So you are an animal lover. You sought for animals to come to your door and ask for food, including one of the trickiest and shyest beings in the world, the deer.
While this is always an excellent experience, to get close to a timid animal such as this one – it is better to let it come your way with the most natural method possible. And why not, this may also work if you just want the animal to feed safely.
That’s why a deer feeder is such a great choice if you love wild animals like this. People tend to hunt deer, where this idea will also help enormously.
If you are just looking to feed it and let it get rid of the dangers of wilder places in the forest, then one of the following deer feeders will come like a gem.
Come and see to learn more!
9 Homemade Deer Feeder Ideas for Beginners
Deer Feeders Made of PVC
Here we are going to display you three PVC feeders you can make without having to do much work or invest much money. They are totally simple to do and only demand a 4-10-inches PVC tube, and that’s it. The rest will be about making sure it is properly installed.
We recommend using these feeders mostly in posts, fences or trees if possible. This way you can keep them away from your home or any living household. So if you want to attract the most deer, the most natural options will be this one.
1. Gravity Feeder
This is among the most natural options in the whole list, yet still one of the most effective when it comes to attracting deer and offering enough ease for them to use it correctly.
As its name says, it uses gravity to feed animals, so there’s no real complexity in its construction. You just need to attach a wide PVC to a tree using wire, and that’s it.
What You’ll Need
- A 3-6 feet PVC with at least 4-inches diameter (any similar pipe or tube works)
- A PVC or metal wye (should fit the width of the PVC tube)
- A grate
- A plug or lid
- Ratchet strap, ropes or wire (for securing the feeder)
First, you will need to attach the wye to the PVC or large tube. Make sure the wye is in the bottom with the open side pointing up.
Now you need to set the grate at the bottom of the tube with a wye. This way you can prevent the food from slipping down with gravity. This also helps to allow water to drain down and stop the food from spoiling.
Then it’s crucial to block water from entering. What you can do is use the plug or lid and set it on the top. This will prevent rain or any sort of water-pouring climate effect to introduce water into the feeder and possibly damage the food. If you set it up well enough, no water should get inside.
Lastly, tighten up the PVC tube strongly to a tree, post or fence. Make sure it is adjusted well so the open side of the PVC wye points up at a nice height so deer can feed on it without problems. You can use ropes, ratchet straps, or even wire for this.
To finish, you’ll just need to add the food inside. We recommend corn or any type of grain that’s cheap, and you can add in at least several pounds. This will help to keep the feeder full even after several days.
To add the food inside, just open the lid or the plug and stash the feeder until the food reaches half-way or top of the PVC tube.
Gravity will do its job, and finally, deer will have somewhere to feed without problems. This explanation comes with all the details you’ll need.
Remember to adjust the feeder as well as you can to the anchoring points, so it doesn’t fall with hard winds or any type of weather condition.
2. Feeder on Demand
This is very similar to the gravity feeder and among the most attractive for deer. So if you are a hunter or a tracker, this type of feeder will come like a gem.
You will need to use a few tools, including a small spatula for the cement, a drill, a brush for the primer, and probably a saw to cut wood if needed.
What You’ll Need
- Four eye bolts (preferably small)
- A piece of wood or lumber of around 10 x 10 inches
- A spray paint (camo green would be ideal)
- Primer (purple preferably)
- A 2.5 to 3 feet long PVC pipe with 6 inches diameter
- A PVC cap of 6-inches diameter for the pipe
- A PVC wye of also 6 inches diameter (should fit with the PVC pipe)
You should start by applying the primer to the PVC pipe (bottom part) and the PVC wye (upper portion), so they can be put together with cement.
Now that the whole piece is attached together, you need to drill holes. These two holes need to be the same side of the eye bolts. Here you can insert two of the bolts. This will work as a securing point with a rope or ratchet strap.
Then install the PVC cap on top of the pipe. You can drill or open a small hole on top of the lid so you can insert another eye bolt to secure it. This will work as a lid handle. The last eye bolt will be used to secure the lid from the pipe.
You can do this by opening the last hole on the side that meets with the lid and fixes both together.
To finish the whole process, you’ll just need to add paint. It is vital to add camo or green forest paint, so the feeder doesn’t look awkward in the wild. You may need to get rid of the odor or just wait for it to dissipate.
Add the grains or corn to the feeder and let it work as a sort of gravity feeder. You can use a scrap of wood or lumber to keep the feeder off the floor. This will help you prevent bugs from eating as well as dirt animals.
