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Ideas for Inexpensive Chicken Feeders

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If you’re reading this article, chances are that you are wanting to save a few bucks on your chicken feeder supplies. Well I have a solution that I use that is very practical and effective. Depending on the size of you flock, you can either use one or two buckets when making your chicken feeder. I will be describing how to make both the larger and smaller chicken feeders in this article. Here are the items you’ll need: two 5 gallon buckets, a 20 inch planter base, about 4 – 6 wood screws 2 inches long, 4 wood screws about 1 inch long, and some caulk or glue. That’s it!

Start by placing one of the buckets inside of the planter base, measuring it around the edges to ensure it’s centered properly. Then hold the bucket in place and trace around the perimeter of the bucket. Remove the bucket and put some glue or caulking on the bottom of the bucket and then place it back inside the mark you made in the bottom of the planter base. Once placed inside the traced ring of your planter base, gently push down on the bucket so the caulking will stick well to the planter base. Then carefully flip the bucket top side down and screw around four 1 inch screws around the bottom of the planter base so that it secures the bucket to it. Make sure not to place your screws too far to the outside or you might miss the bottom of the bucket. I estimate that you can start placing screws around 4 inches from the outside of the planter base.

There you have it! A nice 5 gallon bucket feeder!

But why stop there? Why not add another bucket on top to double the amount of feed you can pour in? To do this, cut out the bottom of the other 5 gallon bucket. Then position it inside the other bucket so that the bottom of it is about 2-3 inches from the top of the other bucket. There will be a gap of about 1/2 inch. However, even with this gap it can still be screwed into the bottom bucket. This is the tricky part but it can be done! Measure down from the top of the bottom bucket (the one already attached to the planter base) about 2-3 inches. Mark along the whole perimeter of the inside of the this bucket. Use that mark as a guide for where to place the bottom of the upper bucket. Then, while holding the bucket begin carefully screwing the buckets together. This is done by taking the longer screws (2 inches long) and screwing into the outside of the bottom bucket. As the screw penetrates through the bucket and into the inside bucket it will pull the inside bucket tight. After you get one screw in, place another screw directly across from the first, making sure it is level with the marked line. Then place at least 2 to 4 more screws at various points around the perimeter to secure it in place. OK, you’re done! Congratulations!

Other tips: I used wood screws in mine because they worked well to drill into the plastic without needing to pre-drill. I can hold a 50 gallon bag of chicken feed in this larger feeder, which works great for a larger flock. You can get buckets for free at your local grocery store bakery! Or, you can also find them used at places that sell used or repurposed building materials. Planter bases can be found at any larger box store like Walmart or Target etc. You can also find them at your local garden center. I would suggest using some inexpensive caulking from Home Depot, Lowes, or hardware store. It costs about $2.50 for a tube. Regular glue can be used as well, but it won’t adhere as well as caulking. On one of my feeders I didn’t use any caulking or glue and simply screwed the planter base onto the bottom of the bucket. This feeder is holding up just fine, so the choice is yours to use adhesive or not. However, it may help a to use glue or caulking to hold the planter base more firmly in place while screwing it into the bucket. Otherwise, it may slip off-center while screwing it in, and make for crooked placement in the planter base.

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