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Friday, May 20, 2011

Chicken Waterers 101

Key to the good health of chickens, both broilers and layers alike, is a constant supply of clean water. Inadequate water can stunt the growth of broilers and reduce egg production. So it is important to have a watering system that meets the needs of the chickens and is also easy to maintain in terms of refilling and cleaning. Water is easily “fouled” with chicken manure. It is important that the system avoids this and is easily cleaned if it does happen. Watch below as Dale explains that advantages and disadvantages of the watering systems that he has used through the years. We would also appreciate your experiences. If you would like to explain your system, please comment below. We also welcome any questions. If we can’t answer them, there is probably someone reading this blog who can. 


 

13 comments:

Amy @ Homestead Revival said...

Dale, this was very informative! Have you ever tried chicken nipples which attach to the bottom of a bucket where the chicken reaches up (or onto pvc pipe)? Or is that the same thing on your pvc pipe with the small wells? I just purchased a few to try but haven't installed them yet. I'd like to know your thoughts on them if possible.

Alice said...

We use a plastic 5 gallon waterer (like Dale's, but a little smaller I think). The only thing I don't like about it is I have a hard time unscrewing the lid- to make a tight seal it has to be on really tight, and my Mister ends up doing it, because I can't.

I saw one similar to it the other day that had a built in heater to keep it from freezing in the winter. I'm tempted to try it, because with our current set up, we have to go out every day in the winter and make sure the chickens have water. It's a pain to break the ice, and often we end up using some other container that's easier to dump a block of ice out of and refill.

I may look into the metal one too.

daisy said...

I like the medium-sized one with the cover and spring.

Great tip about the silicone on the O-rings!

Mary said...

We have a variety of watering containers around the yard for our chickens. We keep a large ten gallon container hanging in the coop itself and because it's hanging, the chickens can't roost on it. I also use mason jar feeders and they are too small for the chickens to poop in. I know I could probably make my life easier with a more automated system, but I find myself cleaning and filling the watering containers every day or so. I just include it in my daily chores.

Dale Johnson said...

Amy,

I have not used the nipples. I am sure they are better than the water cups that I tried. I also know that the CAFOs use nipples so they must work pretty good.

Alice,

I know what you mean about the the lid. Here are two suggestions to solve that problem. 1. Get a new O ring. Farm supply stores usually have them or you can get them online. 2. Put silicone on the O ring and the lid. This should solve your problem. You can get a spray can of silicone from Lowes, Home Depot or an autoparts store.

The waterer with the built in heater sounds great.

Alice said...

Thanks for the tip. My Mister will appreciate not being the only one who can take care of the chicken's water. :)

(I need lots more posts. All this rain has really made it hard to do anything outside the last several days, so I'm stuck inside reading gardening blogs, and am running out of material.) :)

kikiandtheboys said...

We use chicken nipples with a one gallon plastic jug and LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it! It has to be the easiest way.... No cleaning! All u have to do once they are installed is remember to fill the jug. Tractor Supply catalogue explains how to install in your chosen container. (Remember to put a very small hole in the lid so the water will flow.) Once the girls figured it out (we did have to show them by poking the tips with a stick) they love it! Oh btw, they are cheap too! We wouldn't dream of using anything else.

LeAnn said...

Look at all the money I have put into waterers and finally someone tells me about the best one - chicken nipples.

Thank you Kikiandtheboys.

kikiandtheboys said...

You are so welcome, but I was wrong about one thing... It's Farm Tech that has the nipples!

Jocelyn said...

Oh, he likes the same one I like. What a coincidence.

Can't wait to see the inside of that coop.

RuthM said...

I have been in the market for a bigger waterer and wasn't sure what to get so your recommendations were very helpful, thank you for sharing!

Mary Ann said...

We have used both large plastic and metal water containers... we stayed with the metal, we found that the plastic failed early on. Also, we think people need to realize that the metal containers DO rust... so they are replaceable. I use two gallon waterers mostly, because the weight is easier for me to handle, but we have a five gallon in the main chicken house, up on a cement block.

This was a great video, thanks Uncle Dale! Can't wait to see the chicken tractor.

Karina said...

So informative and valuable. I cannot believe how many women are commenting and following this blog. Women are amazing!