How to Build a Trough Deer Feeder

Updated February 21, 2017

Hunters are always thinking of new ways to draw in big trophy bucks, and one of the most successful methods is feeding. Deer are intelligent animals that will return to a particular spot over and over if there is a consistent source of food. Store-bought deer feeders are expensive, although you can build a trough feeder at home that can feed multiple deer for a small cost.

Rest the plastic barrel horizontally on the ground, and cut away the top 1/3 of the barrel. This turns the barrel into a long trough that can feed multiple deer at the same time.

Use the drill to put approximately 30 holes through the trough’s bottom. Space the holes as evenly over the trough as possible to let water drain in the event of a rainstorm.

Cut 4 3/4-inch wide slots vertically through one end of the each piece of pipe. Make every slot 8 inches long so the deer feed can fall into the trough as soon as the deer eat the existing feed.

Space the three PVC pipe sections cut-end down evenly inside the trough, and drill one hole on the right and left sides of each pipe. Slide a length of wire through each hole and wire the pipes to the trough to hold them in place.

Find a small stand of trees on your land, and affix the trough to one of the trees. Wrap a long piece of wire around the middle PVC pipe and the tree, cutting any leftover wire with the wire cutters.

Cover the bottom of the trough with deer feed, and fill each pipe to the top with fresh feed. Check the pipes two or three times a week, refilling as necessary.


Don’t let pets chase deer. Deer startle easily and may refuse to come back to the feeder if they are frightened.

Things You'll Need

  • 3 sections PVC pipe, 36 inches long and 3 inches in diameter
  • 55-gallon plastic barrel
  • Saw
  • Drill
  • Wire
  • Wire cutters
  • Deer feed
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About the Author

Louise Lawson has been a published author and editor for more than 10 years. Lawson specializes in pet and food-related articles, utilizing her 15 years as a sous chef and as a dog breeder, handler and trainer to produce pieces for online and print publications.