Deer are some of the most beautiful animals. It is no wonder people love to watch them; some homeowners even encourage them to come into their yards. They are easy to feed because they are not picky eaters. They eat leaves, fruit, twigs, shrubs, grass and other plants. Most deer lovers will build or buy to provide food for deer when their food sources become scarce, like in the winter.
A deer feeder is easy to build, and you can even recycle leftover construction or plumbing materials, or buy new materials, which will still save you money compared to buying a pre-made feeder. Building your own deer feeder allows you to personalize it depending on your preferences and needs.
Important tips when building a deer feeder
When it comes to building a deer feeder, the two most important parts to consider are the height of the trough and the height of the roof. It should conform to the deer or herd of deer that you are going to feed. Ideally, the roof is at least 72” or more off from the ground. Use any second-hand metal for the roof of the deer feeder.
On the other hand, the trough should be at least 24” from the ground. This height allows the fawns easy access the feeder. The trough should be at least 2’ wide by 5’, long and can hold about 200 pounds of feed.
Materials needed for building a PVC deer feeder
If building a wooden diy deer feeder is too complicated for your skill set, here’s one easy way: a deer feeder using PVC pipe. This is one of the most economical, most convenient method of building a deer feeder. Here are some cheap materials that you can use:
- PVC pipe with 2” diameter
- Two PVC pipe caps with 2” diameter
- PVC glue
- PVC cutter or hacksaw
- Rope, string, or metal wire
- Measuring tape
- Corn or deer feed
- Post or tree
- Spray paint
Steps in building a deer feeder
The instructions below require details and attention. Read carefully so you won’t miss any small step. Remember, doing each step correctly leads to a successful job.
- Measure the 2” PVC pipe to your desired length and then mark this length. To prevent breaking the PVC pipe, cut it using a hacksaw or PVC cutter along the mark you made. Some people cut it at around 30 – 35”.
- Close the one opening of the PVC pipe with the 2” PVC pipe cap. Spread the PVC glue on the bottom of the cap and the outer side of the pipe where the cap will be attached.
- Create another line marking on the closed end of the pipe. This will be the opening of the deer feeder where the feed will flow. Use the hacksaw to cut through the marking. Then, create a diagonal marking 1” above the opening. Cut it through until the two lines meet. You should be able to remove a wedge-shaped piece of pipe. Now, you have the opening for the feeder.
- Optionally, you can spray paint the PVC pipe with colors that resemble a tree or blend in with the surroundings. This will prevent the feeder from being seen by hunters and other wildlife.
- Next is to find a steady post or a tree. This will serve as the location where you will attach the PVC feeder. Ideally, the post or tree can be easily seen from your location. Using a metal wire, string, or rope, attach the feeder using a durable knot. Make sure that it is tightly wrapped and attached to the tree or post. You can also use a piece of rubber hose, that will go around the circumference of the tree and thread your rope or wire through the hose; this will prevent the wire or rope from damaging the bark of the tree.
Commercial deer feeders
If you have the budget, you might want to consider purchasing a commercial deer feeder. Commercial deer feeders come in a variety of sizes and shapes. They are quite expensive too. Identify the reasons why you need a deer feeder and from there, you will know which kind of feeder you need to purchase.
Basically, there are two kinds of feeders: timed and gravity feeders. The timed feeder is built with batteries so you can program it to release the feed, and the duration of each release. It lets you control how much feed you are going to give the deer so you save money and prevent any wastage.
The gravity feeder, as the name implies, distributes the feed to the food trough or platter through gravity. It is not powered by batteries or a motor. Once a deer eats some of the feed, more is dropped down by gravity.