DIY Chicken Feeders

posted in: Chicken CSA | 0

While researching chicken feeders I decided we needed ones that were trough style and were 48 in to 60 in long. I found a great place that were selling for a reasonable price. My only hangup was the cost of shipping them was almost as much as the feeders themselves. After doing a little more research I decided to try my hand at building them myself. They are very reminiscent of my grandfather's old tool boxes.

 

This materials list and instructions make two 4 ft trough-style chicken feeders.

Materials Needed Quantity Price Total
1x2x8 Furring Strip 1 $0.86 $0.86
1x4x8 Furring Strip 2 $1.86 $3.72
1x6x12 Whitewood Board 1 $15.64 $15.64
1-lb #6 x 1.625-in (1-5/8 in) Screws 1 $8.47 $8.47
      $28.69

 

I am going to assume you already have at least: 1 drill, drill bits (check out the table below for sizes), Phillips Head #2 bits, 2 clamps (one needs to be 5-6 ft long or a helper), a compound miter saw or handsaw and a table or sawhorses. You may need a table saw if you modify the plans.

 

Measure and cut the 1x2x8’s and 1x4x8’s in half lengthwise (this makes 4 sides and 2 handles).

Measure and cut two 4 ft pieces off the 1x6x12 (this makes two bottoms).

Measure and cut four 8-1/2 in pieces off the remaining amount of 1x6 (this makes 4 ends).

 

Make sure you use the drill bit to pilot all the holes or the boards will likely split. This will require a lot of switching back and forth between the drill bit and phillips screw bit unless you have a second drill, but is worth the extra effort. Also, don’t forget to lower the torque on the drill when putting the screws in or the boards could split. This is a softwood and I suggest lowering the torque most of the way down. If the screw doesn’t sink flush, adjust the torque up until it goes flush with the board.

 

Take the two 1x4x4’s and secure them to the top edge of the 1x6 with the clamp. Pilot the holes and secure the 1x4’s.

 

If you want your end pieces beveled. Take an end piece and put up against the end of the feeder. Mark where the outside edges touch the 1x4. I beveled the end pieces at 20 degrees, on a compound miter saw. Go ahead and attach the end pieces. You might need a hand holding it in place unless you have some really long clamps.

 

Take the 1x2x4 (your handle) and dry fit it to the feeder. You want the width vertical for strength. You might need to take a little off the length. You want to attach the handle with two screws on each end to keep it from rotating. Pilot one hole, attach with a screw, then the other end. A clamp to keep it in place might be handy. Pilot the second hole on that side, attach with screw and do the same on the other end.

 

Now you have finished your first DIY trough style chicken feeder.

 

Variations:

  • If you needed a stronger handle you could take a 2x4x4 and rip it in half making two 2x2x4’s
  • Length, these feeders are 4 ft long but you could just as easily make them shorter or longer depending on your needs

 

Tips:

  • You might consider using a nontoxic sealant on the wood such as: salad bowl varnish or mineral oil
  • Make sure you keep the drill bit level when piloting
  • Don’t wallow out the hole when piloting
  • What drill bit size to use for different screw sizes:

 

Wood Screw Pilot Hole Sizes
Screw Size Body Dia. Shank Pilot Hole Pilot Hole In Softwood Pilot Hole In Hardwood
#6 0.138 9/64 1/16 5/64
#8 0.164 11/64 5/64 3/32

Courtisy of: http://www.engineershandbook.com/Tables/woodscrewpilotholes.htm

 

Warning:

  • I would not use pressure treated because the feed will be in contact with the wood.
  • Safety First: you will be using saws and other sharp tools. Don’t cut your finger off.

 

 

Chicken Feeder 1

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