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20 Free DIY Chicken Feeder Plans You Can Make Today (With Pictures)

Chickens drinking water by nipple

Chickens drinking water by nipple

Learning how to build a chicken feeder yourself can help cut costs. It can also be lots of fun. There are tons of different plans out there, each suitable for people with different skills, and needs. In the list below, we identify 11 different plans.

Some are quick and easy; others are intricate and rewarding. Whoever you are, you’ll find something on this list that is perfect for you.

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The 20 DIY Chicken Feeder Plans

1. Fully Automatic DIY Chicken Feeder from Lumnahacres

Awesome, Affordable, and Fully Automatic
Image Credit: Lumnahacres

This feeder from Lumnahacres is an awesome option for people that want an automatic feeder on the cheap. Using a drill, some PVC and a bucket, you can continuously feed your chickens as needed, with minimal upkeep or maintenance on your part. Best of all, assembly is quick. An experienced hand should be able to get this done in less than an hour!

2. A Wooden DIY Chicken Feeder From BackyardChickens

A Wooden Beauty Perfect for Artists From BackyardChickens
Image Credit: Backyard Chickens

This next design from BackyardChickens is a little bit more challenging. However, if you’re an experienced woodworker, you’ll be sure to relish the opportunity to build this beautiful feeder. It will take many hours, and a whole slate of tools to put together, but the finished product is beautiful. Your chickens will be sure to appreciate it!

3. PVC DIY Feeder and Waterer From Back Yard Chicken Lady

PVC Feeder and Waterer: Best for People That Need Something Extremely Easy From Back Yard Chicken Lady
Image Credit: Back Yard Chicken Lady

The Backyard Chicken Lady came up with a simple PVC feeder and waterer that can be assembled in minutes and costs only a few dollars. While it’s no statement piece like the last option we saw, it will certainly get the job done when you are in a pinch.

4. Quick and Convenient DIY Chicken Feeder From Instructables

Quick and Convenient Best for People that Want Something Easy to Use From Instructables
Image Credit: Instructables

From Instructables, we have a feeder that isn’t just easy to assemble, it’s also easy to use. This PVC based design features two holes: one on the inside of the coup, from which your chicken eats, and another on the outside, where you can easily add food. And of course, like most PVC feeders, it’s extremely affordable!

5. Repurposed Bucket DIY Chicken Feeder From Open Coop

An Effective Improvision From OpenCoup
Image Credit: Open Coop

From Open Coop, we have an option that can easily be put together using materials you almost definitely have on hand. All you need here is a 5-gallon bucket, and a couple of basic tools to make simple alterations. It’s fast, affordable, and especially good for people that want to be able to load up a lot of feed.

6. Self-Service DIY Chicken Feeder From Instructables

The Chickens Help Themselves Perfect for Keeping Other Critters Away
Image Credit: Instructables

From Instructables, we have an interesting automatic feeder that allows your chickens to access the food while keeping other critters out. To eat, chickens need only to approach the feeder. When their feet touch the platform, the top of the feeder opens.

It’s a highly effective design that will be relatively easy to put together.

7. PVC Trough From Backyard Chickens

PVC Trough The Best Trough Feeder
Image Credit: Backyard Chickens

If you want a sizable trough style feeder for a great price, this option from Backyard Chickens would be really hard to beat. With cinderblocks, some PVC and an end cap, you can have this feeder up and running in almost no time at all.

8. Automatic Feeder/Waterer From An Outdoor Life

Automatic Feeder Waterer
Image Credit: An Outdoor Life

This next design from An Outdoor Life is an affordable way to get an effective feeder or waterer. It looks good and uses an adjusted barrel for affordable, effective use.

9. The Free DIY Feeder From Bless This Mess

The Free Feeder
Image Credit: Bless This Mess

This feeder from Bless This Mess is great for the fact that most people will be able to construct it for free. Using a recycled container, such as a plastic pickle jar, and an aluminum tray you can easily put this design plan together.

