To most people, selecting equipment for chickens may sound like an easy thing to do; however, this couldn’t be further from the truth! For example, if you don’t select the best chicken feeder and waterer for your flock, you’re running the risk of not meeting their feed and water needs and facing other problems.
For example, your feathery flock can easily knock the waterer over because it’s natural for them to peck, scratch, or claw in search of the finest morsels of food. Of course, this involves flipping everything they can around them, and a poorly designed waterer will be an easy target.
Moreover, a scattered feed is a free and open buffet for the wild birds and even rats. So if you don’t want to spend your money feeding them, having a feeder is mandatory.
In this guide, we’re going to help you to select the best chicken feeder and waterer. The first part focuses on feeders, but if you’re looking for an advice on waterers, scroll down a bit.
Table of Content
- 1 How to Select a Chicken Feeder
- 1.1 Grandpa’s Feeders Automatic Chicken Feeder
- 1.2 Harris Farms Plastic Hanging Poultry Feeder, 10 Pound
- 1.3 Royal Rooster Twin Cup Drinker & Feeder Set – 6.5lbs /1 gal
- 1.4 Ware Manufacturing Chicken Feeder Trough
- 1.5 Chick-Inn Poultry Feeder
- 1.6 Automatic Treadle Feeder from RentACoop
- 1.7 PestOff Rat Proof Chicken Feeder kit
- 2 How to Select a Chicken Waterer
- 3 Conclusion
How to Select a Chicken Feeder
There are a number of things that you need to consider before buying a feeder for your flock. First, it’s the material. Currently, most feeders are made from galvanized metal or plastic. Plastic ones are typically cheaper and much easier to clean but they’re not as robust as metal ones.
For a first-time keeper with a small flock, plastic feeder should be a satisfactory option. It is recommended to avoid lightweight plastic feeders, because they can be easily knocked over and damaged, especially by a large flock.
On the other hand, items made from galvanized metal are more expensive but also long-lasting and durable. It’s much harder to knock them over as well.
While it really comes down to your preference, you should also remember that buying the cheapest is often false economy.
The next thing that you should consider is size. An average chicken needs up to 150 grams of food a day, so you should select an appropriate size that ensures that everyone gets their fair share.
Before buying a feeder, judge it on the following additional criteria:
- Water-proofing. Wet feed is a moldy feed, so look for a secure option that covers it.
- Wastage. Will the flock be able to flick the feed out with ease? How secure is the feed in the container and how it’s kept off the floor?
- Pest-proofing. Are there any measures to prevent a rodent from tucking in?
- Stability. How stable is the feeder?
- Cleanliness. Chickens love to scratch when eating, so they kick up a lot of dirt, and the feed can get contaminated. Are there any measures to prevent this?
- Capacity. An average chicken eats 150 grams of feed daily, so select an option that holds at least one daily share for all your chickens.
One last thing before we review the list of available feeder options: the number of feeders to feed all your flock. Since there is no clear formula, we suggest that 2 inches of feeder space per one chick over the age of six weeks is perfect.
However, if you have both small and large chickens, it’s worth considering large feeders because small ones won’t dare approach the tray if the older ones are already there.
Now, that you know what you need to make a choice, let’s see what the market has to offer.
Grandpa’s Feeders Automatic Chicken FeederThe next item on this list is made of galvanized steel, which means it’s built to last in the tough outdoor conditions. It’s also capable of holding 40 lbs (18 kg) of feed, which is enough to feed a dozen chickens for over a week.
The device works as follows: a cantilevered lid is lifted by the weight of the chicken that stepped onto a wide platform attached to the feeder. As the result, the chickens feed from the trough.
Once the last chicken leaves the platform, the lid closes, thus preventing pests and wild birds from eating the feed.
The standard size of this feeder ensures suitability for all chickens, both large and small, but it was designed for a small flock including 10-12 chickens (not suitable for baby chickens!).
Product dimensions: 16.5 x 21.5 x 16 inches. Weight: 20 lbs.
- Large feed capacity
- Rat and bird proof
- Made of metal
- Prevents spilled feed
- No need to check feed every day
- Prevents chickens from fouling in the feed
- Sharp edges
- Requires training
- Not waterproof
- Often food doesn’t come down on its own
Harris Farms Plastic Hanging Poultry Feeder, 10 PoundA single unit of this plastic poultry feeder is designed to feed up to 15 birds. Open top ensures a fast filling of a 7 lb storage (3.1 kg) tube which is also translucent enough so you can see the feed level. The base of the feeder designed to prevent chickens from scratching out the feed while eating. Also, you can hang the item to ensure that no feed gets to pests and wild birds.
