DIY Triple Calf Feeder

Teenager designed a triple calf feeder made from PVC and other inexpensive materials. Feed three calves in the time it normally takes to bottle-feed one.

| September/October 2016

Samuel Thompson, 20, feeds three calves in the time it takes to feed one with his triple calf feeder. His design ensures that each calf gets an equal share and that the feeder can be easily and thoroughly cleaned.

Thompson, of Rushville, New York, came up with the idea when he was 18 and had a full-time job, plus calves to feed before and after work. He didn’t like commercially available multiple feeding units because they clog easily. Using the basic idea, he decided to use PVC sewer pipe – a T, two 45-degree sections and three ends. He also cut the edges off two caps that fit inside the PVC to create half walls to hold a quart of milk in each of the 45-degree sections. He then cut out the ends to insert Peach Teats calf nipples that have threads.

“They are threaded so they reseal each time,” Thompson says. “I wanted to be able to unscrew the ends to wash them out.”

He added a funnel by drilling a hole in the PVC T for a screw-in fitting. The funnel is plastic welded to the inside of the fitting. He added vents for good airflow.

Thompson secured the feeder on a wooden shelf with iron strapping. 

He runs water through the unit after every feeding and takes it apart a couple times a week to clean it thoroughly in water with bleach.

mother earth news fair 2018 schedule


Next: April 28-29, 2018
Asheville, NC

Sit in on dozens of practical workshops from the leading authorities on modern homesteading, animal husbandry, gardening, real food and more!