There are numerous reasons why your coop needs a chicken feeder. First of all, chickens need to feed from time to time. They are free rangers that need to peck away at grains, pellets, scratch, and grit.
If you work full-time or have to travel or leave town for a few days, then you are bound to worry about how to feed your birds.
A chicken feeder and a quality chicken waterer can solve this issue. Chicken feeders come with a reservoir that you can quickly fill up with the feed. Your birds can then ‘free-eat’ whenever they want.
This way, you do not have to rush home every evening to feed your flock. You can also rest assured that your birds will be fed when you have to leave town for several days.
A backyard chicken feeder also reduces and deters the problem of predators.
Wild birds, raccoons, mice, and squirrels love to eat your chickens’ food. A feeder with a sturdy lid helps deter such predators. Good quality chicken feeders also prevent mice droppings from getting into the feed.
Finally, you also need chicken feeders to prevent your flocks’ food from getting soggy from the rain.
A feeder can be kept inside or outside the chicken coop, and when it has a sturdy cover, it can prevent rainwater from getting into the feed.
This way, your chickens are assured of clean and dry pellets/grains/scratch. You can also save tons of money on chicken feed spoilt by predators, spillage, rainwater, and mold by using the best chicken feeders.
The Best Chicken Feeders
1. Grandpa’s Feeders Automatic Chicken Feeder
Grandpa’s feeder is a sturdy, weatherproof chicken feeder made from galvanized steel that is built-to-last. Its large 20 lb capacity can feed your flock on demand, and you no longer have to rush home to feed your birds.
Many customers also believe that Grandpa’s chicken feeder has helped them save tons of money on chicken feed.
This is also one of the oldest brands of poultry feeders available in the market – Grandpa’s feeders have been around for more than two decades!
- Sturdy, durable, long-lasting, weatherproof feeder made from galvanized steel
- Value for money
- Comfortable for the birds to feed on demand
- Saves you time and hassles; you do not have to rush home to feed your birds every day due to large capacity – 20 lb.
- The noisy operation that scares the birds; lid closes heavily.
- Some chickens never got the hang of how to use it
- It does not keep squirrels and rodents from eating the feed.
2. RentACoop Metallic Treadle Feeder
If raccoons and mice have been eating your chickens’ food, then this is the feeder to invest in.
RentACoop metallic treadle feeder is weatherproof and rodent proof. It comes with a large capacity of about 25 lb of feed. You can also change the weight and adjust the pressure to suit your chicken breed.
- RentACoop metallic treadle feeder is one of the best metallic feeders for poultry
- The metallic grill reduces wastage and spillage of food
- Great customer service. The company assures two years extended warranty
- Extremely sturdy, easy to assemble, and very comfortable for the chickens and farmers
- Value for money
- Expensive treadle feeder
- Some smaller species of birds are unable to lift the lid
- Not designed for small or compact coops
- Heavy, even when empty. Not feasible to run in and out with it.
3. RentACoop Chicken Feeder for 21st Century Chicken Owners
RentACoop farm products are some of the best ones in the market.
Their chicken feeder is designed for the 21st-century farmer or backyard coop owner. It comes with the facility to be hung up or placed on the floor as needed.
- RentACoop feeder can be used inside or outside the coop; place it anywhere and you can rest assured your chickens’ feed will remain dry
- This is a zero-wastage chicken feeder; hens cannot spill the food from this feeder.
- The unit is suitable for chickens over 12 weeks.
- It is made with 100% food-grade, BPA-free plastic
- RentACoop holds 20 lb feed, which can easily feed a flock of 8 hens for a week
- Weatherproof, very sturdy, and easy to use, clean, install and refill
- No roost cap included; leads to mess and birds droppings
- Smaller chicks cannot use the feeder
- Does not deter mice and squirrels
- Some units have very tight lids which are difficult to remove.
4. Royal Rooster Chicken Poultry Feeder with Rain Cover
Royal Rooster poultry feeder is one of the best-designed chicken feeders out there. It comes with no-waste four feeding slots that prevent food wastage and also enhance the feed conversion ratio.
Royal Rooster chicken feeder also has a rain cover to prevent soggy feed. This way, you can install this inside or outside the coop.
You can conveniently hook it on a mesh cage or even attach it to a solid wall using the aluminum brackets provided.
- 20 inch tall feeder easily holds up to 6.5 lb feed
- The design ensures minimal waste
- Royal Rooster feeder can hold most kinds of feed like grits, scratch, pellets, and general mixes
- Deters wild animals and rodents from eating the chicken feed
- Rain cover offers weather protection
- Easy to assemble and clean
- Value for money
- Certain types of feed get jammed and clogged in the feeder
- Some chickens refused to use it
- Sparrows and wild birds can easily get your chicken’s food.
5. Harris Farms Hanging Poultry Feeder
Harris Farms hanging feeders come in three different sizes: 7lb, 10lb, and 25lb. Each one is made with sturdy, food-grade plastic. The feeder is easy to hang up and encourages a better feed conversion ratio.
