Are metal or plastic chicken feeders better?

Are you thinking of purchasing chicken feeders for your beloved feathery pets? There are many fluffs, myths, and facts about metal, galvanized, or plastic feeders. The views indeed vary from one to another. But, don’t worry; we’re here to set the record straight.

Generally, the cost of chicken feeders can be within the range of $15 to $150. Rest assured, it’s definite that we need to ensure the best quality service and eating habits for the fluffy friends. But, users must also know that a higher price doesn’t necessarily mean the best feeder.

So, let’s see the real deal with metal, plastic, or galvanized feeders so you can make an informed and wise decision.

Are galvanized feeders safe for chickens?

To be honest, it’s not a big deal to find either of these materials since the market is well-populated with both. However, experts believe that chicken owners should steer clear of steel or galvanized feeders at all costs.

Moreover, there is specific distinguishability between commercial grade galvanized feeders and retail store galvanized feeders. The main problem with galvanized chicken feeders is that these can accumulate rust quickly, which can hinder the hens’ health indefinitely.

Not only is a rusty feeder impossible to clean, but they’re bad for your image and goodwill as a poultry keeper too. This issue also stretches out to double wall water founts. Nowadays, it’s easy to find plastic water founts that can heat up.

But, when comes to galvanized double wall founts, they accumulate rust sooner rather than later, break around the welds, and constantly cause water leaks and vacuum leaks. Rather than owning a galvanized water fountain, it’s better to own a nipple drinker system.

Starting from the nipple drinker designs, ease of usability, cleaning, and style, it can all make your life along with your feathery friends’ lives easier.

Are metal or plastic chicken feeders better?

Are metal or plastic chicken feeders better?

The most common chicken feeders are either made from galvanized metal or plastic. Whereas the plastic feeders are pretty reasonable, the galvanized ones may not be. Moreover, the plastic feeders are also extremely easy to clean.

However, the galvanized alternatives have long-lasting durability and construction. The poultry industry has long before canceled out the concept of utilizing metal-constructed chicken feeders and has alternated them with plastics which are chemical resistant, non-rusting, and non-porous.

Plastic feeders have revolutionized the way people feed their chickens, both in the retail and commercial sectors. Unlike metal, stainless steel or plastic feeders are non-porous, which means that they can prevent bacterial growth and virus invasions quite quickly and constantly.

Moreover, with the up-and-coming extremely abrasive cleaning agents, the galvanized metal feeders have proven not to be able to withstand it. Plastic feeders are a cost-effective approach to feeding chickens. These are made with budget-friendly materials.

Thus, the overall product is cheaper too. Furthermore, even with their cost-effective material and construction, these can be highly durable and have as high longevity as the metal ones.

Even though the retail poultry sector replaced its first choice with plastics because of its budget-friendly nature, this switch has much deeper usefulness. It’s incredibly affordable to produce and ship large amounts of injection-molded feeders, as they also only weigh around a fraction of the metal ones.

Since plastic feeders are a lot cheaper, people tend to buy them more often without even realizing the more profound facts and positive features. Indeed, these are better than the rusty feeders, but most plastic feeders can’t match up to the durability, thickness, and longevity of the galvanized metal ones.

So, it’s more of a trade-off the producers opt for. Here are a few more advantages of plastic chicken feeders.

  • They are exceptionally lightweight. Thus it’s easy to take out, clean, and place them back within a short period of time.
  • Plastic feeders have high ease of cleaning.
  • Plastic feeders never form a thick, gunky coat of lead around them like the metal ones. This is one of the biggest pluses of plastic feeders, as ingestion of lead could be dangerous for chickens.
  • Plastic feeders are incredibly reasonable and fit for all seasons.

Do chicken feeders need to be hung?

Poultry experts believe that hanging feeders have the most benefits for the owners as well as the chickens. When these hanging feeder installations are at an acceptable distance, the chickens automatically refrain from wasting large portions of food and scratching one another while eating. It also keeps away pests like rats. There are also anti-rodent chicken feeders in the market.

Moreover, the flock will also stop scratching debris into their foods and drinking water once their plastic feeder has a specific suspending system. However, suspending the waterer for your chickens may turn out a bit tricky. You have to get the distance and the installation right so that the chicken doesn’t spend an entire day fighting one another, foraging, or even scratching the food.

It is also advocated that poultry keepers must intuitively place the chicken hanging feeders. The recommendation is to hang the waterer or feeder within their free-range parameter. When it comes to the installation distance, experts recommend placing the feeder at the same level as the chickens’ necks so that they can allow a comfortable feeding arrangement for their feathery friends.

To be even more specific, this distance is 100 to 150mm above ground level. However, if you own various kinds of birds, many other factors have to be considered altogether.

Conclusion

So, are you relieved to know that there is finally a way out of this dilemma? We’re glad to have helped!

As the poultry sector continues to grow, producers are always on the hunt to search and bag the best tips and tricks for their chickens, their living standards, and health benefits. It’s never enough to just provide for your chickens anymore. You must be ready to go that extra mile and always find the best fit for everything, even if it seems minute, like a chicken feeder.

These feeders can also directly impact the health and well-being of the hens. Taking care of their health is a top priority; thus, nothing must ever fall short.

About the Author
The Poultry Feed Team

The Poultry Feed Team

I am Ehsan from The Poultry Feed Team. We all started out as poultry novices ourselves, so we know just how confusing it can be to try and figure everything out on your own. That's why we're here! We want to help you become the best caretaker of these lovely feathered animals.