10 Best Chicken Feeders: Which Is Right for Your Flock?

best chicken feeders

You’ve made the decision to get chickens: Now what? When starting your own flock, there are so many factors to consider which will affect the health and happiness of your birds and in turn, their egg or meat production. It is important to start off on the right foot with the best chicken feeders and other equipment so that you can guarantee success and avoid months or even years of frustration.

Chicken feeders range from the most basic buckets or troughs to complicated mechanical devices and everything in between. Deciding what is best for you will depend on the size of your flock and how much space your chickens have to roam, as well as your budget and how much time you want to spend on filling the feeder and clean up.

The simplest feeder is an open bucket, tray or trough. Unfortunately, using an open feeder like this can cause you a lot of hassle in the long run because chickens scratch in the tray with their feet and spread the feed all around. They may poop in the spilled feed, creating an even bigger mess and attracting pests like bugs, rats or mice. Open feeders seem easy and are certainly inexpensive, but they can cost you a lot in wasted time and feed.

Hanging bucket feeders
keep feed off of the ground where chickens can only reach it with their beaks, not their feet. You can fill a large bucket at a time and not have to worry about refilling it for many days. These feeders have a wide tray around the bottom where many chickens can approach and eat at the same time. Hanging feeders are designed for indoor use, whether inside of their coop, a barn or under a tarp to keep the rain out, and they may still attract mice and bugs

Treadle feeders are some of the most complex automatic feeders available. They use an automatic mechanical system to provide food for your chickens as needed, without exposing it to the elements or to other creatures who may want to sneak a snack. When a chicken steps on the ramp, the lid opens up and gives the chicken access to the food inside.

Treadle feeders can be used indoors or outdoors. They are a great option for free range flocks, because they can have access to additional feed whenever they want it. The only down side is that more complex mechanisms always have the possibility of breaking down, so you will need to check it regularly to make sure it is functioning properly.

As you will see below, there are many more automatic chicken feeder designs on the market today. While considering which is best for your flock, keep these factors in mind: Cost, storage capacity, potential mess, pest deterrents, and weather proofing.


1. Royal Rooster Chicken Feeder with Rain Cover and Valve-Cup Waterer Set – 6.5lbs / 1 gal

This feeder and waterer set from Royal Rooster is simple and functional, and comes with the best chicken waterer to match. The innovative vertical design allows you to give your chickens days worth of food and water at a time, while keeping it elevated to prevent spillage. The valve-operated drinker cup keeps water fresh and clean and reduces the time you spend cleaning the equipment.

These feeders hook straight into a mesh fence or can be hung on a solid wall with the included brackets. One set is perfect for four to six chickens, with a 6.5lb feed capacity and 1 gallon water capacity. They are made of UV stable, durable PVC so they can be used indoors or out.

Price: $99.99 with free shipping

Buy the Royal Rooster Chicken Feeder with Rain Cover and Valve-Cup Waterer Set – 6.5lbs / 1 gal here.


Pros:

  • Comes with both feeder and waterer
  • Easy to install on mesh fence or solid wall
  • Weather guard and scratch guard included in feeder design
  • Easy to fill

Cons:

  • Relatively small capacity
  • Valve needs to be checked regularly to make sure it is functioning properly
  • Relatively expensive

Find more Royal Rooster Chicken Feeder with Rain Cover and Valve-Cup Waterer Set – 6.5lbs / 1 gal information and reviews here.


2. Grandpa’s Feeders Automatic Chicken Feeder

Grandpa’s Feeder is a top of the line treadle feeder that effectively prevents food waste, both by reducing messes and keeping pests out. This single feeder can hold 20lbs of food, enough to feed six chickens for ten days at a time. This is one of the best chicken feeders out there and can either be used indoors inside of a coop or barn, or you can even leave it outdoors without worrying about rain or pests.

Unlike other treadle feeders, this model has side guards to prevent chickens from feeding out of the sides. If this happens, those unlucky birds could get their heads stuck when the front-feeders step off of the treadle. This brand has been trusted for over 20 years, and the reviews rave about how much time and money it saves over the long run.

Price: $119.95 Standard Size, $169.95 Large Size

Buy the Grandpa’s Feeders Automatic Chicken Feeder here.


Pros:

  • Designed to keep out rain as well as pests
  • Large capacity
  • Well known brand with good reputation
  • Includes side guards for chicken safety

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Mechanical parts need to be checked regularly
  • Rats may figure out how to open lid without using treadle

Find more Grandpa’s Feeders Automatic Chicken Feeder information and reviews here.


3. Harris Farms Hanging Poultry Feeder

If you want a simple, no nonsense feeder that is inexpensive and effective, this hanging feeder from Harris Farms is just the thing. This 30lb feeder has an extra large capacity and can feed 30 to 50 birds. It is easy to install and to adjust the hanging height based on the age and breed of your chickens.

The feeder is made of galvanized steel with edges rolled for safety and has a convenient hanger than can also be used as a handle when transporting the feeder. Galvanized steel is not rust proof, so it is best to use this type of feeder inside of your coop and out of the weather. This feeder also comes with a limited one year warranty.

Price: $13.68 15lb Capacity, $15.32 30lb Capacity

Buy the Harris Farms Hanging Poultry Feeder here.


Pros:

  • Simple and easy to use
  • Large capacity
  • Inexpensive
  • Rolled edges for safety and scratch guards to prevent mess

Cons:

  • Will rust if used outdoors
  • Handle/hanger is a weak point
  • Comparatively cheap construction

Find more Harris Farms Hanging Poultry Feeder information and reviews here.