10. DIY Plastic Bottle Feeder/Drinker by Likod Bahay Farm

DIY Plastic Bottle Feeder Drinker
Image Credit: Likod Bahay Farm

If you don’t have the time to build something fancy, try putting this DIY plastic bottle feeder/drinker together. As long as you have four plastic bottles and some wire, you should be done in 2–3 hours. Mark everything with a marker and cut with a rotary saw and utility knife. A soldering tool will come in handy as well, but you can heat a piece of metal and use it instead.

The idea is simple: we hang the smaller bottles from a piece of wire and cut out the lower halves of the canisters to serve as improvised bowls for the feed and water. If you’re good with a knife and soldering gun, it won’t take much effort to make some cuts on the cans, put the caps on the other side, and secure them with nuts and bolts.

11. Low-Waste, Six-Feeder DIY Plan by The Provident Prepper

Low-Waste, Six-Feeder DIY Plan
Image Credit: The Provident Prepper

Folks that have a large flock to take care of will appreciate this low-waste, six-feeder DIY plan. It’s very cheap and simple, yet it won’t let any of the food go to waste. The whole project is based around PVC pipes: straight and angled (at 45 and 90 degrees). Also, make sure you have enough scraps and caps for each pipe. Circular saws are best for making precise cuts on PVC plastic.

Overall, this DIY plan involves making six separate feeders for the birdies, but you can fine-tune it a bit to fit your flock’s needs. The important part here is to get the sizes right: do that, and the assembly will be like a walk in the park. To secure each feeder to the walls, use any straps you’ve got in the garage.

12. Automatic, Rodent-Proof Feeder by Nature’s Always Right

DIY Automatic, Rodent-Proof Feeder
Image Credit: Nature’s Always Right

Are you getting tired of having to deal with mice, rats, and other critters that steal all of your chicken food? If the answer is yes, this automatic, rodent-proof feeder deserves your attention. In many ways, this DIY plan is like the previous one. We’ll be using the same PVC pipes and angled elbows. However, this time around, we’ll be adding a new element: downspouts.

They cost next to nothing yet do a fantastic job keeping critters at bay. Thanks to the unique design, only the chicken will be able to eat the food once you install the downspouts. Some PVC glue to put the pipes together (and to prevent rainwater from ruining the feed), hanger straps to secure them to the coop walls, and you’re all set!

13. Cheap, Easy-Access Chicken Feeder by Creative ideas

Cheap, Easy-Access Chicken Feeder
Image Credit: Creative ideas

You’ll be surprised how easy it is to turn a plastic bucket into a cheap, easy-access chicken feeder! First, get your hands on a big enough bucket (or two if you have a bigger-than-average flock). Next, put a PVC pipe through the middle. For the best results, both the bucket and the pipe should have lids on. Otherwise, the feeder won’t be weather-proof.

So, how do the chickens access their food? Use an electric drill with a hole saw bit to make “openings” into the bucket—you can go with two, three, or as many as six. To smooth out the rough edges, go over the cuts with sandpaper. Finishing up, hang each bucket from the roof to make it more accessible for the birds.

14. Practical, Pro-Grade Chicken Feeder by İbrahim Yıldız

Practical, Pro-Grade Chicken Feeder
Image Credit: İbrahim Yıldız

This next project takes a lot of time, dedication, and a certain level of skills to complete. But, if you want a practical, pro-grade chicken feeder that will solve all your feeding problems, it will be worth the effort. Cutting the PVC pipes and making holes in them isn’t the hardest part here. The same goes for fitting the elbows, securing everything with support hangers, and covering the pipes with lids.

It’s the intricate work with the hinges, rivets, and compact circular saw that will keep you occupied. Therefore, don’t rush the process and go close. Pay extra attention to the guide and always have work gloves on when using the saw. Also, mark everything with a pencil before doing any cuts so that you don’t get the dimensions wrong.

15. PVC Feeder with a Wooden Roof by Simple Creator

PVC Feeder with a Wooden Roof
Image Credit: Simple Creator

PVC pipe projects are great, but they can get a bit boring. If that’s exactly how you feel, try your hand at this PVC feeder with a wooden roof. First, it looks great and adds a nice touch to the coop/farm. Secondly, the food and the birds will be protected from the rain. Another thing that makes this DIY project stand out is the design of the pipes: they resemble boots with very tall uppers.

