Herb Garden

Herb garden in an antique chicken feeder

Created July 2020


My aunt originally used this chicken feeder as a miniature herb garden within her flowerbed. This project started with me restoring the feeder to have a personal herb garden. This restoration required removing rust, sanding, correcting warped areas, and painting. For size, the chicken feeder is 5.5ft long x 0.5ft wide x 3in high.


The majority of the items I used were laying around. While I got my chicken feeder from my aunt, there are typically plenty for sale on ebay.

General Items Restoration Items
Antique Chicken Feeder Spray Paint
Assortment of Herbs Rubber Feet
Mini Garden Fencing Sand Paper
Gardening Soil


Rust and uneven layers of paint made the surface rough.

I began sanding the rough areas by hand, then finishing with an orbital sander. I was going for a smooth and rust-free surface, but removing all the old paint seemed unnessecary. I did not touch the inside of the feeder despite the rust.

I prepared for painting by washing off any remaining dust.

There happened to be a can of black gloss Rustoleum spray paint laying around, which worked fine. My feeder needed two coats of paint, which I would recommend, but paint as needed.

After letting the paint dry, I hot glued four feer to the bottom of the feeder to protect the bottom from scratches and for better drainage. My feeder already had holes in the bottom, but I would recommend putting some to avoid drowning plants.


Since I will be planting seeds, I decided to buy seed starter soil. My feeder filled up with two bags of soil, this will vary depending on the feeder you use (don't overfill with soil).

I measured four even sections within the feeder to space out the various seeds. Alternatively transplanting plants will also work very well. I planted chives, cilantro, oregano, and spinach in my mini herb garden.

The leafs began to shrivel up when touching the feeder, which was hot from the sun. I prevented this with some left over strawberry fencing. Tight twine or any small fencing would work just as well to prevent this.


Overall, this project went well and makes a great outdoor addition. The chicken feeder conveniently holds many herbs and retains moisture well on hot days. A few things that could be improved would be: screwing in the feet rather than hot gluing and puncturing more holes to aid drainage.

In the near future I plan on merging this project with my automated waterer project, which can be found here.