Now for something completely different! Here in the country, some people have chooks. We have chooks (well, my daughter does) and she was stricken to see that a decent chook-feeder was going to cost her 30-odd dollars of her hard-earned pocket money. So we went home and made one ourselves! It only took about fifteen minutes.
Materials you will need
- a cheap plastic Frisbee (the bigger the better)
- about a 30cm length of 100mm PVC pipe
- about 50cm of medium-gauge high-tensile fencing wire
- a bit of dowel, bamboo or similar, about 120mm long
Tools you will need
- pliers to bend and cut the wire
- a nail or some way to make a hole in the Frisbee
- a saw or coarse bastard file to make notches in the pipe
How to make it
Make sure both ends of the pipe are cut square.
Cut or file notches into one cut end of the pipe. The notches should be about a centimetre deep at least, and a centimetre or two wide. They don’t have to be at all exact – just big enough to let the food get through easily. Cut anything from three to six notches, evenly spaced around the pipe.
Put a hole in the middle of the Frisbee, large enough for the wire.
At one end of the wire make a loop, then bend the loop over on itself. The idea is to make a flat “knot” that won’t pull through the hole in the Frisbee.
Push the other end of the wire through the hole in the Frisbee, so that the “knot” is on the convex side of the Frisbee.
Put the Frisbee flat on the ground, convex side down, with the wire poking up through it. Put the pipe over the wire so the notched end is sitting on the inside of the Frisbee and the wire is poking out the open end of the pipe.
Pull the wire as taught as you can reasonably make it, then put the dowel across the end of the pipe and bend the wire across it.
Remove the pipe, and wrap the wire around the dowel a couple of times where the bend is, then twist the end around the wire to prevent it unwrapping. Cut off any excess wire.
Put a bit of a bend in the middle of the wire – just a slight curve will do.
Now put the pipe over the wire again (notched end down, remember) and pull the dowel up, laying it across the open end of the pipe. If you’ve done it correctly, it should be moderately difficult to get the dowel up and over the end of the pipe, but when it’s there the whole assembly should be quite rigid.
Pour chook-feed in the top of the pipe, and it will flow out of the notches into the Frisbee. Fill the pipe with chook-feed; it will trickle out as the chooks eat. Or you can give the whole assembly a gentle jiggle to get more feed out.
Put your chook-feeder on dry ground in a sheltered spot so that the feed doesn’t get wet. The chook-feeder can be used to dispense shell-grit, pellets, seed or whatever.