Over the years, I’ve tried many styles of chicken feeder; each have their drawbacks. Some allow the birds to easily bill the feed out, making a mess and wasting a lot. Others can be overturned, sat on, pooped in, or rained on. I needed to come up with a way to allow the birds easy access to feed without wasting it. After installing the gutters on the coop, I had an idea. I took a left over piece of gutter, added end caps, and attached it to the internal wall of the coop. Then HWA took a piece of 4″ PVC pipe and inserted it almost to the bottom of the gutter, leaving just enough space for feed to spill out into the gutter. He attached the PVC pipe to the wall with metal strapping. The top of the PVC is angled to allow pouring into it more easily without spilling. I can now fill the pipe from the feed room side of my coop, and the birds themselves spread it down the length of the gutter. The pipe holds enough feed to last about a day so I only have to fill it once, and this also allows me to better control the amount of feed I use. The feeder takes up almost no room in the coop, since it is attached to the wall and sticks out only 3-4″. And because it only sticks out a few inches, birds don’t try to roost on it or sit in it. It is inside, where it is not subject to rain and snow. But best of all, the steep sides of the gutter don’t allow the birds to bill the feed out, so I have almost zero waste.
More recently I added a second gutter to the opposite wall – this time to provide oyster shell. As it only needs to be filled occasionally, I did not attach a PVC pipe this time.
The “perfect” feeder probably doesn’t exist but in my opinion, the gutter feeder is as close as it gets!