Learn How to Make a Self-Feeder for Poultry

Learn How to Make a Self-Feeder for Poultry

While there are many types of containers designed to feed chickens, here is a self-feeder that I have adapted that works well for my set up. I like it because it is efficient, keeps the food clean and allows the chickens to eat as much as they need without waste.  I can fill this self-feeder up for a pen of 8-10 chickens, and it will capably feed them for up to a week.  

Additional Benefits

  • Very simple to make, with a power drill
  • Inexpensive and cost effective, you just need a drill bit and a pail with lid to build
  • It holds enough feed to self-feed a small flock for several days or longer depending on how many birds you have in the pen
  • Cost Effective with less food waste.
  • Durable
  • Feed stays clean when placed on a 4–6-inch platform
Black Ameraucana Bantam Rooster

 Items Needed

  • Power Drill
  • 1 1/4 Speedbor drill bit
  • 5-gallon pail with lid
  • Large 3 gallon pan typically used to feed and water poultry
  • A small 4–6-inch platform to set auto- feeder on


This is a really easy set up, you simply use a power drill with a bit capable of drilling 1 1/4-inch hole. When drilling the holes, it seems to work better if you drill into the pail and then put drill in reverse and drill out the hole, this makes for a smoother cut. By going forwards and then putting drill in reverse, will make a nicer cleaner hole. Continue drilling several holes around the bottom of the pail about 2 inches from the bottom the pail, if they are too low to the bottom of the pail, the feed will not pour into the feed pan as easily. Make the holes all the way around the bottom of the pail about 3 to 4 inches apart and 2 inches from the bottom of the pail. Once you have this done, set the pail inside of a large 3-gallon rubber water pan or other type of large pan. Fill the pail with feed and place lid on pail.

English Lavender Mottled Oprintons

Build A Platform for Auto Feeder

It is a good idea to place this feeder system on platform above the coop floor by about 4-6 inches to keep debris out of the feed. If you are feeding bantams 4 inches should be good, if you’re feeding a large fowl 6 inches should be good, if your feeding turkeys, you might want it to make the platform taller.

Building the Platform

Here is a nice way to build a platform: take two pieces of 2×4’ lumber and cut two 18 inch in length pieces and you need one 18×18” square piece of plywood. To assemble the platform, use 2-inch screws or nails to attach plywood to 18-inch square plywood. You can also make platforms other ways like with bricks or whatever you have, that will elevate the self-feeder off the floor of the coop. Once you have a platform, you can start feeding your chickens with ease with the auto feeder on the platform and you are ready to go, now your chickens will have access to food when they need it

Poultry Auto-Feeder Ready for Use