For the six years we’ve been raising chickens, we’ve used the standard metal chicken waterer.
Not a bad choice.
Except with the numbers of chickens we keep I’m constantly filling the waterers. Sometimes twice a day in the warmer months.
And in the winter there is the problem with frozen water.
We have used the heater base to set the waterer on. But when it gets really, really cold it still freezes and then there is the “bringing of the dirty waterer into the house to thaw in my bath tub” problem. Not ideal.
A New Way!
Last year hubby did some research and came up with a system that does not involve a chicken poop covered block of ice sitting in my claw foot tub.
Joy of joys!
What it does include is a bird bath heater, a small fountain water pump, a large food-grade trash can, PVC pipe, water nipples, and chicken poop left in the barn, where it belongs!
He placed the can in the barn, just outside of the coop. Inside is the bird bath heater and the water pump. One to heat the water, the other to pump it though the system.
The water is pumped up through the clear hose and into the coop.
Inside the coop is the pvc pipe with the water nipples which the chickens drink from.The water is then pumped back out and dumps back into the original trash can. The heated water is kept moving which should keep it from freezing even in the coldest temps. It’s about to get a good test this week as temperature dipped down to 2 and 3 degrees last night. I’m anxious to go out and check it this morning to see how it’s doing–once I get curious enough to brave the cold air and ice , that is.
We’re learning that farming takes constant adjustments to get things right and adapt to challenges as they arise. With this system we’ve found the drinking nipples drip more than expected and it was keeping the floor and wall of the coop wet in that area. A wet coop is a breading ground for health problems and needs to be addressed. Hubby cut a length of pipe to catch the drips and funneled it out into a drain bucket. We’ll see how this works to dry things out. If not, a little research, re-configuring , and maybe some duct tape for good measure, and we should be good to go.