The 7 Best Automatic Chicken Feeders Of 2021, Reviewed
Choosing the best automatic chicken feeder is more than asking, “Treadle or gravity feeder?”
Our team did the research and read through the reviews. We considered everything from your large flocks to a small budget. But we also threw in a wildcard expandable feeder that holds up to 70 pounds of feed!
The automatic route will save you time, effort, and money without getting your hands dirty. Hop on board!
- The Top 7 Automatic Chicken Feeders: Which One Is The Best Chicken Feeder for You?
- 1. RentACoop Treadle Chicken Feeder – Best Automatic Chicken Coop
- 2. Auto-Fill© Automatic Chicken Feeder – Affordable Automatic Chicken Feeder
- 3. Rural365 Galvanized Chicken Feeder – Best Automatic Feeder for a Large Flock
- 4. SuperHandy Chicken Feeder
- 5. OverEZ Automatic Chicken Feeder
- 6. RentACoop Chicken Feeder
- 7. Royal Rooster Chicken Feeder
- Buying Guide: Automatic Feeders For Chickens
The Top 7 Automatic Chicken Feeders: Which One Is The Best Chicken Feeder for You?
We know there are a lot of automatic chicken feeders that are just knock-offs of each other. So we chose 7 COMPLETELY DIFFERENT automatic chicken feeders.
They are the crème de la crème of their class. One of these is about to change your life.
Our pick for the overall best automatic chicken feeder is the RentACoop Treadle Chicken Feeder. It’s a treadle-type feeder, and it has two things that all the other feeders don’t have.
First of all, it’s expandable. The initial set comes with 25 pounds worth of storage. But 15-pound extensions are available. You can store a total of 70 pounds of feed!
The latched lid and rain guards secure the motherload—no hijacked or wet feed in this feeder. However, you have to keep it under the shade outdoors. It’s still metal and can get too hot to step on.
Imagine all the time you save if you only need to clean and refill the feeders for a LARGE FLOCK once a month.
That’s not all. The treadle weight is adjustable. You can use this on bantams or a bigger flock of small birds – it is by far the best chicken feeder on the market.
The RentACoop Treadle Chicken Feeder has all the other feeders’ bells and whistles rolled into one and then some. It allows you to feed more chickens for a longer time.
You have the freedom to do other things without having to worry about pests, food waste, weather damage, and constant manual feeding.
YES. With all that this has to offer, it is bound to be the best chicken feeder for you. Heck, other people even use it on turkeys. A chicken keeper even used it on teenage chickens without any injuries. That adjustable treadle weight is genius!
Our budget pick is the Auto-Fill© Automatic Chicken Feeder.
It’s a 5-gallon bucket with two large feeding ports on opposite sides of each other. It has a handle, so you can use it as a giant hanging feeder or prop it on a cinder block.
The hanging option means there’s less chance that mice go to town on the feed. After all, the ports don’t have lids. If you do hang them, make sure they are secure.
This bucket holds 45 pounds of chicken feed – that’s enough to keep 14 bellies full for ten days. If it falls, that’s a lot of weight to crush your flock!
Some people think this product is overrated because of the simple design, but it works. It keeps the food in and the rain out. Plus, you don’t have to stress yourself about faulty mechanisms or corrosion.
As long as you don’t use it for chicks, consider getting this chicken feeder. It’s super affordable and easy to build, even if you’re not a handyman/gal.
Let’s get back on the metal hype with our top pick for large flocks. [Drum roll, please]
Presenting the Rural365 Galvanized Chicken Feeder. No fancy hydraulics here, people. You can mount this non-treadle automatic feeder on a wall.
Remember, less is more. It has fewer mechanics, which means you save more time from maintenance. All you have to do is clean and refill every week for FIFTEEN CHICKENS. (That extra free time sounds good considering the flock size, huh?)
Big flocks make more mess. Luckily, this feeder makes sure that the hens don’t throw the food everywhere. There’s nothing for the mice to eat later.
