So you’ve gone and bought your feathered little friends and got them settled into a beautiful new coop. Now you are going to have to feed them. What better way to start than reading our best chicken feeder review and buyers guide?
We will look at some of the popular feeders on the market and the different types available. Choosing the right one for your flock is really important. Too small, and you will have to be filling it all the time. And your birds could run out of food. Too big and the feed will stay out too long and could go damp, stale or moldy.
Read on for our top picks and make your life a bit easier by getting the right feeder first time.
- Top 7 Chicken Feeders Reviews
- BUYING GUIDE
Top 7 Chicken Feeders Reviews
1. Harris Farms Plastic Hanging Poultry Feeder
Sometimes the best designs are the simple ones. This feeder is exactly that.
A heavy-duty plastic container which opens out at the bottom into a small feed tray all the way around.
Simply fill up the central container from the open top and the feed will fill the tray around the bottom. As the feed gets eaten the new feed from the container will fall down to keep the feeding tray full.
This model will hold up to 10lbs of feed, enough for about 16 birds. A bigger model is available that will hold up to 25lbs.
It is easy to fill the container from the open-top, and it’s also easy to quickly check how much food is left in it.
This feeder can be placed on the ground or hung from the coop roof. If hanging it, just make sure the smallest birds can reach the tray without straining their necks.
2. Little Giant Large Steel Poultry Feeder
Rustproof, galvanized steel construction gives this feeder a long life in even the worst conditions.
And it’s big! It’s 16 inches high, 12 inches wide and holds up to 25lbs of mash, pellet or crumble feed.
The saving grace of this large galvanized steel feeder is that it comes ready-assembled. Not many of us would have the skills to put this together at home!
A tall rectangular box, it has an open chute design. This means the feed is poured into the enclosed top and it slides down to fill an open tray at the bottom.
As the feed is eaten, more feed slides down to fill the tray.
An open wire mesh at the bottom, in the feed tray, helps prevent any overflow. It also helps stop the birds from splashing feed out onto the floor. This prevents wastage and helps stop rodents and other critters from being attracted by spilled feed.
3. Rent-A-Coop Treadle Feeder
This looks like a really complicated contraption, but it actually works very well.
The feeder works with a weight operated step. When a bird walks onto the step, the weight of the bird presses down the step which opens the feed cover. The bird can then help itself to the food.
When weight is removed from the step the cover comes down over the food. This simple operation means the feeder is completely squirrel and small rodent-proof!
Your birds will need to be trained and maybe encouraged a bit at first. But they should quickly get the hang of it and from then on it’s easy.
A lockable cover prevents any critters from getting into the main feed compartment. It makes it probably the best chicken feeder to prevent rats.
But this does mean there are two springs to release before opening and filling it.
A rain cover is a neat addition. This covers the feed tray from above and is good for all but the heaviest downpour.
4. Ware Manufacturing Chicken Feeder Trough
Here we have another simply designed feeder that is economical and works well.
This feeder is a basic trough. At 16 inches long it’s really only suitable for smaller flocks. It should feed 3 or 4 chickens for a couple of days before it needs refilling. But as it’s well priced it is easy to buy a few more for larger numbers of birds.
Such a basic design also makes it super easy to clean and maintain.
It’s made from galvanised steel that is weather resistant and designed to last.
It also has the convenient feature of a wire guard over the feed trough that stops the chickens scratching around in the food and scratching it out. If you have had a feeder before that is open to the birds you will know how much wastage you can get. It’s nice to find a feeder that helps prevent this.
Being an open design it is easy to see at a glance if it needs refilling or not. But this also means it is best placed indoors as the food will be open to the weather.
Also, the feeder is lightweight and when low on food is easily knocked over by scrabbling birds.
5. Hanging Poultry and Gamebird Feeder
Owners of larger flocks of birds, or even bird breeders, will benefit from this big feeder.
If you have moved beyond a small backyard flock of chickens, or if you plan to be away from home for some time, then you may want a bigger feeder.
This model holds 30lbs of feed – enough to provide feed for 15 to 20 birds for up to 3 days or so.
It’s made of strong, galvanised steel and is a traditional central container with a feed ring style. Feed poured into the top of the container falls down and fills the low feed ring. It won’t overflow, but will keep refilling the feed ring as the food gets eaten.
One drawback is that there is no scratch guard on the feed tray and so feed could get scratched out, if your birds are prone to doing this. And you may want to cover the top to stop birds roosting on it.
6. Plastic Flip Top Poultry Feeder
If you are looking to save some money then this might be the feeder for you.
Not only is it very well priced, it is very simple and does a good job. It’s basically a bright red feed trough with a flip top cover with spaces in for the birds to eat through.
Open the top, pour in the feed, close the lid and the birds can peck at the food through the holes in the lid. Simple!
It is small, at only 20 inches long and 3 inches wide. So it is probably better suited to smaller birds and it’s certainly the best baby chick feeder. But at this price it is still a bargain to buy a few more feeders if you have more than 6 or 7 birds feeding from it.
