Litter type: We originally planned to use the deep litter method, starting with 2-3" of small pine shavings and another 2-3" of larger pine flakes on top of that. Since our coop is obviously very well ventilated (I may close it in a little more, though, if too much rain does get in) I thought that would be the easiest and best method. However, I'm second guessing myself and wondering if sand would be better? I have a good pile of masonry sand laying around already and this might be a good use for it. I guess my question boils down to: what is the best method for a climate where it's usually warm/hot and dry? What's the most common method used in South Texas?
Watering method: We intentionally placed the coop next to a water line. I'd like to set up an automatic watering system that's connected to the water line, so that we don't need to worry about filling waterers if we go out of town or want to be lazy for a coup,e days. Is the Little Giant watering system (http://www.miller-mfg.com/product/2500.html) the best way to go? I was envisioning a horizontal PVC pipe with several nipples but the ones I found could not be used under pressure. What do y'all recommend for use with a water line?