Hanging feeders are great when you have a chicken coop or run that has horizontal support beams. Perhaps it goes without saying, but you can’t easily have a hanging feeder unless you have something to hang it from!
One of the primary benefits of having a hanging feeder is that they are easier to keep sanitary. Since they are off the ground they are less prone to getting contaminated than a ground feeder. You do have to be careful though to prevent chickens from roosting on top of your feeder. The last thing you want is to have droppings mixed in with the feed.
Another benefit of hanging feeders is that you add feed from the top while your chickens eat feed from the bottom. This type of feeder ensures the oldest feed is consumed first, which reduces the likelihood that your feed will go bad.
Hanging feeders are made with galvanized metal or plastic and they range in size. You will find that the metal feeders cost a bit more than their plastic counterparts, but they will likely prove to be more durable. Regardless of material, the smallest hold around 10 lbs of food, and the largest hold nearly 50 lbs. When selecting your feeder, chose a size that is large enough not to run out of food in one day, but small enough that the food won’t go bad waiting to be consumed.
Hanging feeders are particularly good for pellets and crumbles, but are not great for mash. You will find that mash tends to get stuck in the feeder and requires more cleaning and maintenance than other types of feed.
One hanging feeder is sufficient for up to 30 birds. If you have more than one rooster however, you will likely need at least one hanging feeder per rooster. Also, try to make sure no bird has to travel over 10 feet to get to food.
When hanging your feeder, ensure the feed opening is about chest high for your birds. You want to make it easy for them to access the food, and proper alignment will reduce the amount of feed that spills out. Note that you may need to adjust the height of your feeders as your flock matures and gets taller.
The amount of feed that a chicken consumes depends on the breed of the chicken as well her age, size and the climate or conditions she is living in. The following points illustrate how food consumption varies:
- Mature bantams only eat about ½ lb per week
- Mature egg layer eats about 2 lbs per week
- Mature dual-purpose chickens eat about 3 lbs per week
- Mature meat bird eats about 10 lbs total in order to reach butchering weight
The following are some of the various hanging feeders that we carry: