Chickens are messy eaters. They often scratch their expensive food onto the floor of the coop where it gets walked on -- an expensive waste and a health hazard. Access to clean food is essential to the health of chickens and other poultry. Water intake is even more important. Without it, hens will stop laying and chicks' growth will be stunted. A solution to prevent contamination of food and water is converting two buckets into a 40-pound feeder and a 5-gallon waterer.
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Two 5 gallon buckets with tight-fitting lids
- ½-inch drill bit
- Hog pan
- 2 cement blocks
- 1-inch hole saw or spade bit
- Nut and bolt
- Two washers
- Chain or rope
Drill a hole in the top of the bucket approximately 2 inches from the rim.
Clear all plastic debris from the hole.
Plug the hole in the bucket with the cork. Fill with water and replace the lid.
Place two cement blocks in a corner of the coop that is easily accessible to the door. Place the hog pan on the blocks so the weight is equally balanced between the two.
Flip the bucket over and set it inside the hog pan. Remove the cork once the bucket is in place. The water will rise as high as the level of the hole. Water will automatically be replaced as the hens drink.
Drill several 1-inch holes around the base of the bucket approximately 1 inch up from the bottom.
Drill a hole through the middle of the bucket bottom and a hole in the centre of the planter base.
Bolt the bucket to the plastic planter base using the washers to prevent the bolt from pulling through the bucket.
Fill the bucket with feed and secure the lid.
Suspend the bucket inside the coop.
Tips and warnings
- The 5-gallon buckets will hold enough food or water to last several days. Consider making two of each. This will allow the feeders to be switched out for thorough cleaning or will allow worry-free weekend trips, knowing the chickens will have enough food and water. Some supermarket bake shops give away the buckets that icing comes in. Others sell them for a nominal fee.
- To limit how much the chickens will from perch on the top of the buckets, the lip of the feeder and waterer should be suspended to the same level as the chickens' backs.
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