It’s all in the design. It has a recessed feeding area that’s enclosed on three sides. What’s more, the food grid doesn’t give space for hens to dig with their beaks. Voila! ZERO MESS.
There is a downside. The lid has a handle but no locks. (Racoons are smiling). But no worries. That’s nothing a latch can’t fix.
This massive 50-pound feeder keeps your medium to large flock well-fed for a week. And the no-mess system is the solution to your rat problem.
The SuperHandy Chicken Feeder is a treadle feeder. Well, the name is appropriate. It’s super handy to keep the feed accessible to ONLY THE CHICKENS. That’s right, no uninvited rodents or wild birds to this buffet.
The automatic feeder also trains your birds in their dining etiquette. Side panels act as ushers. “Please use the main door to access your food.”
They also prevent food fights by keeping the feed from getting flung out. And birds with large combs or fancy head feathers can dine with ease. (Thank you, high opening clearance)
This automatic feeder buffet holds twenty pounds of food. It caters to 6 hens’ on-demand feeding for up to 10 days. Meaning you save time on refilling and don’t need to wait on them every day.
Oh, and another thing. This feeder is suitable for Alfresco dining. But make sure you put this feeder in a shaded spot. (as if your birds weren’t spoiled enough, right?) You don’t want them to scorch their feet on the hot metal.
This feeder is also a pellet saver! It’s your solution to rodents or wild birds eating your chicken’s feed. It’s perfect for a small flock living either indoors or outdoors in a shaded area. You don’t want to get this if you have chicks or bantams.
Next on our list is the OverEZ Automatic Chicken Feeder. It’s a plastic and non-treadle chicken feeder. Relax, these are a far cry from the Harris Farms hanging version. And it is still an automatic feeder.
This baby can store a whopping 50 pounds amount of feed. It will take six weeks for five hens to go through that much feed.
You’ll have time to kick back and relax. Not worrying about rain getting inside the feeder. That’s the beauty of plastic. It’s water-proof and doesn’t get too hot under the sun.
You also rest easy knowing that food isn’t scattered everywhere. Hens have to stick their heads down into the feeding port. That leaves little room to make a mess. Even if three are feeding at the same time.
The feeding ports are always open. No sliding metal flaps mean ZERO CHANCES of having a guillotine episode. Your hens’ heads are safe.
Chicks are a different story. Yes, it’s not a treadle feeder. But it’s still not safe for chicks younger than 12 weeks. Nevermind the heads. A whole chick can get stuck inside the feeding port – you wouldn’t know until you check back after six weeks! That’s not going to be a pretty sight.
The OverEZ Automatic Chicken Feeder is an excellent choice if you don’t want a treadle-type feeder. Since it’s not a hanging feeder either, you can put it anywhere around your backyard. Leave it on the ground or elevate it on a block for the feeding height. It’s a good fit for any chicken coop with any number of hens.
Here’s another plastic option: the RentACoop Chicken Feeder – a square bucket-type feeder that comes fully assembled.
This automatic feeder can hold 20 pounds of feed that can feed eight birds for a whole week. Of course, the fewer you have, the longer it lasts. If you only had a pair, it could last for an entire month!
And don’t worry about the pellets going stale. The food-grade BPA-free plastic material keeps them fresh. The two feeding ports also have rain guards to help keep the feed dry. Gone are days your chickens eat soggy, crumbly food.
This feeder has a cone-like lid. Your chickens don’t roost on the top, and don’t poop on the container. You can also hang it off the ground to keep pests at bay. The plastic handle makes this possible.
Seems perfect? Not quite. This feeder is not for chickens younger than 12 weeks old. Seriously. A keeper’s 6-week old Speckled Sussex got stuck in the feeding port. If they can fit inside, keep them away from it.
It is a great choice if you live in areas with frequent temperature changes. No running outside to move the feeder when it gets too hot or it starts to rain. A single unit is perfect for a few hens since it only has two feeding ports.
