When I ordered my chicken coop from Smoky Mountain Chicken Tractors, I asked for the add-on of a built-in PVC feeder tube. It’s an efficient way to feed chickens because you can load a lot of feed into the feeder tube all at once, plus all the feed gets eaten instead of wasted because the chickens only eat as much as gravity pulls down into the feeder holes.
This is the PVC chicken feeder that Keith from Smoky Mountain Chicken Tractors installed in my coop.
It looked like a very functional design; you pour the feed into the tube outside the coop and then it slowly makes its way down into the holes at the bottom, inside the coop where the hens could eat it.
Unfortunately, this design didn’t work. The bend in the pipe caused a blockage of the feed and all the downward feed movement stopped there. No feed made it to the eating holes in the coop. Additionally, instead of a cap on the top of the coop, Keith had used a screw-in cap and somehow moisture was getting into the feed stored (stuck) in the pipe.
So I emailed Keith and explained to him that the PVC feeder wasn’t working. He was surprised, saying he had never had one not work but he offered to do whatever it would take to make the PVC feeder functional.
So I did some research online and discovered that the most functional PVC feeders are the ones with no bend in the pipe. These work with just a straight pipe down to a large feeding opening that the chickens share.
These look like this.
I sent this photo to Keith and he agreed that it looked like a very functional and smart design. He offered to come out to our place at no cost and retrofit the feeder so that the design would be like the one in the photo.
Today he made it out and worked on the project.
And voila! I now have a PVC chicken feeder with a straight tube, so no bend into which the feed can get stuck. I think this is a totally superior design.
The design was exactly what I wanted and the chickens flocked (ha!) right to it. As you can see, Keith also switched the screw-in cap at the top of the feeder tube with a pop on top that should keep all moisture out of the feeding tube.
It’s rare these days to have customer service like Keith from Smoky Mountain Tractors provided in coming all the way out here at no cost and making a design change to a feature I’d bought from him in its original form. Just one more example of why I’d recommend this small (but very busy) local business to anyone planning to acquire a chicken coop.