What is the Best Chicken Feeder for Your Chickens?

Chickens are perhaps among the lowest maintenance farm animals. They can be raised free-range and will peck on grass, worms, and insects for their diet. They totally would not mind if their food is dumped on the ground. However, for chicken-keepers, doing so is not a good idea, especially if their food is store-bought feed. They are most likely to make a mess out of the food; hence, wasting the feed as well as the money it costs. Also, the mess will attract vermin, which does no good for the poultry.

Best Chicken Feeder

Therefore, it is advisable that chicken-keepers invest in reliable feeders to store chicken food and to minimize waste. Whether the feeder is made of plastic or metal is important to consider. In this article, the five best metal feeders and five best plastic feeders are listed. The metal feeders include Grandpa’s Automatic Feeder, Miller 9112, RentACoop Outdoor Feeder, Duncan’s 55lb Poultry Feeder, and Ware Chicken Trough.

However, as the metal feeders can cost quite expensively, feeder brands provide economical plastic counterparts. For instance, in this article, there are RentACoop Plastic Bucket Feeder and Little Giant Plastic Poultry Feeder. Aside from those two, the best plastic feeders also include Muddy Hill Farm and Harris Farms Gravity Poultry Feeder. Lastly, there is the efficiently rodent-proof PECk-O-MATIC Demand Plastic Chicken Feeder Kit.

Aside from preventing waste and vermin contamination, providing a feeder also ensures that the flock is eating well. This is done as chicken-keepers can easily monitor the feeders of how much the chickens are eating. Moreover, having a feeder not only keeps the feed clean but also the chicken coop in general. This is important as fallen food is likely to attract mice and rats. And before one knows it, these rodents might next attack the chicken themselves after their food.

The Best Galvanized Steel Chicken Feeders

Grandpa’s Automatic Galvanized Steel Feeder

Grandpa’s Feeder has the reputation of being the top chicken feeder in the world and has the best reviews so far. It is made of sturdy galvanized steel finish, which means that the unit is weatherproof. Moreover, its roof and total structure protect the food from rain, other hungry animals, and rodents. Its size also holds up to 20 pounds of feed, which means that frequent refilling will be less required.


Furthermore, the automatic design of Grandpa’s Feeder is tailored to fit the chickens’ natural feeding behavior. Thus, the birds can access their food whenever they feel hungry. Also, through this, the well-being of the chickens is ensured, which is crucial for production, especially for layers. The sloped back feature of the feeder also ensures no food will be stuck and go stale.

Best Features

  • Weatherproof
  • Can be used outdoors
  • Prevents spoilage
  • Prevents spillage
  • Large capacity of up to 20 pounds
  • Refill is required less frequently
  • Protects the food from the element, rats, birds, and other animals
  • Grill feature prevents the chickens from flicking and wasting the feed


  • The metal opener can be noisy

Miller 9112 12lb Galvanized Gravity Feeder

This model is by Little Giant, primarily designed to prevent the mess that usually comes along chicken feeding. It is made of a galvanized material that enables long-term and outdoor use. Also, like gravity or hanging feeder, it prevents the feed from obtaining debris and the chickens from spilling food. Hence, the feed costs are also preserved.

With its pan feature, multiple chickens, as many as eight, can be fed at the same time. The unit also holds up to 12 pounds of feed, which means that frequent refilling will not be necessary. A good shake at least once a day will bring the feed out of the feeder.

However, this design does not have a cover as chickens tend to like eating from the center. A cover can be availed separately, though, or one may use a paper plate as an alternative.

Best Features

  • Rust-resistant
  • The hanging design saves floor space
  • Prevents spillage
  • Prevents debris from getting mixed with the feed
  • The pan feature allows for multiple chickens to feed simultaneously
  • Long-lasting
  • Easy to install
  • 12-pound capacity
  • Can accommodate a wide variety of feed


  • Does not come with a cover

RentACoop Rainproof Outdoor Metallic Chicken Feeder

This model is designed primarily for the purpose of outdoor use and for withstanding extreme weather conditions. It may be placed on a stand or screwed on a wall. Also, the structure prevents the chicken from spilling food on the ground. The food varieties that it can contain may be grains, crumbles, or pellets. 

RentACoop Rainproof Outdoor Metallic Chicken Feeder is also significantly larger in capacity than many other feeder designs. It can contain feed at least 25 pounds heavy. Thus, it is efficient when a chicken-keeper has plans of going away for quite a while. 

