Chicken feeders and waterers enable you to provide the food and water that your flock of chickens needs as well as minimize the number of times you have to fill bowls and provide food. They should be easy to use and safe and easy for the chicks to eat and drink from.
DIY waterers and feeders tend to be made from PVC pipes because these enable the free flow of seed and water. Other products are made from PVC buckets or a combination of these items to give effective feeders.
Below are 14 of the best DIY plans that enable you to provide food and water for your chickens without having to shell out a fortune on commercial products.
1. DIY PVC Chicken Watering System
This PVC chicken waterer has four water outlets and is made from resistant and durable PVC. It is designed to prevent water from spilling all over the coop.
The plans also include a wooden shelf that will make it easier to access the pipe, in case of cleaning and for any repairs that might be needed.
PVC is a popular material because it connects easily, can be combined with wooden shelves and other wooden elements, and is robust despite being lightweight. It is also inexpensive and easy to work with.
2. DIY Chicken Waterer
This DIY chicken waterer is a really simple but very effective design. It relies on a 5-gallon hanging bucket, complete with poultry nipples, or drippers. You need one dripper for every three mouths.
You can also add an access cap to the top of the bucket. This makes it easier to fill and refill the bucket, and although the plans describe it as being optional, it does make your life much easier when it is time to refill.
Once finished, the waterer can be hung from the roof of the coop, from a fence, or a tree branch.
3. Homemade Chick Waterer
Chicks need waterers, too, and rather than a giant 5-gallon bucket with drippers, they will benefit from a tray or bowl-style design.
The waterer uses reused plastic materials like plastic bottles and suggests the use of yogurt tubs. Ensure that everything is washed properly before putting it together.
The waterer has a hole at the bottom of the jug. It will fill the tray with water until it reaches the hole and then stops. As the chicks drink, more water is passed from the bottle into the bowl and the chicks have constant access to a fresh water supply.
4. DIY Chicken Feeder and Waterer
This is a similar design but rather than only offer water, it includes the features of an automatic feeder too. It is made from plastic buckets. It is a gravity-fed bowl, which means that the food section will fill up as your chicks eat their seed.
5. DIY No-Waste Feeder
This DIY feeder is made from a large clear plastic box and uses PVC plumbing joints. The clear bucket means that you can see when it is getting empty and needs refilling, but you can use any container that you have access to.
Chickens are notoriously wasteful eaters. They will peck at a few bits and scatter the rest around the floor. One of the methods used to prevent this is to only refill food containers once empty. A no-waste feeder prevents food from being scattered on the floor and only refills once it is empty.
6. Do It Yourself PVC Chicken Feeders
The Do-It-Yourself PVC Chicken Feeder relies on nothing more than gravity and curved PVC pipes. The tops of the pipes are easily opened so that you can refill them with food, and because the chickens have to bow their head into the pipe to get at their food, they won’t scatter everything on the floor before eating.
7. Chicknic Table
The brilliantly named Chicknic Table is made from wood and is a simple design. Food is simply placed on top of the table, where your chickens can eat it at will. This type of design is best for more reserved eaters because it encourages the firing of food on the floor otherwise.
8. Chicken and Duck Feeder
One 5-gallon bucket and three PVC elbows are used to make this chicken and duck feeder. It is larger than the typical automatic feeder, which means that you can fill it with more seed and won’t need to fill it as often.
There are some fiddly elements to this design. For example, the holes for the PVC elbows are heated using a torch, so that the elbows fit snugly. However, once made, the chicken and duck feeder is very easy to use. Remove the lid, fill with seed, and your birds can eat as much as they want.
9. DIY Chicken Feeder From 5-Gallon Bucket
For this design, you need two 5-gallon buckets. You can either clean and use existing buckets or buy all-purpose buckets. The plan also uses foil roasting tins, which cost a few dollars from your local store. You can save yourself $50 using this design, and the feeders are easy to make.
10. Chicken Feeders
The chicken feeders on this page are actually kits bought through Amazon, but if you have the plastic buckets and PVC pipes, you can easily make the design yourself. You can use up to a 32-gallon bucket, which is enough to provide feed for dozens of fowl and has eight feeding ports.
The design eliminates waste and ensures that your chickens are not left with empty bowls, as long as you keep the bucket topped up.
11. DIY Chicken Feeder
Commercially bought chicken feeders consist of a hard tray with a plastic bucket fixed to the top and feeder holes in the bottom. They can cost anywhere from $30 upwards, and if you have a large flock of birds, the costs can soon add up. Instead of parting with all that money, you can make your own for a fraction of the cost.
This design uses a bucket from Home Depot, connected to a hard tray, and with holes cut around the base to allow the seed to fall through.
12. DIY Chicken Feeder Pipe
Although the bucket design is popular, the PVC pipe design is also a good option. DIY pipe feeders designed for multiple birds usually consist of multiple pipes, but this one has a single pipe but with multiple holes along the horizontal pipe section. It is attached to the corner of a fence and then runs across the ground. It is satisfyingly tidy and it is more compact than a lot of the alternative DIY pipe feeders.
13. Waste Free Chicken Feeder and Waterer
This pipe feeder has a single downpipe but two separate feeding troughs. Because it prevents food from being thrown on the floor, it not only saves you money buying food that goes to waste, but it also means that your chickens will never go hungry.
14. PVC Chicken Feeder
This PVC chicken feeder looks like a pipe organ, with four downpipes, each with its own feeder chute. It is a simple design, attaches to a wooden fence or building exteriors and it costs very little to make and install.
DIY Chicken Feeders
Chickens are messy eaters and they create a lot of waste in the food and seed that they flick onto the ground around their bowl. Shop-bought solutions can cost $30 and more, but with a few basic tools and provisions like a plastic bucket or PVC pipes, you can create your own at a fraction of the cost. Plus, you can customize the design so that it better fits the size of your flock and the design of their coop.
Keep your creativity going with these other DIY chicken projects:
Featured Image Credit: Alan Goodwin Photo, Shutterstock
Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts’ knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.