This feeder can be used at any time of day. It works similarly to the gravity feeder but demands way less work and will keep the food always dry.
You can add a protector on top to keep it free of moisture and water. It will work really well and will attract all types of deer and other animals. Remember to secure it to a fence, post or tree for better results.
3. The RedNeck Feeder
This is probably among the most common types of feeders you’ll find, primarily because it works like no other. The only thing you’ll need is a drill and a sanding machine, and that will be it. You’ll only need to follow the instructions, and that’s it.
What You’ll Need
- A 3-5 feet PVC pipe of 6-inches diameter
- A 6-inches diameter PVC cap
- A 36 by 36 inches scrap of wood (thin preferably)
- A 6-inches diameter round plywood piece with a long stick on top
- A 3.25 inches round block of plywood or lumber
- A can or tube of furniture glue
Start by sanding two sides of the PVC, so the paint sticks to it well. Then you can glue the round 3.25-inches plywood to the squared 36x36 drywall. This will work as a base for the feeder.
Now mount the PVC pipe on the base you just made. Make sure the tube covers the round drywall block. Then drill holes in the pipe directly to the circular block so you can secure it to the base. Make another two small diameter holes of about 2 or 3 inches so the food can ooze out.
Then place the PVC cap on top. Install it tightly, so it doesn’t let any water get inside. Open a hole so the 6-inches dry wood piece upper stick can enter inside the PVC without touching the cap. This will help to gauge the food inside towards the bottom and make it easy to work.
Here you can start painting the PVC pipe. We recommend sanding if you haven’t before, it will give the PVC a more natural look and adhere more easily with the paint. If you can add camo green color, it would be ideal.
Remember that this feeder can also act manually. With the top stick on the round plywood, you can push the food down and make it go out the bottom holes.
This will help create a feeding mechanism. It will also work with gravity for better results.
Feeders with Buckets and Barrels
Many people also use buckets and barrels to create their homemade feeders. This helps not only to make them more easily to develop but also to have way more food capacity. You can use anything from plastic barrels to five-gallon or ten-gallon buckets, trash cans, and more.
If you want this type of feeder to be automatic, you can add an automatic spinner. This makes them more convenient for deer.
1. 5 or 10 Gallon Bucket Feeder
This feeder uses both the ability to have lots of food while providing a sound when the food falls (while also working as a manual feeding mechanism) and touches a small metallic tin can.
Eventually, this makes deer get near more due to the sound and the amount of food you can place inside. The only tools you’ll need will be a drill and a hammer.
What You’ll Need
- A study rope or wire of about 2 or 3 feet
- A 5 or 10-gallon bucket (depending on the capacity you want)
- A metal rod with guides or a broom handle
- A metallic tin can
- A few nails
Start by drilling a hole on the bottom of the bucket. This hole should be 0.25-inches larger than the broom or metal rod. This way the food can come down the sides without getting stuck.
Now grab the handle or metal rod and attach some nails to the sides. The nails should be opposite each other. They should be placed about 6 or 5 inches from the upper end.
Here you need to insert the broom handle or metal rod through the bucket hole. Make sure the end with no nails faces down. You’ll see how the nails keep the broom or rod from falling.
Now tie the study rope or wire to the bucket. The other end will be secured to a tree, preferably a strong brand or arm. Make sure the broom hangs about 3 to 4 feet from the ground, so it is close enough but not too much.
Finish by attaching the tin can to the bottom of the handle. You can do this by opening a hole through the tin can, passing the broom through and then adding two nails in the end. This way, the deer may hit the tin whenever they want more food and give them a manual service.
End up by adding the food inside and closing the lid of the bucket. Make sure to test the product. Move the bucket around to see how much food falls. It shouldn’t be too much or too little just enough so it lasts and deer learn that it feeds them.
You can paint the bucket with camo style if you want. This will give the finish a better look and make it more natural for deer.
2. Barrel Feeder
This is probably the easiest in the whole list, there’s almost no work involved and demands no additional tool apart from a drill and saw.
And to make it even better, this feeder works with all types of animals, so if you are a versatile hunter, this feeder will be a gem.
What You’ll Need
- A plastic barrel or tank of about 55 to 85 gallons (preferably free of pesticides or chemicals)
- A PVC wye or head (for feeding)
- A few lumber pieces of about 2 x 4
- Glue or cement
Wash and clean the barrel thoroughly. Get rid of any residue of previous foods or content, especially if it had any chemical or toxic material.