If you hang the feeders high enough, no rodent will be able to reach the food. Once you get the pipes ready, cut out the “boots” from a couple of plastic canisters/bottles with a pair of scissors. Remove the stickers with a heat gun and attach the boots to the pipes with plastic straps. For the roof, use whatever wood you’ve got handy.

16. Large Plywood Chicken Feeder by RedneckComputerGeek

Large Plywood Chicken Feeder
Image Credit: RedneckComputerGeek

Plywood is among the cheapest yet most reliable materials out there. And you probably have some lying around in the garage. That’s what makes this large plywood chicken feeder a great project for the weekend. It’s affordable, straightforward, and will last for many years. A pencil to mark out the lines, a circular saw to cut the wood, and a brad nailer to put the feeder together—that’s all you need to get started.

And you don’t have to be surgical with the cuts; just make sure they’re straight enough. But before firing up the nailer, it would be best to glue the plywood sheets. Finishing up, attach the cover with a hinge and paint it (this is optional). The screws will probably stick out, but a die grinder will make short work of that.

17. Chicken Feeder/Drinker with a Crate Home by Creative Project

Chicken Feeder Drinker with a Crate Home
Image Credit: Creative Project

Plastic leftovers can have a second life if you put some effort into this DIY project. This time, you don’t have to hang the bottles from the roof. Instead, cut out the lower halves of the larger containers and use a cement–sand mix to hold the smaller bottles in place. Some metal rods will help with that. The second part of this chicken feeder/drinker with a crate home plan is the improvised tray home for the birds. In total, you’ll need three crates.

Cut them with a circular saw and put two trays on top of each other, using the third one as the feeding area. To make it look like a real home, grab a polystyrene sheet, cut it into the shape of a roof, and attach it to the plastic crates.

18. Makeshift Trash Can Chicken Feeder by Simplify Gardening

DIY Makeshift Trash Can Chicken Feeder
Image Credit: Simplify Gardening

Don’t have any pipes and bottles to turn into a DIY project? No worries, you can always build a makeshift trash can chicken feeder. Just like the name suggests, we’ll be using a garbage can/dustbin for it. And, as with most DIY feeders, there are no strict requirements for the size or shape here. Find an average-size pipe, put it inside the bin, and secure it with nuts and bolts. The holes can be cut out with a saw or a knife.

If you’re up for it, find a cone-shaped lid and put it at the bottom. That way, no feed will be stuck in the middle. A couple of bricks to keep the feeder elevated will be useful as well.

19. Wooden Feeder with Steel Mesh by Freddy Farm

DIY Wooden Feeder with Steel Mesh
Image Credit: Freddy Farm

A simple, easy-to-build DIY project can be incredibly efficient, and this wooden feeder with steel mesh is a great example of that. You don’t have to stack up on any pipes or bottles. Some wood boards and a wire mesh will be enough. The cheaper the wood, the better: if you have some pallets to use, put them to work. Go for a long, rectangular “box” with no lid. Next, cover it with a steel mesh. Secure it to the wood with a staple gun and cut the excess mesh with a cutter.

20. Low-Effort PVC Chicken Drinker by Life in a nutshell 人生一瞥

Low-Effort PVC Chicken Drinker
Image Credit: Life in a nutshell 人生一瞥

So far, we’ve been mostly covering feeders, but how about a low-effort PVC chicken drinker? We bet you have some leftover PVC pipes from a previous project. Besides, this project can always be turned into a feeder. In any case, order some fittings and caps and attach them to the pipes. To secure the drinker to a steel mesh fence, you’ll need some iron wire. Or go with brackets instead. To make it easier for the birds to get their food, put a couple of bricks right next to the drinker.

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The feeders featured on this list are all affordable, and many can be assembled quickly with materials already on hand. As you contemplate which design will be right for you, remember that it might be advantageous to construct several over time. As your coop expands, new solutions may be necessary, so feel free to come back often and try out new things! We hope you enjoyed learning how to build a chicken feeder of your own that both you and your chickens can enjoy for years to come.

Featured Image Credit: MD_style, Shutterstock


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