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How to get rust off of a galvanized steel waterer?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Hi Everyone;

 

This is NicciChick. It has been blazing hot here in Southern California for the past 2 months. My poor chickens are so hot and spend all day long panting and digging dusting holes in their run to cool off. I have been putting Apple Cider Vinegar in their waterer (one of those large hanging galvanized steel ones that you hang from a hook in the run) to keep bacteria from growing in the summer heat. They love it, don't mind the taste or smell at all. But, it seems that the water turns brown and the waterer looks like it has a layer of rust covering the inside (up the wall to where the water line is) as well as the pan portion they drink out of. I use a kitchen scrubber sponge to thoroughly scrub the inside and out, as well as pressure wash it with the hose, every time I change their water; usually morning and night. Am I doing enough? The rust seems to be so dark and heavy this morning that I'm concerned I may be letting them drink water that is unsafe? Does anyone know how to clean up the rust, or do I need to purchase a new waterer? It's only 6 months old!

 

Also, my 10 hens have gone from laying 8-10 eggs daily to only laying 2-3 eggs daily in this heat? Is this normal? Their appetite is not reduced at all; they gobble up the lay pellets and all the fresh leafy greens and veggies and meal worms I give them daily, they just don't lay. They complain all day about the heat and pant for relief. I'm assuming that all their energy is going into trying to cool down instead of egg production at the moment. Do they lay more eggs in cooler weather?

 

Thanks for any advice.

 

Blessings,

NicciChick

post #2 of 9

Using ACV in metal waters is a no no.  The acid eats the metal.  Since yours is rusting bad would guess your past the dangerous zinc poisoning phase and into the acid eating the steel.  You can Sand blast it back to bare metal and paint it to stop the rusting.  But I think the best thing is getting a new one. 

Heat stress will slow their laying down.  The basic help you can give them is shade, water and moving air.

Den
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Den
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post #3 of 9

Den is correct, but almost any metal waterer I've had in the last 10 years have rusted through in a year with only water.  They are nothing like my original back in 1993 and don't last, so I quit using them.  Most are made in China and  I don't even use them in the winter. I just use a sleeve drinker with a recessed bottom  on my water heater.

post #4 of 9

Our well water has a ton of iron in it!   Anything that it touches will turn rust colored in short order.   It looks bad but essentially harmless.  I use "Rust Out" (Walmart carries this I believe) to clean every once in awhile.   I carry a scouring brush with me often to clean buckets or pans as I make my rounds to give fresh water daily to the goats, chickens, and dogs.   I also have rainbarrels on the farm to supply water.   This water is pure and does not stain.

 

Your hens will lay less if they are heat stressed.   Be sure that they have access to plenty of water every day.

post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thanks so much. What is a sleeve drinker?

 

NicciChick

post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 

Can you share with me what a sleeve drinker is? Also, why is it so bad to use ACV in a metal container since all the posts I've read about preventing disease in the summertime tells me to use AVC and never tells me not to use it in a metal container. What type of container should I use ACV in?

 

Blessings,

NICCICHICK 

post #7 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by niccichick View Post

Can you share with me what a sleeve drinker is? Also, why is it so bad to use ACV in a metal container since all the posts I've read about preventing disease in the summertime tells me to use AVC and never tells me not to use it in a metal container. What type of container should I use ACV in?

 

Blessings,

NICCICHICK 

The surest way to prevent corrosion of any dispenser is to use plastic, if possible. If the rust on the metal waterer is actually caused by corrosive conditions, then the galvanization coating is missing from that location and bare steel is evident, which WILL oxidize when subject to moisture. ACV is 5% acetic acid when taken straight from the source bottle/jug and a teaspoon or tablespoon diluted in a gallon of water will make for a very weak electrolytic solution. 

 

You can remove the rust from the spot where it exists and if external, spray paint the affected area with silver metallic paint. As has been mentioned earlier in a post, cheaply made galvanized anything will not endure very long in anything but the mildest settings, if that. If you can bear to discard your metal watering vessel, do so. Then, replace it with something more inert to corrosion. 

 

Barred Rock Cafe  cool.png

post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 

HaveI poisoned my girls? Yikes. If so, what do I do to fix it. They seem fine, just not laying many eggs due to the heat.

 

NICCICHICK

post #9 of 9

Sorry to be late to answer.  A sleeve drinker is just the type that you fill upside down and turn the lid on then flip it over.  I don't like the ones at TSC, but got some real nice ones from Foy's pigeon supply that are 2 gallon, which is the size i prefer.  The reason I can use them on my heater is that the bottom is recessed  so it doesn't sit on the spot where the heating element is.  I've used flat plastic ones before, but eventually the heat makes them crack.  Hope this helps.

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