The Royal Rooster Chicken Feeder pretty much looks like your rainwater downpipe.
Mount this sleek automatic feeder anywhere in your coop. But hold on. You don’t need to run to Lowe’s for extra mounting supplies. The package comes with aluminum brackets. Neat!
Choose your feed carefully with this feeder. It’s not suitable for clumpy or very loose feed. Given that it’s vertical, the sticky kind has a hard time going down the hatch. And very loose ones flow straight out. That’s gravity for you!
Get the right feed, and this feeder works like a charm. The feeder grids stop your chooks from flicking the food out while the rain guard keeps them dry and poop-free.
The Royal Rooster feeder is on the small side, though. It can only hold 6.5 pounds of feed. That’s a week’s supply for three hens.
Paging all minimalist chicken keepers! This feeder is for you. It’s so low-key that the usual pests don’t mind it. You can mount it in a corner with the main tube out of the coop. And the feeding port stays on the inside. That way, you don’t need to go inside to refill. But note that chic isn’t cheap with this one.
Buying Guide: Automatic Feeders For Chickens
You already got a glimpse into the different automatic feeders for chickens. Now let’s be smart about choosing the right one for you. Here is what you should consider before clicking the “Check out” button.
Size Of Your Flock
How many hens do you have? Obviously, the more you have, the more food they eat. But, you don’t necessarily need to buy the biggest feeder for the largest flock. You can control the frequency of refills. But we’ll get to that later.
The most basic thing you should know is how much chickens eat in a day (1).
“A fully grown chicken will typically eat about 120 grams (¼ pound) of layer pellets a day.”
Now you got to do the math. Let’s say you have a flock of 6 hens and 20 pounds of feed.
Based on that, the SuperHandy Chicken Feeder is an ideal candidate.
Types Of Chicken Feeders
Different chickens have certain needs.
Large breeds and those with big combs need a bigger feeding port, regardless if you prefer a diy chicken feeder or a pre-built one. You don’t want them getting their heads stuck or combs grazed. Choose a feeder that has higher head clearance.
Combs is not just a headpiece. You can tell a lot about a chicken’s health based on their combs (2). So if they get damaged because of the feeders without you knowing, you might get read the signs wrong.
Choosing the right kind of feed is important. Not all automatic feeders can dispense all types of feed. For example, the Royal Rooster Chicken Feeder can’t dispense very loose or sticky feed. It’s also very small.
Refill Frequency And Maintenance
The amount of food you can afford dictates how many times you can refill your feeder. The goal is to lessen manual feeding time. And buying in bulk turns out cheaper in the long run.
Essentially, automatic chicken feeders save you time, money, and effort daily.
It is a tool to help you break free from a daily chore. But the longer the interval between feeding, the bigger the capacity you need.
The RentACoop Treadle Chicken Feeder can hold up to 70 pounds of feed. Refills of that would be monthly at the least. (That’s why it’s our best choice.)
Also, consider good quality materials that are pest-proof and weather-proof. It’s useless to have a big feeder that rats can easily get to. Eliminating rats doesn’t only prevent food waste but also health problems. They carry diseases that can affect chickens and humans (3).
Simple, plastic feeders are easier to clean. Galvanized metal is water-proof but has detailed parts. Make sure you clean all the nooks and crannies, so the mechanisms continue to work well.
It’s an investment for sure, but a feeder often pays for itself. It extends your feed and saves you time and effort.
Feeding System And Accessibility
“To treadle or not to treadle?” That is the question.
Choose how the hens access their food. The treadle feeder is now the poster boy for automatic chicken feeders. (Credit goes to Grandpa feeder, the OG treadle feeder.)
The science is simple. Chickens step onto a platform, and their weight opens up a lid containing the feed. Easy to use and secure from pests.