Now you can cut one side of the barrel to make the lid. If the barrel had a cap already, then you shouldn’t do this. This way you can add the food when it drains out. If you need to open the lid, we recommend using a saw.
In the bottom end of the barrel, you should cut or open a ring. Here you’ll add the PVC feeding head, so make sure it has the same diameter. To glue the head or wye, you’ll need to use any type of glue that’s not toxic.
Cement could also be useful. Make sure this part points out the barrel instead of directly down, so it can leave space for deer to feed.
Finish by making the base with the lumber pieces. This will help to keep the barrel on its place while keeping it off the floor to elevate the feeding head and make it easy for deer to feed.
End up by adding the corn or food inside. Remember to add something deer like such as grains or the most non-perishable food possible and that will be it.
This feeder won’t let you down in attracting deer. You’ll have to be cautious where you place it though, as it is a little unstable due to its construction. We recommend attaching it to a wall or somewhere sturdy to prevent it from falling.
3. Barrel Gravity Feeder
A gravity feeder is always the best choice if you want a fast and effective feeding method. And of course, it demands little to no effort at all. Even this one only needs you to have a drill, jigsaw or just a small saw to cut through plastic and that’s it.
What You’ll Need
- A plastic barrel (preferably large of about 55 gallons) with a lid if possible
- One or two 4-inches diameter PVC feeding tubes with curved heads (3 to 4 feet)
- A PVC wye or small PVC tube of 4-inches diameter
- Wood or metal legs of about 4 to 8 feet
After washing the whole barrel and making sure there’s no residue of chemicals or toxic material, you can start by cutting up the top. If the barrel already has a lid, you can skip this step.
Now cut a hole in the bottom end of the barrel. It should be of 4-inches or enough for the small PVC tube to enter and get fixed. You can then glue the tube in and make sure it leads down.
The other tube(s) should have a curved head preferably so food can find its way down but without emptying the barrel but working with gravity as deer eat it. Attach them to the PVC tube or wye so you can connect the barrel to the feeding holes.
Now attach wooden or metal legs to the barrel. Make sure they leave the barrel in the right height for the feeding holes to not touch the floor and be at least two feet from it. You can finish by adding the food inside.
This feeder also demands a strong attaching point. We recommend a wall or a tree and the use or straps, wire or rope. An additional camo paint will also work wonders, but all optional.
Trough Wooden Feeders
These feeders are amazingly effective at making deer get close. Very similar to the ones used in farms, it allows deer to feel as comfortable and safe as you can imagine, so they start seeing the place as a feeding one.
The best thing about these feeders is that they can be placed practically everywhere, without issues.
1. Standing Feeder
This feeder is terrific as it lets deer eat easily from it. But you’ll have to be very accurate when cutting and measuring the pieces of wood, or else you may eventually end up with a trough that doesn’t stand or just looks weird.
To do this, you’ll need more professional tools as well, including drills, jigsaw, tape measure, carpentry pencil or chalk line, glue, joints, screws, and a sander. The process is still not as hard as you think.
What You’ll Need
- Four wood pieces of 2x4 feet
- Four wood pieces of 4x4 feet
- Two wood pieces of 2x6 feet
- Two wide 2x4 wood pieces for the rafters
- Two lumbar pieces of 2x2 feet
- Two ¾ inches plywood pieces
- A few 2.5-inches screws and 22.5-inches components
Start by making a frame with one of the 2x6 pieces of wood. You can do it by drilling pilot holes and adding two screws of 2.5-inches inside the 22.5-inches components. The corners should be all angled and ready to be attached to other parts.
Having the 2x6 wood pieces done, you need to attach the four 4x4 wood pieces as legs. Fasten up the 2.5-inches screws. Now you need to dig 20-inches holes in the ground, so you can secure the trough entirely and make sure they are sturdy enough together to prevent the trough from falling.
Here, you need to attach the 2x2 pieces of wood to the frame interior. They should be connected to the frame directly and fastened into the drilled pilot holes. Use screws to secure them to the interior of the trough. Now grab one ¾-inches plywood piece and attach it well inside so there aren’t holes.
At this step, it’s critical to add supports with two 2x4 wood pieces. The top of both parts should be cut at 45 degrees, so you can eventually add a roof to the feeder. You can use the saw for this.
