Chicken feeders are a seemingly easy product to buy for your flock, however, there are a couple of nuances which you should consider. The pecking order is a very real thing in the life of a chicken, you need to consider how the feeder you introduce will play into the hierarchal life of your chickens.
We also learned that the design of a chicken feeder has lots to do with how it’s used by a chicken. Remember, these omnivores love to peck and scratch, so you need to think one step ahead and prevent the behaviors which encourage waste. Elevating and enclosing the feeder really helps minimize the amount of wasted feed.
Please be aware that these chicken feeders are only for chickens greater than 12 weeks old. Young chicks need their own feeder and could possibly die if allowed access to these feeders meant for larger chickens.
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Chickens can be a great part of your backyard or larger homestead. Finding the right feeder can be a difficult thing especially since the classic feeder is so commonly used. We’ve put together a list of recommended chicken feeders and some helpful tips you should consider.
There are a few things to know about chicken feeder, they are not all created equal. Keep reading to find out which are our favorites and what you should look for in a chicken feeder.
This guide breaks down the various types of chicken feeders so you can make an informed, confident decision and select the best chicken feeder for your needs.
In a rush? Here are our top picks!
If you’ve ever tried browsing for garden supplies, you may have been struck by analysis paralysis.
Picking the best chicken feeder can be exhausting, so we’re here to help. Here are the best chicken feeders on the market today.
The Best Chicken Feeders
This is our favorite chicken feeder. After using many other chicken feeders and being disappointed by them, this one met all of our needs.
Some of the great things we love are that it holds 6.5lb of feed which lasts up to 3 days without refilling for our flock of 6 hens. The plastic lid on top is also easy to remove and check the level of feed. Since we placed it close to the access door, we just crack the door and easily check the level on our daily morning chore.
The Royal Rooster Chicken Feeder also prevents aggressive behavior. Because this feeder only allows one or two chickens at a time to feed, the covered sides prevent other chickens from snooping and being jealous of the other’s meal so your chickens can eat in peace.
It also stays put on our chicken tractor. The tabs on the back of the feeder keep the feeder in place even when we are moving the tractor on our rough hilly terrain. The kit comes with the tabs to hang the feeder from any vertical post or wall. Assembly takes about 20 minutes.
- Save time and money feeding your chickens. Innovative design for reduced wastage and clean water
- Feed only your chickens not the sparrows, squirrels or rodents. Rain cover for weather protection
- European made, valve-operated drinker cup for a fresh supply of clean water. Easy to fill. Use with a clip on heat lamp to prevent freezing in winter.
The Harris Farms Chicken Feeder is a style of feeder which we’ve used before. It met our needs for the time. We really like that it is accessible by the whole flock simultaneously.
This feeder holds about 10 lbs of feed which is plenty for a 6 hen flock. You’ll probably need to refill once every 5 days but do keep an eye on the feed level.
Unfortunately the major drawback of this style of feeder is the open top. This allows water to get in during major storms which causes the feed to cake together and may not drop as intended.
On the positive side the feeder can be elevated, which minimizes the amount of wasted feed left on the ground. The partitions of the feeder are effective at preventing chickens from dropping much of the feed.
- EASY-TO-CLEAN: This easy-to-use feeder is simple to clean with soap and water.
- BPA FREE PLASTIC: Carefully crafted from BPA free plastic.
- MEDIUM FLOCKS: Up to 25 birds can use this feeder.
The OverEZ Chicken Feeder is a very large feeder, it can hold up to 50 lbs of feed. For a flock of 6 hens is about 20 days worth of feed. The only downside to that is that you’ll have to heft the 50 lbs bag of feed around to refill the feeder. The large mouth makes it easy to refill without any spills.
This is not a mobile friendly feeder. This is for a stationary chicken coop, not a chicken tractor. Because of it’s size and weight, this feeder is best left in a permanent location.
One major benefit of this feeder are the deep feeding ports for the chickens to put their heads through. This method prevents waste since they cannot scratch at the food or peck it so hard to fling it out of the feeding port. It also prevents aggressive behavior because they cannot see each other and each port only has enough space for a single chicken at a time.
As far as durability goes, this chicken feeder is made to last and is also rainproof so your chicken feed will not spoil or cake up in the rain.
- EXTRA LARGE FEED STORAGE. The OverEZ chicken feeder allows three birds to feed at once and holds up to 50 pounds of feed to avoid recurring...
- COUNTRY TOUGH DURABILITY. Our chicken coop feeder can be used as both an indoor and outdoor feed dispenser. UV-protected and food-safe, our BPA-free...
