Winterizing the Chicken Coop Part I

Winter is just around the corner, even though fall has barely started in Ohio, and I hav started getting ready for th lower temperatures. The weather has been gorgeous this week, prime opportunity for getting things done on the farm. While the weather is still too warm to fully winterize the chicken coop and barn, there are small jobs that are better to get done before the winter sets in.

The chickens had outgrown their small feeder, and I blogged recently about constructing a new one from PVC pipe. My neighbor helped me tweak it to work even better yesterday as one of several projects we worked on.

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My favorite kind of projects are those that are inexpensive to complete and functional. As you can see, I did more research, as the original feeders I blogged about did not hold nearly enough feed, and constucted a total of 6 PVC feeders. I got this idea from a blog that turned up when I searched Google for PVC feeders. The tubes, I made 32″ tall, and used 45 degree fittings to provide the best access to the stored feed. I also used hose clamps to hold the tubes onto the wall. I did not want to invest in end caps for the bottom, and I had scrap wood, so I used the scrap of landscape timber to keep the pressure off the hose clamps. I secrued a scrap piece of 1″ hard lumber, I believe it was oak, for the bottom of the feeders to sit one to keep the feed from spilling out on the floor. It worked mostly…. but I am about efficiency. My neighbor and I brainstormed, and he came over with a hole saw. I measured and marked the placement of the feeder ends on the scrap section that would sit ontop of the 1″ stop. My neighbor patiently drilled out the holes that I had marked so that the feeder ends sit down into the board and actually rest on the original stop. Problem solved! It works wonders and the birds cannot move the feeders to knock feed on the floor!

One thing I noticed about these feeders, is that the layer crumbles that I purchased, tend to draw moisture and stick to the PVC pipe. It was easily knocked loose, or brused back down the tube by my hand, but that is not going to be efficient…. so I plan to possibly try the pelleted layer feed. It is only $1 more per 50 pound bag, we will see how it does the next week or so. I am also doing research on making my own chicken feed, there is a lot to research! Stay tuned for more projects and more information!

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