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Thanksgiving Feast for your Chickens and DIY Bird Feeder

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Treat the wild birds or your chickens to their own Thanksgiving Day feast as seen on HGTV's Martha Knows Best!

mason jars on picnic table filled with birdseed

As some of you may know, last fall I was a guest on the Thanksgiving episode of Martha Stewart's new TV show Martha Knows Best that aired on HGTV. 

I appeared on the "Impress Martha" segment of the show which challenges various people to impress Martha with a gardening or DIY tip or idea.

woman in plaid flannel shirt standing in kitchen

I had been contacted by her production team several weeks earlier, and asked if I would be interested in shooting a segment for the show. Of course I said yes!

So after sending a few head shots, shooting a screen test, and doing a phone interview with the casting director, I found myself filming for the executive producer right in our kitchen!

Since it was a holiday episode and Martha not only raises chickens too, but she also lives in Maine, for my DIY project to impress her, I decided to put together a Thanksgiving Day feast for the wild birds that our chickens would also really enjoy.

closeup of bird seed in metal cup

I used all kinds of things the birds will love that are also reminiscent of foods we might find on our own Thanksgiving table.  This colorful and nutritious blend is made up of wheat, corn, pumpkin seeds, cranberries, sunflower seeds, green peas, peanuts and walnuts.  I love how festive it looks!

And then I made a bird feeder for the seeds and nuts from an old chick feeder base and tied it with a pretty seasonal bow, so I could hang it from a tree outside for the wild birds to nibble on to stay warm and full all winter.

mason jar filled with birdseed hanging in pine tree

I hope you watched the Thanksgiving episode of Martha Knows Best that aired on Wednesday, November 4th, but if you missed it, I wanted to show you how I made my DIY project. 

We originally filmed at least 20 minutes of footage of me making the feeder and explaining what I was doing in detail, but of course was trimmed way down to a minute or two on the show, so it went by very quickly.

mason jar, ribbon, scissors on plaid towel

DIY Bird Feeder

What you Need | 

For the bird feeder, I used the following materials:

Regular mouth quart Mason jar

Old pot cover with handle

Heavy-duty craft adhesive or Marine epoxy

Metal chick feeder base

Wired seasonal ribbon


What you Do |

To make the bird feeder, glue the pot cover to the bottom of the Mason jar with the marine epoxy and let dry overnight. Then tie a piece of festive ribbon to the pot cover handle to hang your feeder from.

mason jars filled with seeds and grains

Thanksgiving Feast for your Chickens and Wild Birds

For the "feast" for the birds, I mixed the following in a large tub in roughly equal parts, then filled the quart regular-mouth Mason jar with the mixture.

Cracked corn

Dried cranberries

Dried peas

Unsalted peanuts

Pumpkin seeds

Sunflower seeds



After the jar was filled, I screwed an old metal chick feeder base to the jar and hung the feeder in a tree in the yard for the wild birds to feast on.

jars of bird seed in metal tray

seeds in base of bird feeder

wild bird seed in base of bird feeder

mason jar filled with birdseed hanging in tree

mason jars filled with bird seed on picnic table

I also made a second one and hung it in our chicken run for our chickens to enjoy. The seeds and nuts are packed with energy, protein and nutrients for them. And this is a great way to repurpose your chick feeder bases through the winter when you're not using them for your baby chicks!

And the best part is, come spring when you do have chicks, you can use these in their brooder! Just attached some twine or a small chain and hang the feeder in the brooder. Then you can raise it as the chicks grow. 

A hanging feeder will keep the feed cleaner - and you can easily make one for water too simply by screwing on a chick waterer base instead!

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this easy DIY project for the Thanksgiving holiday season! And yes, in case you were wondering, Martha was impressed! 

Screen shots from Martha Knows Best courtesy of HGTV/Discovery.

tv screen with fall theme reading Impress Martha

tv screen showing woman holding bird feeder

woman smiling holding bird feeder

Watch Martha Knows Best on HGTV or streaming HERE.

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Thanksgiving feast for your chickens and DIY bird feeder

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