Many people want to increase their opportunity to see deer on their property. Like all animals, deer have to eat and will return frequently to a dependable food source. I’ll show you how to economically build your own trough style deer feeder like I did for less than $10 in materials. It only takes about 2 hours time and is a fun do it yourself project.
To save on the cost of materials, I salvaged some old deck lumber. The lumber consisted of 2 x 6 inch and 2 x 4 inch pressure treated wood. It had a nice, weathered appearance which created a rustic looking feeder. All I had to do was pull out the old nails and saw off a few rotten ends to get all the free lumber I needed.
The project requires five 2 x 6 inch boards that are 6 foot long and four 2 x 4 inch boards that are 4 foot long. I also needed one 2 foot x 4 foot piece of exterior plywood and a similar sized piece of roofing material such as thin sheet metal or a fiberglass panel. I already had a scrap piece of the plywood lying around my house and I managed to salvage a suitable piece of used roofing tin. My only cost was to purchase one box of deck screws for less than $10.
Building the project was easy. First, I cut 45 degree angles on both ends of two of the 2 x 6 boards. These are the bottom support skids. Two other 2 x 6 boards serve as the upright side support pieces. I cut both of these boards to a 5 foot length. I cut three equal length pieces, each 21 inches long, from the remaining 2 x 6 board. When constructed, the trough holds a full 50 pound sack of feed so these three boards provide the necessary support for the weight of the feed.
Next, I cut out and assembled the trough. To do this, I cut two 18 inch long 2 x 4 pieces and attached these to two of the four foot 2 x 4’s using the deck screws. The resulting frame is a rectangle measuring 21 inches by 48 inches. I screwed the three 21 inch bottom support pieces across the frame, spaced appropriately. Flipping the frame over, I measuring the interior dimensions of the frame and cut the plywood to match those dimensions. The plywood then fit neatly down inside the frame. This design allows the plywood to be easily removed to clean out debris. I drilled a few small holes through the plywood bottom so any water that gets into the trough can rapidly drain out.
To finish the project, I attached the two side support pieces to the ends of the trough. I fastened the two bottom skids to the side supports and cut the last 2 x 4 piece in half for the roof supports. I attached each 2 foot long roof support piece to the side supports and screwed the sheet of roofing tin in place.
I built this deer feeder at the edge of a small plot I plant each year with a food plot seed mixture. My state allows corn or protein pellets to be fed to deer as a supplemental food source. Corn is like candy to a deer and will keep them coming back for more. The feeder is visible from my house and now I routinely get to enjoy seeing deer all year long. Best of all, the supplemental feed helps produce healthy deer!