I'd like to know how much they REALLY drink (not spill). I have ten 9 week old and eight 10 week old, and all of them together might go through 1/2 gallon a day.
I'm sure they'll drink more once they are full grown, start laying, and in the heat of the summer, but really?
I will need to go away each spring for about a week, and need to know how big to make a waterer (and feeder) to keep them supplied while I'm away. I'm sure I can get someone to pick up the free eggs every day, but I'd rather not trust them with my birds' lives.
I do not have running water at the barn/coop and it is cost prohibitive to add, but I can run a hose temporarily, if needed. I'd rather build a rain collection system to feed into a 55 gal. barrel and PVC lines with nipples.
How big a barrel do I need to start out with to GUARANTEE they have enough water for at least a week?