Cleaning and Rainproofing Feeders and Waterers

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by perdurabo, Jun 30, 2010.

  1. perdurabo

    perdurabo New Egg

    Jun 30, 2010
    Our 6 chickens have a coop but they also have an electric netting chicken run they get full access to all day long. We generally feed them every morning with the standard feeder and the common inverted-fill waterer. We have two main problems: rain getting in the feed and algae/crud getting in the waterer.

    We dont feed in the coop because we dont want them pooping in the feeder or waterer, but when it rains, thats the only place we can put the food to keep it from getting wet. However, when I get up to feed in the morning, I don't want to have to watch the weather report or consult my tea leaves to determine whether I should put it in the coop or outside the coop. I need a feeder that is 100% rainproof 100% of the time so they get a consistent feed experience regardless of the weather. Something like this one would be great:

    However, thats awful big and expensive for just six hens, but I can't find a smaller/cheaper model and trying to make a solution by hand probably wont work as I'm not terribly mechanically inclined (no, really, its usually easier for me to make more money than to make more time figuring out how to build a homemade structure). Itd be a lot more efficient to just buy something that already does exactly what I want out of the box... are there any other options?

    Secondly, my wife is always blowing a gasket and having a type-A personality freakout anytime theres even a little dirt or a little algae in the chicken waterer. Is there any credible scientific evidence that chickens absolutely need utterly pristine clean feeders and waterers? Exactly how often do you REALLY have to clean these things, practically speaking? I can't stand cleaning these things often as it seems totally unnecessary, but she insists it should be done at least once a week if not more. I have a hard time believing an animal that evolved to live in a jungle is going to be harmed in any way by a little dirt or a little algae in their waterer, as long as they are getting fresh water added every couple days. We're not talking poop here... that I know needs to be cleaned.. but were just talking dirt, leaves and a little algae. Anyone got any good data here to support being picky about clean feeders/waterers? If they do actually need to be that clean all the bloody time, whats the easiest most efficient least labor intensive way to feed and water?

    Would going to a nipple based enclosed waterer like this one help, possibly:?;;pgwc1045_WC1045.html

    Thanks in advance
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2010
  2. ADozenGirlz

    ADozenGirlz The Chicken Chick[IMG]emojione/assets/png/00ae.png

    Oct 18, 2009
    Quote:This may not be entirely responsive to your question but I can share my experience with you.

    #1: In terms of a feeder, you said you don't want to keep it in the coop bc you don't want it getting pooped in/on. I have mine hanging from the ceiling of my coop and have NEVER had poop in it. Not even once. Here's a picture of it:
    I don't ever keep feed in the run. If the girls are hungry, they know where the clean/dry stuff can be found!

    #2: As to the waterer question. I have used the nipple waterer system for a few months now (in quart sized containers and in 2 gallon buckets) and they DO get slimy inside after a few days. I even use apple cider vinegar (yes, WITH the mother) because I heard that the ACV would prevent the slime, but they still need regular cleaning. The chickens don't mind the slimy container, but I draw the line at anything greenish inside my white bucket, so it must be cleaned weekly. The nipple waterers do make a big difference in "stuff" being kicked up into the waterers, so maybe it'd be worth the price of admission to switch over to them for that alone.
    Hey, maybe if your wife had to do the frequent cleanings of the waterers herself she'd "freak out" a little less often? Just a thought...

    Good luck!
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2010
  3. shopchicks

    shopchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 4, 2009
    Boise, Idaho
    Well, without building, I'm not sure about the answer to your first question. But how about something very simple? Like get a cheap much bucket, turn it upside down as a rain shelter over your feeder? If your feeder hangs, you might be able to just hang the muck bucket a little higher up so the girls can go under it to get to their feed?

    As far as the waterer, I use a nipple waterer, and it can go for two weeks with ACV in the water (6 tablespoons in a 5 gal. bucket). I just dumped mine and gave it a quick hose out, but no scrubbing, and it is just fine. It is a silver bucket that is totally opaque. The somewhat translucent plastic may be contributing to a mold/algae issue, if that is what you're using..
  4. Dingleberry

    Dingleberry Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 22, 2010
    ok with- out building, put a umbrella over the food bowl. You will need to get the handle off it.
    as for the waterer. My 1 gal gets a bit of slime in it with ACV but not much.

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