The dimensions of the product are as follows: 11.97 x 10.75 x 11.97 in, weight: 11.2 ounces.
- Easy to assemble thanks to twist-lock mechanism
- Easy to fill
- Easy to clean
- Hangs for convenience
- Made of plastic
- No lid
Royal Rooster Twin Cup Drinker & Feeder Set – 6.5lbs /1 galAn Australian manufacturer of Royal Booster has recently expanded its range with new products for poultry feeding, and this set is one of them. It includes a drinker and a feeder, both carefully designed to ensure effective and efficient feeding.
For example, a feeder has unique divisions that discourage chickens from scratching the feed out from the containers. Next, it has a 9” cover to ensure that no more rain and dirt gets inside; also, it reduces feed lost to pests. The feeder is suitable for most chicken feeds including grain mixes and pellets, and holds about 6.5 lbs of feed and 1 gal of water.
To ensure the durability of the product, the manufacturer used PVC and ABS plastics. To fix the product on a solid wall, aluminum brackets and screws are provided.
One set is suitable for up to 6 chickens.
- Easy to clean
- Easy to fill
- Has cover to prevent contamination
- One set suitable for only 4-6 chickens
- Made of plastic
Ware Manufacturing Chicken Feeder TroughIf you’re budget conscious but want to get a metal feeder, this might be a good option. The price for this 1.61 pounds model is around 15 bucks but for this money you get an item made of galvanized steel.
Since this chicken feeding trough has an open container design, it is equipped with wire scratch guard to prevent food waste. The guard also prevents chickens from climbing on top of the feeder and contaminating the food.
The product works with all chicken food types, so you can use it for both small and large chickens. The measurements are as follows: 24” width, 5.1” depth, and 4” height.
- Sturdy steel construction
- Suitable for all feed types
- Easy to maintain
- Has wire scratch guard
- Spill reducing designs
- Too big for baby chicks
- Will not keep wild animals out of feed
- Not suitable for large flock
- Tips over easily
Chick-Inn Poultry FeederThis product from a well-known producer FarmTek boasts a 50 lb feed capacity, a protective frill to save feed, and a 24” lid which also serves as a rain shield. To make sure that the unit lasts at least several seasons of rough outdoor conditions, the producer used durable polypropylene plastic material.
Thanks to the excellent and durable materials, many people use it as an outdoor feeding station. The design also ensures a 100 percent protection from rain, which one of the biggest advantages of the model.
The built-in molded plastic grill is perfect for chickens, and medium-sized and large poultry. The entire item weighs 12 pounds and has the height of 24 inches.
- Large feed capacity
- Feed-saving grill
- Has rain shield that ensures full protection
- Suitable for both chickens and full grown poultry
- Sturdy construction
- The lid needs to be additionally secured to prevent blow-off
Automatic Treadle Feeder from RentACoopThis option has been especially popular among customers thanks to 100-percent waterproof design, rust proof metal material, and a great design that leaves chicken food for chickens.
The user can adjust the step weight on this treadle hen feeder to make sure that rats don’t reach the food while allowing the flock to access the food 24/7. A lip and special dividers separating the trough are there to prevent the chickens from scratching out the food.
It also can be used inside of a chicken coop because the galvanized metal body doesn’t allow rats to get in.
Product dimensions: 21 x 10 x 14 inches. Weight: 7.1 pounds.
- Metal construction
- Waterproof design
- Rust proof metal
- Easy to load food
- Video instructions are required for assembly
- Only two chickens can feed at a time
PestOff Rat Proof Chicken Feeder kitHere’s what you need to know about this relatively new chicken self feeder from a well-known company PestOff. It provides a full protection of the feed against wild birds, rats, and mouse, which means that you can place it outdoors and don’t have to worry about spending your money to feed vermin.
The kit also has a unique anti-spill design that allows to reduce food wastage and minimize raking and thrashing action.
With a secondary baffle feature protecting the feed from the weather, the kit ensures that it stays dry regardless of outdoor conditions. A strong metal lid on the top of the kit enhances the protection but can be easily removed for easy refilling.
The product has a load capacity of 8 pounds (3.6 kg), and comes with a 16 inch (40 cm) stainless steel hanging chain in case you want additional protection for the feed. Height adjustment is easy thanks to the chain design.
Suitable for small flock of 4 to 6 chickens per feeder.
Product dimensions: 15.8 x 8.3 inches x 8.3 inches. Weight: 2.2 pounds.