- NO-WASTE FEEDING DESIGN: The three smart-feeding ports are designed to prevent chickens from soiling or spilling feed, meaning less wasted feed and a...
The RentACoop Chicken Feeder is a great chicken feeder. The galvanized metal construction ensures it won’t ever rust. Plus, you can get the version which holds 10lb or 25lb. A flock of 6 hens would need a refill every week with the 10lb version.
Occasionally, customers have experienced that the feed does not drain properly. As long as you use regular chicken feed and nothing like whole loaves of bread, the feed should easily move downward to where the chickens can easily access the food.
Keep in mind that the chickens must be able to peck downward at the food after they put their head inside the tube, so you’ll need to place the feeder fairly close to the ground.
- 🐓 Holds up to 25 Pounds of Feed - Only your hens will reach the fresh, dry feed. This feeder is 100% rain-proof and spill proof.
- 🐓 The 25LB Rainproof Galvanized Feeder prevents feed spill and is 100% waterproof. The design also deters rodents and wild birds from stealing and...
- 🐓 Comes with all necessary hardware including 2 screws for installing on wood and instructions booklet.
Things to look for in a chicken feeder
How Much Feed Can it Hold
Larger feeders are naturally better because of the time it saves you in having to refill the feeder. We really enjoy having the Royal Rooster Feeder because it allows us to go almost 3 full days between refills. This is a huge time saver because we don’t have to refill everyday.
Ease of Refilling
The best chicken feeder will have a large opening to refill it through. You’ll also want a good sized scoop to pour the feed in with, this 24oz cast aluminum scoop is ideal for most chicken feeders. Remember, you should not be wasting chicken feed while refilling, the chickens will do that for you already.
- LIGHTWEIGHT STURDY & DURABLE MATERIAL - made of high-quality sturdy strong one-piece Tapered commercial-grade cast aluminum for maximum strength and...
- MULTI-PURPOSE USE - This stainless steel ice scooper is tapered to hold both dry and wet products this ice scooper for freezer is perfect for scooping...
- CAPACITY - deep metal scoops for dry goods to assure a user experience with no spills, no more hassle when you need to scoop ice from ice-making...
Preventing Aggressive Behavior
Chickens are by far the most aggressive animal on any farm or homestead. The pecking order is a very real thing. If you sit and observe chickens as they grow, you will notice their tendency to peck and intimidate each other grows as they age. Believe it or not, some feeders encourage this sort of behavior.
A chicken feeder with unpartitioned feeding chambers like this chicken feeder from Harris Farms, allows chickens to become very interested in what their neighbor is eating. Even though they always find out that the feed is the same in all parts of the feeder, chickens are always more interested in what their neighbor has.
This makes it more likely that the chickens will not only start eating from their neighbor’s location but may also peck at the other chickens to dissuade them from their new found treasured feeding location.
The best way to prevent this sort of behavior is to get a feeder with partitions that prevent the chickens from seeing their neighbors. Some great examples of these are the OverEZ Chicken Feeder or the Royal Rooster Chicken Feeder.
There are some feeders which are more susceptible to waste than others. Before we figured this out, our chickens would leave a solid matt of chicken feed seeds where their feeder was the previous day. Our original feeder was similar to this Harris Farms Chicken Feeder.
We didn’t have it elevated off the ground at the time, which contributed to the excessive waste because the chickens were able to use their feet to scratch at the feeder.
Luckily, if you do have some waste, in a few weeks you’ll have some new sprouting growths in your yard from the different seeds. You can pick the new growths and feed them just like that to the chickens, they’ll enjoy the fresh greens just as much as their seedy feed.
The best feeders to prevent waste are those which are elevated off the ground and have a set of walls to prevent spillage when the chickens rustle through the food with their beak. Once again, our favorite for this is the Royal Rooster Chicken Feeder.
Depending on your chicken coop setup, rain proofing your chicken feeder may be an issue. Our chicken tractor has a few parts which are shielded from the rain but a good storm would still let water into some protected areas. That’s why it was important for us to go with a rainproof chicken feeder which prevented the feed from spoiling or caking. If the food gets wet it can act as a plug and prevent the chickens from getting more feed. Since most chicken feeders are gravity fed, this can be a real issue as you may not realize the problem until your chickens let you know of the problem by some other method of communication.
Angel is a Cuban immigrant who grew up with backyard chickens and a yard-loving abuela. He is our “gear guy” who can never have too many pairs of gloves or weed whacker attachments.