Do I fill up waterer every day?


In the Brooder
10 Years
Feb 13, 2009
I'm just getting started with my do I provide water for the chickens? Is there a tool or supply of some sort I can buy that automatically keeps the water up in the waterer, or should I just expect to fill up the waterer every few days?

depends on if you have an automatic waterer or not. If you dont then yes you need to change water every day. If you do then you can probably go a few days.

I'm going to get some grief for this but I don't change the water daily. It's more like every 3 or 4 days. But I do slosh around some bleach and rinse it good when I do change the water.

I use a metal fount in winter so I can use a heated base. Spring to Fall I use a plastic fount.
It highly depends on the size of your waterer, the cleanliness of the birds, and the amount of light the waterer gets. the more light it gets the more algae grows in the water. As well the dirtier the birds, such as mine who for some reason like to use their waterer as their personal toilet, the more often it needs to be changed.
People change the water? Mine go through a gallon in a couple of days- my meaties go through several gallons every day. If you get any stink or algae growth in the water, (in the heat of the summer,) add a bit of apple cider vinager.
Use a waterer in which the chickies will go through the entire amount in a day or so. This will FORCE you to clean and refill the water just about every day. This is important, stale water is a source of disease.

I change out the watere every day in the barn. The chickies really enjoy a fresh, cool drink.
My waterers get slimy feeling in a day. Even with ACV or a little bleach in them. I assume the sliminess is algae or other stuff I would not want to drink. And that's assuming one has figured out how to avoid the litter and poo getting in the water. Maybe auto waterers would get around this; I don't know. I am out there more than daily, anyway, watching chicken TV, so fresh water daily is no problem.

I don't have a problem with viewing them as livestock and minimizing the care. But I suspect that more return is gained with a daily check; so many things can go wrong. They are not bright, can get caught in things or start attacking each other, develop simple medical problems, etc., etc. A few minutes of management goes a long way. Causes me to recall a hen who got her leg caught in a leaf rake. Who would have thunk? She had no idea how to get out.

If I were going out of town for several days, I would feel more or less comfortable leaving them in an environment I had already observed daily. But I'll bet it would cost me someone, anyway....
Poo problem in the water of meaties caught my eye. With plain old heavy breeds this is easy enough to avoid or minimize after the first few days. I realize meaties (Cornish X, I assume) are a different story. Can you not raise the water high enough to stop this? Is this an unavoidable ordeal with them?

I have been considering trying some, and trying to get a real idea of what I would be dealing with....
The easiest waterers i have to keep clean are gallon plastic ice cream buckets. i tie a length of hay string to the handle and tie the other end up to the chain link about chest high. I go in the pen, swish my hand around in the bucket, loosen any dirt or fug on the side of the bucket, pick it up by the string and heave the water as far from the pen as I can. When i go to refill it from outside the pen with a hose, I pull that string a little and it keeps the bucket from being pushed away by the stream of water coming from the hose. I place the bucket on a plastic rectangular wash tub turned upside down and it makes the birds step up on the plastic to drink, and raises it up so that they don't kick much dirt into it when they are messing around scratching in the dirt. I also keep it on the opposite side of their pen from the feed, and out of direct sunlight. Works for me. I also have metal double walled waterers, plastic ones with the screw on bottoms, but the buckets stay the cleanest, last the longest and can never be knocked over. Plus when I need a new one we get to eat a tub of ice cream first!

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