DIY Triple Calf Feeder

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Photo courtesy of FARM SHOW
Samuel Thompson, 20, made his own 3-way calf feeder that insures the animals get an equal share, as well as comes apart and cleans easily.

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.

The feeder works well on the calves right up to weaning, says Thompson, who buys calves in groups of three to raise and sell. For more information, contact Samuel Thompson at