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Reasonable priced waterers...

jiggseobjiggseob Junior Member
edited March 2009 in "Off Your Chest"
We have two backyard flocks, one (~20) on-going of mixed breed layers, and one of feed-store type (started with 50, now 46) broilers obtained as day-old chicks.

One of our persistent problems was getting waterers that don't leak and don't break and don't cost lots. Several various things from the farm supply that cost anywhere from $5 to $75 have come and gone. Brittle plastic parts, precision fit metal parts that don't fit, etc etc. Bowl design that allows the birds to walk in the water and leave their turds in the water for the next bird.

We finally stumbled across a low-cost very effective contraption that works for the bigger birds - hens and 2week+ broilers. A 16" diameter round rubber feed tub thats about 4" deep is the bowl. A 5 gallon (22 litre) plastic pail with a lid is the reservoir. With a knife, cut a small slot about 2 inches deep and 1" wide into the rim of the pail. Put the lid back on the pail, all that remains is a small hole. Stick the garden hose in the hole to fill the pail. Once the pail is full, hold your thumb over the hole, and invert the pail in the feed tub. The water will gurgle out to the level of the top of the hole, and stop. You can make the water in the bowl deeper by cutting the slot deeper, but if you cut the slot too deep, you have to get a new pail and start over.

The pail is cheap/free, and the feed tub is also relatively low priced, and indestructible.

For the chicks, we made a smaller model from a 1 gallon (4 litre) pail and a discarded frying pan.

Choosing a bowl slightly bigger than the bucket so that the birds can get their beaks in for a drink, but not their butts in for a poop is the key. As the birds get bigger and more active, a heavy rock or chunk of concrete on top of the pail will keep the thing from getting knocked about when almost empty.

Using two of these in our broilers, and one in the hens, they have water all day, and we refill when doing the morning chores. If the pail is still half full, its easy to pick it up and replenish it without spilling the half pail remaining. Try to find translucent pails that you can see the water level in. Also, avoid black pails, they get really (DAMHIK) hot in the sun.


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