By Liesl Clark
Chickens are raised all over the world for their eggs and meat. By some estimates, there are 45 chickens per person on the planet. My family had chickens when I was a child (we had, on average, 2 chickens per person!) and we took monthly trips to our local farm coop for chicken feed, a balanced mixture of complimentary grains, some whole and others ground down to a mash. Layer hens are given “layer mash” a high protein diet that usually consists of soy.
Billions of people in the developing world don’t go to a feed store for chicken feed. Their feathered friends forage for what they can scratch up on their own as well as kitchen scraps. Here in Nepal, those scraps are typically rice with dhal (lentils), a combination that is a complete protein. This has to be the cheapest chicken feed on the planet. At home, we buy a 40 lb. bag of organic while grain “scratch and peck” corn-free soy-free layer mash and it costs us a whopping $40. We feed them all our weeds and most of our grass clippings from the lawn. And I love this post from A Life Unprocessed about how to make your kitchen veggie and fruit scraps appealing to your hens.
We happened upon a homemade chicken feeder yesterday in a Himalayan village in Western Nepal that was filled with cooked rice mixed with a little dhal. It took us some time to figure out what it was made from and we’re not entirely sure, but this trash hack got me thinking. No need to buy a special chicken feeder from the feed store. You can fashion your own!
My guess is that this one was made from a hanging plastic plant pot and the bottom pan of a slightly larger plant pot. The plant pot has been turned upside down and the bottom partially carved out to receive grains. A 1″ PVC pipe was threaded through the middle to somehow help raise the pot up enough to dispose grains out the bottom.
If you’ve made a chicken feeder of your own by repurposing something else, please share how you did it!