View Full Version : Tell me about chicken waterers
Jul. 17, 2012, 07:05 PM
I have six chickens. I give them their water in a small, heavy rubber feed pan. They drink out of it first thing in the morning...and then they spend the rest of the day frolicing in it, filling it with as much dirt and poop as possible. I'm home during the day so I dump, rinse, and refill as needed, but I'll be gone for four days at the end of the week and the person taking care of the birds will only be able to come out twice a day. With how hot it is, I don't want them to be stuck with a mud pit to drink out of during the day.
So, what are your best dirt-free chicken waterer ideas? I'm willing to go out and buy something, or I can try some DIY ideas. Help!
Jul. 17, 2012, 07:35 PM
Go buy a 2-3 gallon chicken waterer, whether it's metal or plastic, and sit it on top something so it's off the ground. Mine's on 4 x 4 blocks of wood. Your chicken sitter can fill as needed, but between fillings can slosh the stale water out.
Jul. 17, 2012, 08:42 PM
Or hang a waterer...the plastic kind can be hung so it's off the ground and it helps keep them out of it.
Jul. 17, 2012, 10:18 PM
Get whatever is easiest for you, put it somewhere with good drainage, and be ready to clean it out once or twice a day. Hanging would be better than putting up on blocks, though, if you have a choice--it's really gross cleaning a waterer they're perching on.
The metal ones easily deform and get 'sticky', and the little flap that keeps the water from running out when you fill it can stick and let it spray water everywhere when filling. Also, the handles are tack-welded and pull loose easily--especially if your farmsitter lifts the full waterer by the handle (as you're not supposed to do). The plastic ones have an o-ring that stops working so well after a while, and the lids have to be screwed on really firmly. Both kinds leak if they're not level. Also, if it's below butt-height, they *will* poop in it...
Jul. 18, 2012, 12:21 PM
I use a heated 3qt dog bowl year-round.
I think I paid $12 for it at Menards.
Raised up above their chest level on cinderblock, so non-poop-inable.
I also located the bowl outside the part of the coop with roosts so they are nowhere near it when roosting.
When you are gone you could setup 2 waterbowls this way and maybe one might stay relatively clean.
FWIW: my hens prefer drinking out of a teeny resin fountain I have in my yard. It may hold a cup of water.
I call it their Magic Water - they run! to it whenever I fill and empty it immediately then grumble until I refill.
They will also drink from the puddle that forms when I overfill the Magic Water.
All with a sparkling clean bowl of fresh water inside the coop some 20' from the yard.