The best feeders and drinkers for backyard chickens (2023)

Updated December 6, 2022

When life gets busy, chicken feeders are a great solution.

I've road tested (and spent a lot of money!) most automatic or freestanding feeders on the market today. Some were great investments, others a disappointing waste of money.

I don't want you to choose a bottom feeder that will clog, won't open, or end up in the trash next year!

Even free-range chickens need to receive the nutritional benefits of the feed to maintain a balanced diet.

Whether you're new to backyard chicken farming or you're a chicken egg raiser, finding the best chicken feeder is no easy task. With so many options on the market, we know you're wondering, "What are the best chicken feeders money can buy?"

Chicken feeders are a great solution, especially if you're short on time. They can also save you hundreds of dollars by reducing food waste and deterring rodents.

But not all chicken eaters are created equal.

Don't worry, mommy and daddy chickens; We show you how it worksAvoid these mistakes when choosing a chicken feeder.

Choosing a style and type of chicken feed

The best feeders and drinkers for backyard chickens (1)

The style and type of chicken feeder you choose will depend on:

  • What kind of feed do you feed your chickens: pellets, grain or crushed wet grain?
  • Your backyard chicken coop and yard layout: where does the feeder go, inside or outside the chicken coop?
  • Is your area safe for wild birds? If not, a pedal feeder is the best chicken feeder to keep wild birds away.

    What is the best chicken feeder?

    When it comes to chook feeders, there are four popular options:

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    1. Feed hoods made of plastic or stainless steel. Also known as suspended chicken feeders because they are usually suspended from the ceiling.
    2. PVC Tube Feeders - These can be purchased from the store, such as those from Royal Rooster or Dine-A-Chook, or you can make your own
    3. Homemade feed for chickens. There are many designs out there. he enchants methis draftGoodlife Permaculture adapted fromthis draft. You can also use a simple bathtub, an old heavy frying pan (not rusty) or a humble ice bucket.
    4. Chicken feeders, also known as chicken feeders.

    Let's see the pros and cons of each.

    I think for chickens to hang

    The best feeders and drinkers for backyard chickens (2)

    Bell-shaped hanging feeders made of plastic or stainless steel are designed for concealed use. Hang your chicken feeder to deter mice and rats. What is the best height for the chicken feeder? Hang it from the ceiling so the feeding height matches the back height of your smallest chicken.


    These chicken feeders work well with pelleted feed and are inexpensive.


    If you feed a grain mix, your chickens will "pick" their favorite grains and drop what they don't want on the floor. This can become a haven for rodents. The design is not suitable for wet chicken feed.

    chicken feeders with pvc pipes


    A PVC chicken feeder for backyard chickens minimizes waste and the sleek design works well in small spaces. You can find great chicken coop building techniques on YouTube. In my experience, it's an art to make PVC pipe flow easily and keep the chickens from throwing the grain everywhere. Moneyjantar-a-chookoroyal rooster.


    If the feed outlet gets wet, the chicks feed will be clogged and clogged.

    Homemade chicken feed

    The best feeders and drinkers for backyard chickens (3)


    What to use for a chicken feeder? If you're not ready to invest in a chicken feeder, go ahead and do it! Here are so many you can use.a simple bathtub, a heavy old frying pan (not rusty) or a humble ice chest.

    They are great options for younger pullets or for feeding them wet feed every day.

    and youAs well as the challenge of making something from scratch, why not build your own chicken feeder?There are so many projects that use tubes, pulleys, boats, hubs and other innovative parts. he enchants methis draftGoodlife Permaculture adapted fromthis draft.


    Although it is not automatic, there is nothing wrong with feeding it from simple containers if the installation is resistant to weather and rodents. BUT, it will be a matter of minutes before the bored chickens try to get into the bin and start scraping food all over the floor! So fill in only how much you eat in a day and replenish every day.

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    chicken feeder

    Also known as a chicken feeder or chicken feeder.

    Pedal feeders are great, but they vary A LOT in quality and design. Pedal feeders are an investment, but they pay for themselves in less food waste. By the time the chicken steps onto the step, the feed is safe and covered.


