Beginner needs advice on Waterers and Feeders!

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by keeko, Jan 5, 2010.

  1. keeko

    keeko Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 22, 2009
    Asheville, NC
    Hey folks!

    So the hardest part is done - I decided on my top 5 favorite breeds for my *first* flock ever, and put the order in this morning! The next three months are going to crawl by...! I'm already looking forward to March when they arrive.

    In the meantime, I'm trying to get prepared by having all the stuff I need to accommodate baby chicks. I'm currently trying to figure out waterers and feeders.

    1) Can anyone tell me the benefits to those trough-like feeders...the long ones with the holes?

    2) Which are better, plastic or galvanized steel? Pros and cons of each?

    3) I like the look of those jar feeders, but will a heavy glass mason jar be dangerous in a small brooder of baby chicks? Do they ever tip over?? EEK!

    4) Finally, I'd like to reuse whatever I can as the chicks grow up...is there a specific kind of feeder or waterer that go with them to the hen house/coop?

    Thanks so much everybody!! [​IMG]
     
  2. CARS

    CARS Chillin' With My Peeps

    I have tried almost all of them over the years. I have such a mix of this and that [​IMG]

    I have found that it really depends on the breed as they get older. My exotics with their poofy heads like a open trough. My old laying hens will eat out of anything.

    I use 7 gal. plastic water's in the summer, but have to use galvanized double wall ones in winter because I need heated bases for 5 months of the year.

    As chicks, the little quart jar feeders work great. You may want or need to modify them slightly as they grow (figure out how easy it is to throw food out with their beaks).

    The chick waters work great too. After a week or two, just put them up on a flat bottom bowl to elevate the water a little.
     
  3. Madcap621

    Madcap621 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 30, 2009
    Middle Tennessee
    H keeko,

    I got my first chicks last October and boy have I learned a lot! My guys loved their mason jar feeder. but emptied it so fast, even when I went to a quart and then a half gallon - that I tried the long tray. They used t as a swing/roost, kept it full of poop and litter and knocked more feed out than they ate, so I went to Lowe's, got a 2" x 4" PVC pipe adapter to fit in the screw-top of feeder, added a 2' length of 4" PVC pipe and a 'test' lid, used a 6" pipe clamp to fasten t to the corner of the coop. I am using a puppy play pen as a temporary coop but plan to install t n my coop build this spring. I put an aluminum pie tin under it to catch any feed they bill out and there is very little waste. Today, when my newly hatched chicks finished their first pint of food , I simply put the adapter had gotten to build another into the feeder and covered it w/foil. It holds more than a quart and will be fine for the brooder for 4 -5 weeks. When I move them to their coop pen, I will add the 2' 4" ppe and ft the cover. I am at my DD's house right now, will send pictures when I get home.

    I use nipple waterers.
     
  4. RocketDad

    RocketDad Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 25, 2008
    Near US 287
    I used a mason jar feeder in the brooder. It worked okay until they started beaking out the feed. So I put it on a plate, and that helped contain the mess. I put it on a concrete paver to give it a flat base to stand on instead of the shavings. I added pavers to change the height as they grew. It became too small, but I've seen designs to use the metal part as the output end of a PVC feeder. In the run I now use a metal trough with the flat spinny "don't roost" thing, and a red and white plastic feeder inside the coop.

    I used the red and white "little giant" waterer in the brooder, and it's now in the coop on top of a cinderblock with a lightbulb. The red base broke one day getting dropped in the cold, they get brittle as they age. Buy 2 bases and 1 jug.

    I used a large Sterilite tub (the biggest one - about the size of a laundry basket) with a wood-and-hardware-cloth lid to brood our 5 chicks. I had to pull it out of the shop rafters a few days ago to keep a sick hen in the house. Not quite tall enough for a fully grown hen to stand up with the lid on, but I only put the lid on when we went to bed. Nice to have a place to keep her, and transport her to and from the midnight vet.
     
  5. CARS

    CARS Chillin' With My Peeps

    I may as well share my secret on how to use those mason jar bases.

    I take a toilet paper roll and cut it lengthways and then cut it to about 3" long. Tape it to the same diameter as the hole in the center of the feeder. You want an interference fit. Adjust it up and down till you get a good feed level. Lower the tube for less feed if you can't imagine it.

    It keeps the birds from billing it out because they have to go deeper to get it.
     
  6. Madcap621

    Madcap621 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 30, 2009
    Middle Tennessee
    As promised, here is a picture of the first modification to my 'jar' feeder. I had to remove the foil 'lid' because of the reflection. I am in the process of uploading the pix of the coop modification, which supplies feed for 6 bantams for 2 weeks [holds a bit more than 3 gallons]. [​IMG]

    You can also see the small nipple waterer. My chicks got their first drink from this when they come out of the incubator! They took right to it. This one is made from a frosting container with a wire bale. It already needs to be hung higher. I will attach a hook to the bale tomorrow, hang a small chain from the top of the crate [I use a 200 dog crate for my brooder] and move it up one link at a time as needed. The hatch was spread over a 6 day period from 12-31 until yesterday. The rack in front is to keep the chix from hopping out when I have the door open. This worked great for my first 6 chix until they were feathered and went to the porch coop. I have 11 chix [lost one] from this hatch, so will probably have to go up to a 400.
    [​IMG]
     
  7. keeko

    keeko Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 22, 2009
    Asheville, NC
    Thanks for the pic Madcap! That's a great system, looks really easy to fill/refill. Do you find you can save the feed that spills over onto the pie tin, or do they perch and poop on it?

    Does anybody have experience with the trough feeders? Anyone feel strongly one way or the other?

    Is plastic or galvanized steel better?
     
  8. CARS

    CARS Chillin' With My Peeps

    Madcap. I like that substitute for a jar. Do you see how high your feed level is in the holes? Add my tube mod and the waste is almost eliminated from the start. With your tray under it for them to clean up themselves, you have zero waste!

    If I get some time, I will post a pic of how to make it.
     
  9. Madcap621

    Madcap621 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 30, 2009
    Middle Tennessee
    I have both the 2' PVC pipe for the 'porch coop' and a 3' extension for the "yet to be built" coop [​IMG] Please do post the picture! They are really spreading it around. I need to raise it but have a couple of 'hobblers so will put up w/the mess for now. Once I can raise it and put the pie tin uder it, there will be very little waste. The older chicks don't roost on the edge or poop in the pan. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2010
  10. CARS

    CARS Chillin' With My Peeps

    remember... only the strong survive (or those who we tolerate, like our kids [​IMG] )

    the t.p. roll trick will cut your feed bill WAY down! Try it, You may like it.
     

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