Solar-Powered Automatic Chicken Feeder

To keep varmints out of his chickens’ feed, this man built an automatic feeder that’s powered by the sun.

| March/April 2018

“Varmints were eating all the feed in my chicken feeder at night so I built an automatic chicken feeder out of a 5-gallon, solar-powered deer feeder. It puts down just enough feed during the day for the chickens, but leaves nothing overnight for varmints,” says Todd Kabes, San Antonio, Texas.

He bought an American Hunter solar-powered hanging deer feeder equipped with a solar panel and battery, a 5-gallon bucket with a spinner plate under it, and a timer — all for about $60.

“The deer feeder was originally designed to throw feed onto the ground in a large circle, but I modified it so the feed will drop straight down onto a round metal pan on the ground,” says Kabes. “The entire setup hangs from a pipe frame.”

He cut off part of a truck tire inner tube and screwed it onto the bottom of the bucket feeder, using silicone to waterproof it. The inner tube completely surrounds the spreader so feed drops straight down into the pan he made. The pan has an upside down funnel at the center of it that directs feed to the outer edges.

“I have just a few chickens so I only run the feeder for about two seconds each day,” says Kabes.

The pan is screwed onto the top of a pair of PVC pipes to keep it up off the ground.

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