- Fast filling, easy cleaning, minimal waste
- Encourages a better feed conversion ratio
- Hangs up easily for convenience
- Durable plastic construction
- 25 lb feeder can easily feed up to 25 birds
- Food tends to scatter, causing a mess and waste.
6. Harris Farms Free Range Hanging Poultry Feeder
Harris Farms is a big name in poultry products. Their poultry feeder is made with sturdy, food-grade plastic and can hold about 7lb of feed.
It has an easy-to-refill design that saves time and hassle. The easy-to-assemble feeder can easily feed up to 15 chickens.
- Hundreds of happy customers have awarded this hanging poultry feeder top marks for its durability and sturdiness
- The unit is easy to hang, clean, and especially easy to refill as well.
- Nearly eight birds can easily feed on it at the same time
- The translucent plastic also shows you the feed, so you know when to refill
- The design is such that birds can comfortably roost or perch on the feeder. This leads to a mess in the food. The design also tends to waste food.
- Grain makes the feeder heavy, causing difficulty in hanging up, and sometimes, the bottom part falls off from the weight.
7. RentACoop Chick Feeder Waterer Kit
This is a combination of feeder and waterer. The former has a capacity of 1.0 l while the waterer holds about 1.5 l. It easily fits a flock of about 12 birds.
- RentACoop chicken feeder and waterer combo are easy to assemble, use, clean, and refill.
- It is sturdy and durable and made with food-grade plastic
- Great price and offers value for money
- Suitable for baby chicks and ducks, as well
- Difficult to hang up and, when placed on the floor, the water can get messy from droppings and shavings
- Small capacity could be an issue for larger flock size
8. Miller Little Giant High Capacity Poultry Steel Feeder
Miller poultry feeder holds about 10 lb of feed, made from stainless steel, and measure approximately 12″ x8″ x16″.
It has holes on the back for mounting. You can easily feed 20 hens for 2-3 days before the feeder needs refilling.
Miller Little Giant poultry feeder can be used inside or outside the coop. It deters other animals from eating your flock’s food.
- Sturdy, durable, and attractive, Miller 957772 Little Giant is an excellent addition to any backyard coop.
- Easily feed up to 20 birds for 2-3 days.
- Rodents and birds cannot easily access the feed.
- Easy to mount, use, and clean
- Value for money
- Does not prevent rainwater from getting in, if installed outside
- A lot of feed ends up on the ground leading to waste
- Chickens can perch on top and mess up the feeder and the feed
- Prone to mold-formation
What to consider when buying a chicken feeder
Size and capacity
If you have a flock of about 20 birds, go in for a feeder with at least 20 lb capacity.
This way, you only need to refill the feeder every five days. Chicken feeders prevent wastage and spillage of food, so your unit will pay for itself within a few days.
You also save a lot of time feeding your birds every day when you have the right-sized feeder for your flock.
Chicken feeders come in plastic or galvanized metal. Both varieties are sturdy and durable, but you must consider the weather conditions, the size of your flock, the age of your birds, and your budget when choosing the feeder’s material.
Steel or galvanized metal feeders last for years to come, but they can be noisy when opening and closing, and that can scare your chicks.
Galvanized metal feeders are also more expensive as compared to plastic feeders.
Plastic feeders should always be made from BPA-free and food-grade plastic only. This way, there is a minimum seepage of toxic materials in your flocks’ feed.
Good quality feeders can be easily kept inside or outside the coop. That means they need to be weatherproof and should not allow rainwater or snow from spoiling the feed.
Based on the size and space availability in your backyard coop, select a feeder that can be hung up inside or placed on the ground inside the coop or in the coop’s run.
Easy to use for the birds
This is the most important of all features when it comes to chicken feeder selection.
Your birds should be comfortable while using the feeder. Some chicken feeders come with a port. Small chicks can get into these and could even get trapped inside. Therefore, you must select a feeder which all breeds and sizes of birds can easily access the food from, without hurting or harming themselves.
Metal treadle feeders tend to be heavy, and smaller birds may not be able to get inside. Consider the breeds you have and whether they have the intelligence and the strength to use the feeder without too much hassle.
Types of chicken feeders
Chicken feeders can be classified mainly based on their materials. PVC or plastic feeders are made with BPA-free PVC or food-grade plastic. These can be hung up or placed on the coop’s floor.
PVC feeders are lightweight, and sometimes, they can be toppled easily. This could lead to wastage and spillage of feed.
Metallic feeders are heavier and also more expensive compared to plastic feeders.
The heavy feeders are often cumbersome to be moved or carried for refilling. Some birds also cannot lift the heavy lid.
However, metal feeders have several advantages in that; they last longer, are usually weatherproof, and also cannot be toppled. This minimizes wastage.
Every backyard coop needs a chicken feeder unless you have the time to feed your birds daily. But what will you do when you have to leave town for a few days? A chicken feeder allows your birds to free-range and to eat when they want.
Good quality feeders prevent mice, squirrels, wild birds, and raccoons from eating the feed. They also prevent rainwater and other weather elements from spoiling the feed. This way, you can save tons of money annually. Use the above reviews to invest in the right chicken feeder for your flock.