Thursday, July 16, 2015

Zero Waste Chicken Feeder

We love Chicken!

More importantly, we love chickens!

They give us nutritious eggs.  They help me teach my children what it means to be a part of the circle of life and to not take where our food comes from for granted.

These animals make the ultimate sacrifice for us and our children.  I believe in giving them the best life possible while they are here.  Room to run and spread their wings.  Time to forage and dig in the yard.

In return they give us the pleasure and fulfillment that comes from being their caretakers.  How many times have I just stopped to watch as one finds a gold mine of insects or an ant hill.  In short order all her friends are there by her side digging and scratching until nary a bug is in sight.

Thank you for all that you do for myself and my family.

DIY: Zero Waste Chicken Feeder




Cut List


1 Lid Piece @ 32" x 12.5"
2 Trim Pieces for Lid @ 11-5/8" x .75" x .75"
1 Lid Trim Piece @ 32 " x .75" x .75"

Main Body

1 Back Piece @ 16" x 30"
2 Side Pieces @  16" x 10"
1 Front Piece @ 9.75" x 30"
1 Front Bottom Piece @ 2" x 30"
1 Bottom Piece @ 10.75" x 30"

Interior L Shaped Piece

1 Interior Piece @ 3.75 x 28.5"
1 Interior Piece @ 2.5" x 28.5"

Front Feeder Inlet

1 Top Piece @ 5" x 30"
1 Piece @ 3.5" x 30"
1 Front Piece @ 1.5" x 30"
2 Side Pieces @ 3.5" x 3.5"

Additional Materials

1 Set of Hinges
1 Latch
Wood Glue
1-1/4" Pocket Hole Screws
1-1/4" Brad Nails
Paint or Wood Sealant of your choice

 TIPS: The following measurements may be substituted.

1.5" = 1x2's
2.5" = 1x3's
3.5" = 1x4's
5.5" = 1x6's

Use caution working with solid lumber wider than 1x6's.  Especially soft woods such as pine.  I find they show a greater propensity to warp, twist and cup.  Gluing boards side by side, otherwise known as a glue up, will offer greater stability across the project.

Step 1

Attach the sides to the back panel.  I used pocket hole screws for this step.  Four on each side. 

Step 2

Attach the front.  Here I used some wood glue and 1-1/4" brad nails.

 Step 3

Next, I flipped the unit upside down and attached the bottom.

 Step 4

There is a small piece that is attached at the bottom of the feeder inlet.  Just align this with the bottom of the feeder and secure with glue and brads.

 Step 5

Attach the top of the feeder inlet.

Step 6

Then the bottom of the feeder inlet.  I secured in place with glue and brads by coming at it from the inside of the feeder.  It worked pretty well.  If any brads come through the front simply clip the ends of the nails and punch them back in with a nail punch.

Step 7

The sides of the feeder inlet where next.  Here I just used glue and clamps.  I needed to prepare the lid of the feeder and the L shaped piece for the inside.  That would give me time to let the glue set up.

Step 8

The L shaped piece is what makes the whole thing a zero waste feeder.  The bottom of the piece will be attached just high enough off the bottom of the inside of the feeder to allow food in so the chickens can get some.  However it needs to be at or below the level of the piece we attached in step 4.

 If you use the measurements as stated in this project this piece will set 1/4" below the level of the lower front piece.

I was able to get my pocket hole bit inside the unit in order to attach it.  However, I had to use a bit that was shorter than the standard 6 inch driver bit.  A two or three inch bit length worked for me.

Step 9

The lid is next.  A few small pieces will act as lips to overhang the edge of the feeder and keep any rain or excess moisture from entering the feeder and spoiling the feed inside.

Flip the lid over and attach hinges of your choice.  I placed the hinges on the front of the feeder along with the feeder inlet because I knew I was going to be setting this up on the outside of my chicken coop run.

Doing this allows me to fill the feeder without actually entering the run.

Final Thoughts

It did not take long for our ladies to figure out where the grub had gone.

I placed the feeder on a base stand made from 2x4's that I cut in half on my table saw.  I then buried a portion of the legs into the ground for stability.

It was a simple matter of setting the feeder on top and securing it on the base from underneath with some 2-1/2" screws.  I also thought about using some cinder blocks for a base as well.

Finally, I made sure the feeder height was about 10 to 12 inches off the ground.  In order for the chickens to have a harder time pulling feed out of the feeder and wasting it, they need to be made to stretch their necks a little.

Knowing the little buggers like to dig holes for various activities I placed a couple pavers in front of the feeder.  This is so they do not go and dig a hole right in front of the feeder making it impossible for them to reach their food.

If you like this project be sure to subscribe for email updates by using the form to the right.  Also be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel and never miss a new project video.  I try to post new videos every week usually on Thursdays.  Check me out on Facebook and Pinterest and until then.

Happy DIY'ing.


  1. I built this and I can't putt it together the bottom seems to be a lot bigger then the sides, it's not flash life yours when you put it together helps me pls

    1. Not being able to see it limits the amount of help I can be. Sounds like the bottom isn't sized right. Measuring incorrectly is a common mistake and can be easily fixed. Just measure the length and width of your feeder and trim the bottom to fit. Too easy. Email me some pics if you need to.

    2. The bottom should be 8.75x30. The measurements on the diagram (model) and the cut list are off by 2 inches. Unless the sides were supposed to be cut 16x10.

  2. I did this for my chickens, it turned out great! Thankyou for the great idea.

  3. Do you hang up kit for sale

  4. Do you have the kit for sale

  5. Build it! Works perfectly.Was fun and entertaining doing it. Thanks

  6. The cut list for the L piece lists 1 Interior Piece @ 3.75 x 28.5"
    1 Interior Piece @ 2.5" x 28.5", where does the 2.5" piece go?

  7. You should cut the wood and drill the holes and sell as a kit so it isn't so big to send out.


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