- Large capacity
- Weather proof
- Suitable for feeding all breeds of chicken
- Vermin proof
- Has hanging chain
- The opening where chickens get feed is very small
- Has plastic parts
How to Select a Chicken Waterer
Choosing among the best chicken waterers also requires considering some factors. For example, a hen needs at least 500 ml of water a day to stay hydrated and lay eggs, so choose a waterer that has an appropriate capacity.
Next, some metal waterers may corrode if used outdoors for prolonged periods of time, so it may be a good idea to use a plastic option. However, a high quality, rust proof metal will be a better option because it won’t crack at low temperatures.
The perfect capacity of poultry waterer thus depends on two important factors:
- Size of flock
- How often you prefer to water them
For example, a small waterer with a narrow base will be a good option for chickens because they don’t need to fit their bills into a waterer like ducks and other waterfowl do.
Here are more waterer tips before we get to the best offers on the market:
- Clean the waterer often. A unit you’re using may have dirt or debris raked in it or become contaminated by other animals, so it’s important that you clean them often to ensure that your chickens drink only clean water.
- Use proper type. There are a number of different types of waterers; for example, some can be hanged or placed on a stand to ensure that only chickens can have access. However, a simple water fountain drinker is the best option for baby chickens.
- Try to provide each bird with at least of 0.5 liters of water minimum per day.
- Change the location of a waterer often to avoid producing mud holes and keeping the grass under them healthy.
- Don’t place a waterer in the sun because it dramatically increases evaporation; a shaded place, on the other hand, keeps the water a bit cooler, which is perfect for drinking during hot months.
- To ensure that all chickens have access to clean water, have a second container with water installed in a different place. It’ll help you if there is a problem with the main waterer plus it allows timid ones have an extra option if they are bullied by others.
The list with the best available chicken waterers follows.
Farm Innovators Model HPF-100If you’re looking for a waterer that can use all year long, take a look at this patented product from a well-known manufacturer The Farm Innovators. It’s a heated chicken waterer which you can control via a thermostat and turn on the heat only when required.
Only 100 watts of power are needed to prevent the water from freezing down, so the device won’t significantly affect your electricity bill. The heat comes from a heater built into the base of the device which connects to a socket through a 2 feet cord.
The capacity of this waterer is 3 gallons of water, and it can be filled without having to remove the top.
To meet water needs of both small and large chicken, you can hang this drinker or place it on a flat surface.
Product dimensions: 12 inches x 12 inches x 16 inches. Weight: 3.5 pounds.
- Prevent water from freezing during winter
- Can be placed on a surface or hanged
- Holds a lot of water
- The cord wraps nicely around the base when not in use
- Short cord
- Metal construction
- The refill hole is poorly placed because the user has to turn it over to refill
BriteTap Chicken WatererThis item ensures that the water stays completely clean and hygienic by shielding it from the flock. It has a nipple design, which means there are plastic valves screwed into a plastic container. This also means no daily cleaning!
To keep the water cool during the summer, this automatic chicken waterer comes with the sun cover which shields the interior. Most of the waterers of this type on the current market don’t have sun covers, so this feature is pretty unique.
The biggest obstacle for you in using this drinker is to train the chickens to use the nipple because the device releases water only when the valve is touched. This technology is good because it does a pretty good job of preventing spills.
- Ensures clean water
- Flock needs to be trained to use the nipple
- Keeps water cool during summer thanks to the sun cover
- The plastic valves can freeze during winter if they are outdoors
- Not suitable for baby chicks
RentACoop Square 4-PortAnother nipple poultry waterer on our list that is a perfect solution for small-scale poultry owners because of a relatively low price and simple installation (no assembly required). Also, it’s the best type to keep the water clean because the birds cannot access the container and cannot tip it over.
The product is built from 100 percent BPA free plastic and is designed to be hanged, so it may not be suitable for baby chicks. Four horizontal drinking holes are available for your flock, so it’s best for the use by small-scale poultry owners. Filling the device is easy and done by removing the cap on the lid.
But remember that you still need to train your flock to use the nipple system.
Product dimensions: 8.9 inches x 8.9 inches x 9 inches. Weight: 1.2 pounds.
- Limits water dripping, so no daily cleaning
- Easy to see water level
- Dispenses water on demand
- Easy to clean
- Easy to fill
- Chickens need to be trained to use the water delivery system
- Made of plastic
Chickens are searchers by nature and eat little and frequently throughout the day. Fortunately, there are many options when it comes to choosing a feeder or a waterer for your feathery flock. For you as a poultry owner it’s something you should do because selecting a purpose-built device will save you money, energy, and time in the long-term and keep your chickens happy and healthy.
Hope this guide was helpful for you to choose a device that will provide enough tasty feed and clean water for your chickens. Happy selecting!