The flip top has 14 open holes down each side (28 in total). The cover stops the birds getting in and scratching out the food, helping the feed last longer.
It’s brightly colourful, simple to use and clean and should last for ages. What’s not to love?
7. Chicken Feeder, Galvanized, 75lb Capacity
If the colourful flip top feeder reviewed above is the baby of the group, then this is the big daddy!
Holding a massive 75lbs of feed, this bad boy is suited to larger flocks of up to 30 and is good for larger breeds of chicken. If you are planning a holiday, this will feed 12 to 15 birds for upto 3 weeks.
A sloping rectangular chute narrows at the bottom and empties into a feed tray. There is a flip top cover on the top through which the feed is poured. The pellets then fill the tray at the bottom without overflowing.
It is obvious a lot of thought has gone into this feeder. Galvanised steel construction is weather resistant and should last ages. The 75lb capacity should empty most feed bags, so no half full bags of feed laying around attracting vermin.
It is designed to be wall mounted but can be mounted in a ‘through wall’ fashion. This means you can either screw the feeder to a solid wall so it is all visible on the one side.
Or you can mount it on one side of a wall, cut a hole for the feed tray at the bottom and place the feed tray through the wall. Using this method, only the feed tray is visible on the one side of the wall. This means that you can fill the hopper from outside the coop and the birds can feed from inside.
We have had a good look at some of the best chicken feeders on the market in this article. But you may still be wondering which one is right for you. Have a read of the following buyers guide to help you find what’s best for you and your flock.
There are a few things to think about before parting with any hard earned dollars. There’s nothing worse than rushing out and buying the first thing you se, only to find it doesn’t quite do the job. You soon find yourself either returning it or back at the store looking for a different one.
Firstly, how big is your flock? And how long do you want to go between refills?
The size of the feed tray will determine how many birds it will be good for. While they are happy to share and take their turns, chickens will want easy access to the feed.
A small trough and too many birds may lead to fights at tea time. Food will get eaten quickly and the feeder will need refilling more often.
A larger trough and a bigger feed container will lead to more well mannered feed times and give you a break between refills. But if the feed stays in too long it runs the risk of getting stale, mouldy or damp.
You are looking for a happy middle ground where the birds can share nicely and you can take a few days away without worrying that the feeder runs out of feed.
Are you going to have the feeder inside the coop, inder cover, or outside in the yard, open to the weather?
Inside, you don’t need a weatherproof design. An open top would be OK, and if the coop is rodent proof you don’t need a screen or mesh over the food. Though this would help if your birds like scratching out the feed!
Outside, you should look for galvanized steel and a cover over the top to stop the rain getting the feed wet. And if it’s out in the yard think about a rodent proof design to keep the critters at bay.
Is the feeder going to stay in one place, or get moved around a lot?
Some chicken owners find that the area around the feeder gets all scratched up and worn away, especially if it’s out on the dirt in the yard. They want to move the feeder into different places to let the ground recover. In this case, a lightweight, maybe plastic, feeder makes this an easy job.
If you will leave it in place, or you are going to fix it to a wall then a heavier duty, durable design will last longer.
How much do you like cleaning?
Feed is obviously very important to chickens. Quality of feed is paramount. You can buy the best, most expensive feed on the market but it’s no good if it has gone stale or bad. And your birds will not benefit from good food if the feeder is harbouring germs and bacteria.
So, cleaning and washing out is vital. To do this properly you need to get into all the corners and under the lids. It helps if the feeder is lightweight and easy to move about. Bigger, steel feeders should be an open design without too many hidden places.
Can I use this feeder for ducks, or birds other than chickens?
With open style feed trays this should not be a problem, but for feeders with grills, scratch guards and smaller feed trays you will need to check that birds with larger beaks can get to the food.
Can I buy replacement parts for my feeder?
Check with the seller. Many models will have spare parts in case some get worn or broken on the feeder. Access to replacement parts can make your feeder last longer and save money over time.
Does this feeder work with pellet feed?
Most feeders will work with pellet, mash or crumble type feed. If the feeder is feed specific then it will probably be listed in the product description. Or check with the manufacturer if you need to make sure.
Do you get rat problems with this feeder?
Most rat problems are caused by leaving feed lying about on the floor. Some feeders are better at stopping birds from scratching out feed on to the floor than others. Look for scratch guards or open mesh covers to help prevent this problem.
How many chickens will this feeder feed?
Feeders come in many different sizes. Manufacturers will normally give an idea of how many birds are best suited to the feeder. But this depends on how well your birds share, how long you want to go between refills and how much your birds eat. You just have to find out what works for you and your flock.
So there we are! I hope you enjoyed the article and have found the best chicken feeder for you and your feathered friends. Knowing that they are well fed and have good access to food makes your job much easier. You may even get to relax a bit!
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