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Caring for a flock of hens can be really tough and exhausting work. If you're just raising the birds on the side and still have a full-time job, the chores can really take a lot out of you. One of the big ones is the daily watering and feeding that you must do to provide the hens with the nutrients they need to stay healthy.
Fortunately, if you would prefer to spend less time performing these mundane chores, there are automatic watering and feeding systems available to help.
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Hens aren't particularly gluttonous creatures. They'll eat their fill and then go about their business. Thus, most chicken feeders work from a very simple design with minimal human interaction – they don't require any electronics or things like that. In most models, you simply fill a larger hopper with a feed that automatically drains down into a central feeding tray. As the hens eat more of the feed, the extra food in the hopper filters down and keeps their tray full.
While you can buy various models of chicken feeders from farming supply stores, it's also possible to build your own without too much effort. Many people who raise fowl as a hobby have a do-it-yourself mindset, and love to share their ideas with others. With a little searching and a little ingenuity on your part, you can some easily constructible homemade poultry feeders.
Most online providers of chicken coop plans will include information and plans for chicken feeders. While these are the simplest of devices, a little upfront thought and planning about their design and integration into your chicken coop is will pay dividends.