4. RentACoop Chicken Feeder

This 20lb feeder from Rent A Coop is the best chicken feeder to prevent waste. It features an L shaped tube on two sides of the bucket, where the chickens stick their heads in in order to get to the feed. The reason for this is to keep them from scratching or pecking at the food and spilling it, and also to keep out pests. The tube extends outwards a bit from the bucket as well, in order to keep the food inside nice and dry in any weather.

Price: $54.95

Buy the RentACoop Chicken Feeder here.


Pros:

  • Very unique design
  • BPA free, food grade plastic
  • Large capacity
  • Prevents mess

Cons:

  • Relatively expensive
  • Easy to DIY
  • Sits on the ground unless you put it on an elevated surface

Find more RentACoop Chicken Feeder information and reviews here.



5. Ware Manufacturing Chicken Feeder Trough

A trough is the simplest form of chicken feeder on the market. This design has been used for centuries and still works just fine today. If you have a small backyard flock, you may not need to get an overly complex feeder, and setting fresh food out for your chickens every day is not as much of a hassle when you only have a small number of mouths to feed. This trough features a wire scratch guard to prevent the chickens from standing in and scratching their food, which leads to spills and spoiled food.

Price: $15.23

Buy the Ware Manufacturing Chicken Feeder Trough here.


Pros:

  • Very simple and easy to use
  • Easy to move around the coop
  • Inexpensive
  • Scratch guard included

Cons:

  • Relatively messy
  • Indoor use only
  • Must be filled daily

Find more Ware Manufacturing Chicken Feeder Trough information and reviews here.



6. RentACoop Automatic Treadle Feeder

Here is another treadle feeder option for your flock. This feeder comes in four different sizes – 11 lb, 15.7 lb, 26.5 lb or 44 lb. It is made of rust proof steel and plastic and is 100% waterproof, so it can be used inside of your coop or outdoors. It is easy to install, and with so many sizes to choose from you can be sure there is a perfect fit for your flock!

Price: $59.95 11lbs Capacity, $69.96 17.5lbs Capacity, $79.95 26.5lbs Capacity, $89.95 44lbs Capacity

Buy the RentACoop Automatic Treadle Feeder here.


Pros:

  • Comes in four sizes for different size flocks
  • Made of durable rust proof steel and plastic
  • Easy to install

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Moving parts need to be checked regularly to make sure they function correctly
  • Unusual capacity sizes

Find more RentACoop Automatic Treadle Feeder information and reviews here.


7. MILLER Little Giant High Capacity Poultry Galvanized Steel Feeder (2 Pack)

This feeder has a straightforward design that is easy to fill with a chute designed for an ideal rate of food flow, and keeps chickens from making a mess of their feed. It hangs off of the ground as well, making it harder for pests to get in. This is one of our favorite galvanized chicken feeders, and it can hold up to 25 lbs of feed at one time, giving you a total capacity of 50 lbs between the two. You can mount these directly on the wall inside your coop.

Price: $96.99 with free shipping

Buy the MILLER Little Giant High Capacity Poultry Galvanized Steel Feeder (2 Pack) here.


Pros:

  • Two pack with extra large 50 lb total capacity
  • Very simple design
  • Chute designed to regulate the flow of feed

Cons:

  • Metal construction is not rust proof
  • Design is not totally weatherproof
  • Relatively expensive

Find more MILLER Little Giant High Capacity Poultry Galvanized Steel Feeder (2 Pack) information and reviews here.


8. Wise Cage Poultry Feeder

The Wise Cage poultry feeder is one of the best chicken feeders on this list because it can be accessed from both sides. This means you can mount it on the inside of your coop, and fill it from the outside. Or, you can also mount it directly to a fence for pastured chickens to have free access to food whenever they need it. This feeder is especially useful for birds in caged runs. The capacity is 10 lbs, but you can also purchase an additional 10 lbs extender by clicking here. This feeder also features a rain hood to keep food dry, and a rolled lip to discourage scratching.

Price: $74.99 with free shipping

Buy the Wise Cage Poultry Feeder here.


Pros:

  • Accessible from the outside or the inside
  • Best design for enclosed runs
  • Easy to fill and easy to install

Cons:

  • Larger capacity 20 lb feeder may leak at the seams
  • Expensive
  • Relatively small capacity

Find more Wise Cage Poultry Feeder information and reviews here.


9. Wooden Treadle Chicken Feeder

This wooden treadle feeder brings up visions of quaint country life. It is well designed and functional, with high marks from customer reviews. This feeder comes fully assembled and will keep your food clean and fresh whether it is used indoors or outdoors. This cute feeder would be best for a smaller backyard flock because it does need to be refilled fairly frequently. It also may need the addition of side guards to prevent your chickens from side feeding.
Price: $40

Buy the Wooden Treadle Chicken Feeder here.


Pros:

  • Cute wooden look
  • Functional and easy to use
  • Indoor or outdoor use

Cons:

  • No side guard
  • Small capacity
  • Relatively expensive for the size

Find more Wooden Treadle Chicken Feeder information and reviews here.


10. Ware Little Red Hen Feeder

Finally, here is a sweet and simple feeder from Ware. This is one of the best chicken feeders if you are on a budget, has all of the features you need for easy and convenient feeding, with none of the fuss or extra cost. This feeder has a hooded lid to keep food dry in all weather, fold out legs to elevate to feed off of the ground, and a scratch guard to minimize waste. It can be used inside the coop or outdoors, and is easy to transport. This feeder has a capacity of 2.5 lbs, perfect for a small backyard flock.

Price: $22.37

Buy the Ware Little Red Hen Feeder here.


Pros:

  • Simple and easy to use
  • Suitable for indoors or outdoors with weather hood
  • Includes fold out legs to elevate feeder
  • Includes scratch guard

Cons:

  • Still more messy than other designs
  • Small capacity
  • Height is not adjustable

Find more Ware Little Red Hen Feeder information and reviews here.


See Also:


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