Best Features

  • Rain-proof
  • Durable galvanized steel
  • Prevents spillage
  • Can be used for grains, crumbles, or pellets
  • Large capacity
  • Can be placed on a stand or screwed on a wall
  • Easy to install and operate


  • A cover may be necessary to ensure optimum protection of food from rainwater.

Duncan’s 55lb Poultry Chicken Feeder

Duncan’s poultry chicken feeder is well-suited for when the chickens need to be confined indoors, for instance, during the winter. As a 55-pound capacity feeder, frequent refilling is not necessary while still ensuring that the chickens get their everyday fill. However, as it is made of galvanized steel, this feeder may also be used outdoors when it is acceptable. The material it is made of also makes it long-lasting and rust-resistant.

Furthermore, Duncan’s poultry chicken feeder can be used with crumbles and pellets. There is no need to assemble it upon purchase; thus, it can be used right away. Its distinctive base design allows for several chickens to feed simultaneously while preventing them from spilling food on the ground.

Best Features

  • Large capacity of up to 55 pounds
  • Can be used with crumbles and pellets
  • Weatherproof 
  • The hinged gable style lid cover allows for easy refilling
  • Allows for simultaneous feeding
  • Prevents the chickens from scratching and spilling the feed
  • Easy to use


  • Its edges can be quite sharp

Galvanized Steel Ware Chicken Trough Feeder

Apparently, this feeder model, as it is made of galvanized metal, is basically resistant to rust. It has wire tops that are designed to prevent chickens from wasting or scratching food all over the ground. Due to its relatively small capacity, it is best to use this unit for small flocks.

Best Chicken Feeder

The disadvantages of this unit, aside from its capacity, include its tendency to tip over. In addition, it also does not provide optimum feed protection from rodents and other hungry animals.

Best Features

  • Wire tops prevent chickens from scratching food out
  • Reduces waste
  • Rust-proof
  • Low maintenance


  • Small capacity
  • Can be easily tipped over
  • Offers minimal feed protection from rodents and other animals

The Best Plastic Chicken Feeders

RentACoop Plastic Bucket Chicken Feeder

This chicken feeder is made of BPA-free plastic and features a hundred percent food grade. It can contain about 20 pounds of feed, which makes refilling less labor-intensive. Moreover, it has two holes dispense and allows the chickens access to the contained feed. These two holes enable chickens to feed at the same time without having to bully each other. 


Furthermore, RentACoop bucket feeder also comes with a roof. This means that the food is protected from the elements and from spoilage. It also is efficient when the chickens are to live either outdoors or indoors.

Best Features

  • Can be used for either outdoor or indoor use
  • Prevents spoilage even if it rains
  • Prevents spillage
  • The food is kept dry and protected by the cover
  • Can contain up to 20 pounds of food
  • Refill is required in less frequency
  • The plastic material is BPA-free and is 100% food grade


  • Designed for chickens at least 12 weeks old
  • Smaller and younger chickens can crawl inside the feeder

Muddy Hill Farm Poultry Plastic Bucket Chicken Feeder

This chicken feeder is made of heavy-duty plastic material, which allows for outdoor use. It is also a large capacity that can hold up to 20 pounds of feed. Thus, the chickens are sure to get their fill even with minimal monitoring by the keeper. Also, a weather shield feature prevents rain from spoiling the feed and thus, saving a cost. It can also save the chickens from bullying each other as it comes with two ports. These ports will enable chickens to feed at the same time.

As the model is assembled with screws and not with glue or silicone, cleaning will be easier by disassembling the unit. A rubber seal feature also offers protection to the feed from weather elements and spoilage.

Best Features

  • Long-lasting
  • Allow simultaneous multiple chicken feeding
  • Weather and draft-proof
  • High capacity of up to 20 pounds of feed
  • Cleaning is easier by disassembling the unit
  • Can be placed on the ground or hung up


  • Smaller and younger chickens can crawl inside the feeder

Little Giant Plastic Poultry Feeder

This is an economy feeder made of affordable, high-quality plastic. Its best features include its feed-save lips, which will minimize spillage. It also comes with an adjustable level feature to accommodate different-sized chickens. Moreover, it has anti-scratch veins, which will prevent crowding and feed waste.

Overall, the design of this poultry feeder is fairly simple, which makes it rather easy to use, clean, and take care of. Its 12-inch diameter base allows for feeding many chickens at the same time. Its internal slope allows for easy dispensing; thus, keepers are guaranteed that the chickens get their day’s fill. Furthermore, the outside lip saves the feed when chickens try to throw it away; hence, food waste is being reduced.

Best Features

  • Affordable 
  • Great for a small flock
  • Feed-save lips prevent spillage
  • Has an adjustable feed level feature
  • Anti-scratch vanes prevent crowding


  • Might be susceptible to cracks and breaks when knocked off.

Harris Farms Gravity Plastic Poultry Feeder

Harris poultry feeder is a free-range, open, 7-pound capacity feeder. Its open-top feature allows for quick and easy filling and cleaning. Its twist lock base, on the other hand, minimizes feed waste and prevents scratch outs.

Best Chicken Feeder

With this unit, many chickens, up to 15 of them, can be fed at the same time. Thus, not only does it save feed, cost, and labor, but it also saves time. It can either be placed on the ground or hung up to save some floor space.

However, the tray may be separated fairly easily from the top, which can cause rare spillage. Also, the tray may be too shallow for large fowls, which can potentially make the chickens scatter the feed when eating.

Best Features

  • Simple and easy to put together
  • Can be hung up or placed on the ground
  • Available in 3 sizes


  • Does not come with a lid cover
  • The tray may be quite easy to get separated from the top
  • The trough may be too shallow for large fowls

PECk-O-MATIC Demand Plastic Chicken Feeder Kit

This is particularly a pest-proof feeder that discourages rodents and other hungry animals from stealing the chickens’ feed. As an innovative, automatic feeder, it is rather easy to use. It also provides optimum protection from the rain and other weather elements, which prevents spoilage of the food.

This feeder needs a separate five-gallon bucket and has six regulator disks to be used according to the feed’s size.

Best Features

  • Prevents wasting of food
  • Offers optimum protection from pests, rodents, and other animals
  • Offers optimum protection from rain and drafts
  • Frequent feed replenishing is reduced


  • Does not come with the five-gallon bucket
  • Chickens will have to be trained to use it
  • May not work well with pellets

Related Questions

How often does a chicken feeder need to be cleaned?

A chicken feeder needs to be cleaned, depending on a few factors, such as size, capacity, and nature. Obviously, open-top feeders are prone to getting debris in with the feed. Thus, these types shall be monitored as frequently as every day if necessary. Close lid ones, on the other hand, are less prone to accumulating debris. Hence, cleaning it out shall be necessary until the feed runs out.

However, a rule of thumb is perhaps a weekly clean up using warm soapy water. Emptying out large capacity chicken feeders every week also means regularly getting old feed and potential mixed in debris out. Often, plastic chicken feeders are easier to clean up than metal once, especially at the crevices areas.

Which is better – a plastic feeder or a metal feeder?

Generally, chicken feeders are divided into the plastic and metal categories. In terms of accessibility, plastic feeders are better as metal feeders are slowly becoming harder to search for. Plastic feeders, on the other hand, are becoming more commonly used as they are inexpensive to mass-produce. Hence, are not only the buyers benefited with their low cost, but also including the manufacturers. Moreover, plastic feeders are fairly easy to clean, maintain, and use.

However, in terms of durability and lifespan, metal feeders are better. Plastic betters are likely to dry rot eventually. Extreme weather conditions may also be quite hard on them. They might get brittle and will break or crack easily. Sunlight may also cause cracks eventually as well and may bleach out coloring. However, whether it is made of plastic or metal, feeders typically go a couple of years before they are ready to be replaced.

What is the most cost-effective type of chicken feeder?

Plastic feeders are generally economical and cheap compared to most galvanized steel feeders. However, particularly hanging ones can save chicken-keepers significant costs due to its nature. For instance, they help reduce feed waste as they prevent the risk of getting debris mixed in with the feed. Also, they help prevent chickens from scratching the feed all over and spilling it on the ground. Hence, a significant amount of money to buy the feed is saved as well.

Furthermore, not only will chicken-keepers save cost with hanging feeders, but they will also be able to save floor space. Other feeders that are placed on the ground or on a stand do not offer this privilege. Also, these types of feeders, even with a lid on them, maybe prone to getting tipped over. This sometimes means that the feed is going to spill out on the ground, and thus, wasting feed money. One thing that is very important when using hanging feeders, though, is to make sure that the handle is durable.

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Eni Gordove

is a freelance writer that covers several niches like digital marketing, book publishing and marketing, travel, home improvements, and backyard gardening and farming. Also, she's a strong advocate of eco-farming and home gardening.

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