Thursday, December 26, 2013

DIY waterers for grown chickens, turkeys, ducks and geese

If you have have birds that are too big for the brooder, you'll need a larger waterer for their coop or pen. 

It's fine to reuse a plastic ice cream bucket, but you'll find that uncovered buckets are magnets for loose bedding or litter. Think about how often the birds flap their wings: when they're going up to roost, when they're coming down from the roost, when they're crowing, when it's been five minutes since they've last stirred up the air…

Expect to wash the bucket out when you refill it. Be careful that the birds don't get their necks caught on the plastic handle. There's also a slight danger the younger birds might lose their balance perching on the side of a bucket and fall in. These may seem like extreme examples, but they can happen.

If you're up for an afternoon project, you could build your own waterers for the price of a five gallon bucket, and a metal pan.
This is how we did it, keeping the bottom of the bucket as the base and making the rest of the bucket smaller to fit inside.

And here's a video demonstration.

These should probably be cleaned out more than once a week, just to keep the water fresh. You'll notice he also warns about the size and placement of the holes so the birds don't drown. To reiterate: this is a waterer for birds three months and older.

If you really want to get fancy, or if you live in the north and are tired of chipping ice off the chickens' water during the winter, you could make an inexpensive water heater:

 Pay attention to the safety precautions in each of these videos! As he says while demonstrating the heater, you DO NOT want to put the heat source directly onto the straw. You also DO NOT want to leave the plugs exposed to the elements.

What's your secret to building your own waterers?

-Dale aka Turkeyman