Some chicken keepers don’t like this mechanism because it’s dangerous. Not all chickens weigh the same. Others are lighter, causing the lid to close on their heads when the other weight bearer hops off. It also requires training (4).
“It can be hard to teach your hens how to use them; in extreme cases, they just won’t learn, and you’ll have to use something else.”
As they say, patience is a virtue. You have to be consistent with the training so that the chickens get the hang of it.
Pro tip: Prop the lid open for a few hours each day. This way, the chickens know what’s inside that chunk of metal that appeared out of nowhere.
Eventually, they’ll get to know it as the magical box that never runs out of food.
Gravity feeders like the Rural365 Galvanized Chicken Feeder slide food down as needed. It’s accessible enough that chickens stick their heads into the feeding port to eat. But, there’s no security from pests. No flap closes when the chickens finish eating.
Think about how many chickens can use the feeder at a time. Then see if one feeder is enough. Take the bucket feeders like the Auto-Fill© Automatic Chicken Feeder, for example. Yes, it can hold 45 pounds of feed. But it can also only feed two chickens at a time (insert long waiting line sign).
As with anything, there are pros and cons to these options. It’s up to you to decide which is the best fit for your flock and chicken coop.
Deciding on the right feeder for chicks is like buying a kid’s toy. You will need to check first if it’s age-appropriate.
Chicks can’t open a treadle feeder because they are light and small. Only adult birds can activate the feeder.
Choose specialized feeders and proper feed for chicks. They have to be as high as their backs (5). And have a lip so that they don’t push food off the edges with their beaks. Yes, chickens are apparently naturally born messy eaters.
You will need a Harris farm feeder because it’s the safest and most convenient feeder for your yellow puffballs.
No, you can’t overfeed chickens. They have a food limit of whatever fits in their crop – a sac in their neck region that stores food before digestion.
Imagine chipmunks. When their cheeks are full, they stop stuffing more food. It’s somewhat identical with chickens. They fill their crop, the food gets digested, and then they eat again. It can take up to 24 hours to completely digest a full crop (6).
“Overfeeding” chickens is not a matter of quantity but the quality of the feed. Just like in people, it’s the calories that count and not the amount.
You should put the feeder near the door of your chicken coop, so it’s accessible to you and your chickens. If you part-time free-range your birds, place the feeder under a shaded spot. Metal treadle feeders’ platforms can get hot in direct sunlight.
You can rat-proof a chicken feeder in 2 ways. Either position your feeder in a secure location accessible only to the chickens or lock it up at night.
Hang bucket-type feeders so the rodents can get inside the feeding ports. Or put a latch and lock on the lids. Keep in mind that having a lid doesn’t make the feeder rat-proof. For feeding ports, try a very snug cap. On the other hand, some chicken feeders are rat-proof.
- Feeding And Watering Your Chickens. Retrieved from: https://www.omlet.co.uk/guide/chickens/chicken_care/feeding/
- Comb and Wattles. Retrieved from: https://www.bhwt.org.uk/hen-health/learn-about-hens/comb-and-wattles/
- Rodent Control: 7 Ways To Keep Mice And Rats Out of the Coop. Retrieved from: https://www.hobbyfarms.com/rodent-control-7-ways-to-keep-mice-and-rats-out-of-the-coop-3/
- If You Read One Article About Poultry Feeders Read this One. Retrieved from: https://kippax-farms.co.uk/poultry/if-you-read-one-article-about-poultry-feeders-read-this-one
- Chick Care: Feeding and Watering Dos and Don’ts. Retrieved from: https://www.storey.com/article/chick-care-feeding-watering-dos-donts/
- A Guide To Digestive Health In Chickens, From Beak To Tail. Retrieved from: https://www.hobbyfarms.com/chicken-digestive-health-chickens-guide-tips/
Tana grew up around island farms and pine forests. Her love for nature lead to her degree in Biology and mission to lessen her environmental impact. Now she grows food in her backyard and shares what she learns from Eco Peanut with others.