chicken waterer that you can make with a 3 to 5-gallon plastic bucket and a few other items. Easy to make, this is a prolific DIY project if you keep backyard chickens.

You will need:

  • 3 to 5-gallon plastic bucket with lid
  • Push-style chicken nipples with grommets
  • 11/32 inch drill bit drill
  • Pliers

How to Assemble

  • Drill 3 holes with the drill bit, drill on the bottom of your plastic bucket
  • Wipe away all plastic residues.
  • Next, take your grommets and dip them in water.
  • Push the grommets into the holes you drilled. Push hard – it will take a bit of hard work.
  • Next, wet the chicken nipples and push them through the grommet holes. Use the pliers to make the job easier.
  • Now fill the bucket with water to make sure everything is working. When you push on the chicken nipples, there will be droplets of water coming out.
  • Hang the bucket inside your chicken coop and put the lid on.

All you have to do is show your chickens that they can get water from the nipples and they will learn how to use their new waterer in no time.

As you can see, making your own chicken feeders and waterers is pretty simple. If you have chickens in your backyard, start a DIY project with your kids. You get to have fun and learn to make something useful. Plus, you will save a lot of money and your chickens will be clucking with joy at their new feeder and waterer.


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Benjamin Roussey
Benjamin Roussey is from Sacramento, CA. He has two master’s degrees and served four years in the US Navy. His bachelor’s degree is from CSUS (1999) where he was on a baseball pitching scholarship. He has an MBA in Global Management from the Univ. of Phoenix (2006) where he attributes his writing prowess. He has worked everywhere from small businesses to large corporations, and also for public agencies. He has lived in Korea and Saudi Arabia where he was an ESL instructor. He misses Saudi food and living in Korea. Benjamin has a tremendous work ethic and is quite focused. Now he writes professionally for several clients that covers one sector of our economy to another. Currently he lives in the Phoenix area after living in Cabo San Lucas, MX for 3 years. He enjoys sports, movies, reading, and current events when he is not working online.

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