Collecting water in rain barrels: ok for chickens?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by organicfoltzfamilyfarm, Jan 3, 2010.

  1. organicfoltzfamilyfarm

    organicfoltzfamilyfarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 13, 2009
    Trafalgar, IN
    I had this idea that I could put gutters on our coops and collect the water in rain barrels and use it to water the chickens. I really don't want to carry a million gallons of water out there.

    I'm also going to try to use it up here around the house for my flowers. I'm going to have to run an extra pipe from the house out to where the gardens and corn are going to be. I really don't want to run hoses every where because it's going to be a pain to move when we use the tractor or mow. Plus I don't want to drain our well.

    I don't see a problem with using rain barrels for the chickens water.

    Anyone else do this?
     
  2. kyrose

    kyrose Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 29, 2009
    Melbourne,Ky.
    thats how i water in the summer.never had any problems...
     
  3. kyrose

    kyrose Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 29, 2009
    Melbourne,Ky.
    thats how i water in the summer.never had any problems...
     
  4. organicfoltzfamilyfarm

    organicfoltzfamilyfarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 13, 2009
    Trafalgar, IN
    Thank you rose:).

    I'd think it was better for them. Also it would keep the surrounding area dry so the run won't get muddy.

    We have an enclosed run with a plastic roof (similar to the tin roof style). So it will be easy to hang gutters there. My husband actually installs gutters and siding for a living.
     
  5. kyrose

    kyrose Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 29, 2009
    Melbourne,Ky.
    no prob.sorry for the double post.my puter went crazy for a minute..[​IMG]
     
  6. gkeesling

    gkeesling Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 24, 2008
    Hagerstown, IN
    I did that in my run. I had a roof over part of the run so I put a small length of gutter on it and the rain falls down into a 55 gal. barrel. I have a small bucket that I dip into the barrel and put into my waterer. It all worked very well until the temps got very low this week. Now my barrel is all frozen and I can't break the ice down far enough to get into it. I guess I'll just have to wait until spring now.
     
  7. Smokin Silkies

    Smokin Silkies formerly browneyebuttafly

    Mar 27, 2009
    Western, PA
    I think it would be ok. I do it and my chickens are alive and healthy. Saves me money and that's always a great thing! [​IMG]
     
  8. CTChickenMom

    CTChickenMom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 5, 2009
    SE Connecticut
    I've always wanted to do this too. We have a double barrel system (55 gal each) that filles off the gutters on the house. Its very convenient in the summer when there's a drought. If you went that far, you could also set up a gravity fed watering system. I think if you put in a bird bath deicer the barrel it wouldn't freeze. They are low wattage and you'd only need it on the coldest days.
     
  9. organicfoltzfamilyfarm

    organicfoltzfamilyfarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 13, 2009
    Trafalgar, IN
    I thought about putting some kind of low wattage heater in there. I was thinking about a large size fish tank heater. I wonder if that would work.

    I don't have to carry it out everyday (thank goodness) we have a heated base for their water.
     
  10. bibliophile birds

    bibliophile birds Chillin' With My Peeps

    we do this too. 2 things you have to be aware of: washing the roof periodically (we powerwash ours every other month) to keep contaminates like wild bird poop from becoming a problem & making sure your barrels don't grow algae or breed mosquitoes. if you have plastic rain barrels and waterers, apple cider vinegar should do the trick (but it will destroy metal ones). ours is a metal system so the pipe goes straight into the lid of the barrel (which has a filter basket we can remove and clean) which keeps out bugs and discourages algae (no sunlight). put a spigot near the bottom and elevate the barrel a 2 feet and, voila, gravity fed system!
     

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