    Depending on the design, this type of feeder wastes less feed. They're also a huge time saver, assuming you don't get a shoddy version! Look for a pedal feeder with a grid over the grain section or a calibrated design that prevents chickens from throwing grain everywhere.


    Automatic chicken feeders are expensive. How much does chicken feed cost? Expect to pay around $195-$250. Beware of some low quality imported models priced around $100-200. Unfortunately, the price does not equal the quality of pedal feeders.

    Here are some of the issues I've personally experienced with inferior models:

    • Not all designs are weather resistant.
    • Some (expensive) models lose power everywhere because they are not calibrated
    • The mechanism used to connect the pedal and feeder broke when excited chickens jumped on it.
    • Lid does not close 100% or is stuck
    • A large model was often blown away by the wind, even with an inner lining.
    • The step or pedal of some brands may jam and bind if not placed on a flat surface

    Yes, I spent a lot of money on feeders that don't work. Don't make the same mistakes! Now let's answer the question: "what is the best feeder for chickens?"

    Australia's best chicken feeders

    The best feeders and drinkers for backyard chickens (4)

    If you are considering an automatic feeder for your backyard chickens, the two brands I trust and recommend (I am not affiliated with either brand) are:

    The scratch resistant grid chicken feeder

    I love these chook feeders!

    They are locally made and sustainably packaged by Pete & Kerrie Kruger of Meredith in rural Victoria, Australia. They craft amazing metal and pewter heirlooms that will last a lifetime.Pete has perfected chicken feeder design over the past 15 years.

    They feature a slanted lid (to keep birds from landing on it!), a metal grille to keep birds from spilling beans, and a creative, calibrated interior design to reduce waste.

    It is exceptionally well designed and crafted. With a 100% satisfaction guarantee, the investment is worth it.

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    grandpa feeder

    These chicken coop feeders are also a great design. It may have a flat top, but it comes with a 24-month money-back guarantee and 100% satisfaction.

    An important detail: the metal mesh prevents the birds from cutting the food.

    How to properly use chicken feeders

    For best results, place your pedal feeder on a large concrete deck (or two) in a location protected from the rain.

    If your hens are of laying age or are roosters, remember that a pedal feeder will need to be calibrated so that their weight can actually open it up to access the feed.

    Teach your chickens to use an automatic feeder

    The best feeders and drinkers for backyard chickens (5)

    It usually takes about a week to teach your chickens to use a treadle machine.

    This requires you to leave the tray open while your chickens become familiar with the feed, about 7-10 days. Then, once one of them masters it, the others will follow.

    common questions

    How to feed chickens with kitchen scraps?

    If you are feeding kitchen scraps, throw them in the pen and let your chickens pick and choose. Depending on the waste and its waste, it should compost without problems. If you find that not all kitchen scraps are eaten and this attracts rodents, offer the scraps in an old, heavy crock pot. Then just remove what they don't eat and put it in a compost.

    Does a chicken feeder go in or out of the chicken coop?

    Any. The main priority is to keep the grain or pellets completely dry and free from the elements and rodents.

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    How can I prevent chickens from littering feed and water?

    Scratching is what chickens do! I would recommend increasing the height of the feeders and drinkers. I use one or two large slipform pavers stacked under my feeders. This helps a lot!

    How tall should my feeder be?

    When hanging the chicken feeder, the height of the feeder should match the rear height of the smallest chicken.

    What is the best chick feeder??

    For the first 5 days I feed my newborn pups in a shallow bowl that is shallow enough that they don't get stuck when empty. After that I use a small 3 kg plastic bell-shaped feeder.

    Thanks for reading.

    You are now equipped with the tools to do just that.Avoid these mistakes when choosing a chicken feeder. So choose the style and type for your backyard chickens and get started!

    Want to know which is the best chicken feed? visit my blogHere.

    I would love to know what your favorite chicken food is and why.Dleave a comment below, youIrritates meInstagramoFacebook, or send me an email

    Do you want your chickens to be as healthy and happy as possible? I offer gardenchicken workshops,online program,telephone counseling, Ypersonal carefor families, schools and free-range egg breeders. visit myOnline storefor natural and tested poultry feed in Australia.

    Get my free guide,Now!

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    Elise McNamara, consultant and chicken educator.


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