Then drill pilot holes in the bottom part so you can insert the 2.5-inches screws to the frame and install the roof supports.
Now the roof or rafters of 2x4 should be attached to the other two pieces on the sides with the angled top. You can use the remaining 2x4 pieces of wood horizontally, in a place where they attach to the rafters in a lower position than the vertical portions.
Do this by angle cutting the pieces on both sides at 45 degrees from top to bottom of the edges. Then drill pilot holes for 2.5 inches screws.
Finally, just attach the rafters to the support pieces, and that’s it. Make use of the ¾ plywood to support the roof even better and align everything together for better results. The better the alignment, the more secure & safe it will be.
To make it the perfect feeder, you can sand the rafters and the sides to make it look better. And if you want an even superior look, add wood filler to all the cracks and spaces between pieces. This will make your trough look amazing.
2. Barrel Trough
This demands little work to do, and you can do it freely at home. The only thing you’ll need is a drill and a saw (optional). All the rest of the work will be done by piecing together several things with a screwdriver, and that’s it.
What You’ll Need
- A 30 to 50-gallon plastic barrel (preferably without lid)
- A large iron sheet (for the roof)
- Several 2.5-inches screws
- Six 2x4 wood pieces
- Four 2x6 wood pieces
- Two 2x2 wood pieces
Start by cutting the barrel into two halves (from top to bottom not horizontally). If you want to make two feeders, the other half may work for later. You can use the four 2x6 wood pieces of considerable length to make the legs.
Create a base first by drilling holes and inserting the 2.5-inches screws to the four 2x4 wood pieces. Make sure the frame is slightly wider and larger than the half-cut barrel.
Here, you’ll need to piece together the frame to the half-cut barrel. Cut some holes through the sides of the frame, make sure to measure well, so they fit with the plastic of the barrel. Then insert the screws and mount the barrel inside the frame.
Now add vertical supports, they will do with two 2x4 wood pieces. To these both supports that go up to attach the iron sheet. Remember also to use screws or bolts for piecing the supports and the roof together.
Finish by adding the food inside the barrel. Remember to keep adding food as soon as the deer or any other animal eats it. We recommend corn and grains over anything else.
To make the feeder even better you can paint it with camo green. This will attract deer more easily. The best part about this feeder is that you can either dig holes for the legs and make a sturdier trough or just let it sit on the floor with a base.
3. Enclosed Feeder
This is similar to the other trough, but here you will instead add a large bowl in the center of the trough over a base.
You won’t have to use a barrel or anything else more than just a standard pot, and you’ll have a drill, a screwdriver, a hammer, a saw, and several screws. The exciting thing is that you’ll have an enclosed bowl, ideal for bringing several deer together.
What You’ll Need
- A wood board or base (at least 5x5 feet so deer can enter inside)
- Four wooden logs of about 5 or 6 feet tall
- Four wooden logs or planks of about 4 to 6 feet long
- Eight 1.5-inches wood screws
- A large iron sheet (a little larger than the base)
- A few feet of wire wall material
Start with the board or base. Use it to make a firm anchoring point where you can attach the other poles in four or three columns for the roof. Make different holes in the base or board and use the wood screws to connect the various logs to it. This should give a platform to build the enclosed feeder.
Now grab the bowl and place it inside. You can close the base using the logs as columns and the wire material. Try to close at least one side only so you can give deer only one, two or three places to enter and feed on.
Then try to make the roof. You can use several planks or logs of wood to make a plain roof with large iron sheet. Remember to use the wood screws for better results.
You can now fix the bowl to the center of the board by attaching pieces of wood on each side of the bowl. This way it won’t move when deer are feeding. Make sure to use the screws, saw, and hammer if needed.
Finish up by adding the cord or food inside, and that’s it. You can eventually paint the feeder if needed, and it will be easier to spot and more natural-looking for deer.
With the enclosed design and the different logs & plans, this may not be the most stable of feeders but probably the most intriguing for deer, so you’ll have a perfect eating choice that will bring lots of animals.
So there are several opportunities when it comes to deer feeders, but not all of them are the same. If you know what you’re looking for, the above explanation will be ideal so you can build your own.
Just remember to bring the right tools with you at all times and don’t get short on materials. Do this, and you’ll have the perfect feeder.
Find the one you like the most and try it. Follow each step correctly, and you’ll meet your goal faster than you think.
Thanks for Reading! Love from Outdooris!