I've talked about the pig feeders making life easier for me, and it took me a while to figure out something that I could use to feed 500 chickens. I wish I could say I thought of it, but this idea actually came to be by accident.
I get a load of wood chips now and then from tree service companies, and I use those chips in a variety of ways. One day there was a tattered garbage can buried in the chips. I think that what happened was that the garbage can got tossed into the back of the chip truck and got buried. They left it when they dumped the load of chips.
So I dug it out and put it where they'd see it, but after 3 weeks noone had picked it up. At the time I had some sacked feed that rats had gotten into and chewed holes in, and I put the feed into the tree service garbage can, and called it a day.
The garbage can had some cracks in it, large enough for feed to leak out, and I found chickens eating the feed from the cracks, and the light went on in my head. a 32 gallon garbage can makes a 100lb feeder for about $15 total cost.
I put the garbage cans up on blocks so that the feed doesn't get wet when it rains. the lid keeps the chickens from crapping into the feed and keeps the feed dry from the top.
At the bottom I cut a small hole. I've put the quarter up there as a size reference. it's a triangle, about 1" tall. Now over time, the chickens pecking and rodents will enlarge this hole. I buy a piece of roof flashing and put it inside to keep the hole size small. This particular feeder is feeding smaller chickens, so the hole is small, and the type of feed is a mash -- basically a powder -- and I kick the feeder every day to make sure that the feed is flowing to the feeding points. Two of these feeders feed my flock of 500 chickens for a week.
6 days ago