Dog bowls for feeders and waterers?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by cpendleton84, Feb 20, 2014.

  1. cpendleton84

    cpendleton84 Just Hatched

    Feb 19, 2014
    Forgive me if I sound stupid, I am very new to this chicken raising business. I have 5 coming in May, and am operating on a VERY low budget, as I am paying for most everything myself. I remember someone telling me that if I only had 5 chickens, I didn't need to buy these huge feeders and waterers, I could just use good-sized non-glass dog bowls. I was wondering if this would work, and if it wouldn't, what are some ideas for cheap ones because I don't want to be spending 25-30$ on just a feeder and waterer. Any feedback is appreciated.
  2. Percheron chick

    Percheron chick Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 12, 2013
    Boulder, Colorado
    That and large rubber horse feed pans is what I use. I've wasted 2-3 drinkers from getting frozen so just started using dog bowls instead.
    1 person likes this.
  3. chad-o

    chad-o Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 4, 2013
    First of all there are no stupid questions! Stupid people don't ask questions. That being said watering is your most labor intense job when you have poultry. I am going to post two links one is for watering the other a feeder. If you contact the seller with your age and a little abut your venture. They often give a discount to encourage young people.
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2014
    2 people like this.
  4. PimentoPlymouth

    PimentoPlymouth Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 9, 2012
    They would work just may need changed a little more often as they will get dirty a little easier. You can be creative with feeding and watering your flock. You may check out the feeder and waterer forum on here there is a lot of good ideas for homemade type feeder's and waterer's.
    1 person likes this.
  5. sdh27

    sdh27 Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 6, 2014
    I have 6 and just use a big plastic container for water in the corner of their run which I dump out and fill up daily. It never gets even close to empty though I just change it so it's fresh. I wouldn't think 5 chickens would be very hard to feed and water at all. I've never really thought about it with my lot. Their food either goes straight on the ground for scratch and they have a dog bowl full of dry mash at all times.
    1 person likes this.
  6. Sonya9

    Sonya9 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 7, 2014
    Jones County, Georgia
    Go to youtube and search for "homemade chicken feeder". Various options come up showing how people made waterers out of plastic buckets etc...

    I am sure there are many ideas in other threads too.

    Please be careful when they are tiny, you need to have "safe" water that they can't fall into. Maybe a very shallow dish with marbles or something in case they walk on it. I would think you could easily make a very small waterer out of a plastic mayonaise jar though. Would be cleaner too, I just got my first chicks 2 days ago but lordy they poop everywhere and you don't want them to drink poopy water.

    You have until May to figure something out. Just realize water is extremely important, you don't want a dish to get knocked over and either wet your chicks or as they are older leave them dehydrated. Chickens that knocked over a water bowl in summer the could be in very bad shape by the time you noticed. I have a cheap little plastic water thing for the chicks, last night a bit of paper towel barely touched the edge of the waterer and guess what, the entire bottle soaked into the bottom of the brooder! The babies were laying on soaking WET paper towels and shavings! I noticed they were not all together when I got up and something was off, that was it. They are fine but that is just an example as to how things can go wrong with water!
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2014
    1 person likes this.
  7. sdh27

    sdh27 Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 6, 2014
    Are you getting chicks or older pullets?
    1 person likes this.
  8. pawtraitart

    pawtraitart Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 30, 2007
    Dog bowls will work when they are over 8 weeks old. For chicks, it's best to get feeders/waterers that are safe for babies. Keep in mind, whatever type you get, if your birds can poop in it, tip it over, scratch out the contents, or fill it with shavings they will. If you use a dog bowl or pan, make sure it has flared sides to that your birds can't tip it over. I've seen juvenile birds tip a food bowl on top of another bird and trap the poor thing under the bowl. There are certainly economical ways to take care of your birds. Five isn't very difficult. You'll learn what works and what doesn't as you go along. Enjoy your birds. [​IMG]
  9. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    I’ve used a dog bowl before with very young chicks. It’s my way to get water at their level when they are with a broody. It would work in a brooder too. Dad used to use the top of a jar, something like the lid on a peanut butter jar. Practically anything that will hold water and does not have real high sides will work. There are challenges though.

    It needs to be at a level they can reach over the side and drink so don’t use a real tall one. But even that isn’t too much of a problem. I fill the bowl with rocks so they can just hop up there and stand in the water to drink without drowning. I don’t know where you are located but by May it’s probably warm enough that would not be a problem with a broody outside. In a brooder, they should have a warm enough spot to go to if they get chilled to warm up. As long as they have a warm place to go to wet feet or even a little wet down isn’t a big problem.

    The rocks weigh it down so they can’t flip it over. Some people like to use marbles or something like that, but free rocks work just as well and don’t cost as much.

    They will pop in it. That’s just a given. But it’s not a disaster. It can be managed. If you look at the life cycle of the Coccidiosis bug, it needs a couple of days in that poopy water to develop enough to be a problem. Coccidiosis is your biggest risk from dirty water, though there can be others. Them eating or drinking a bit of fresh poop is not bad for them. It helps them share probiotics and build flock immunities. But the key is fresh poop. Change the water regularly, a minimum of once a day with more often better, and you won’t have that problem. The more chicks you have and the smaller the container, the more often you need to change the water. Filthy water is dangerous and especially dangerous if it is allowed to sit.

    They will scratch bedding in it. The way to reduce that problem is to raise the waterer above the bedding. Eventually they will be able to reach up several inches to get to the water, but initially they are not tall enough to do that. Your platform the water is sitting on needs to have enough room for them to stand around the waterer to drink. It also needs to be low enough they can get up there. Brick or pavers can work really well for that. In just a couple of days most baby chicks have no problem jumping up several inches, but they need to know the water is up there. The first few days it probably needs to be at bedding level. To reduce the amount of bedding that gets scratched in, I put a piece of plywood on top of the bedding to try to keep the loose bedding a bit further way but it doesn’t take long for them to cover that with bedding.

    What you are talking about is very doable. You are bound to have something that can be used laying around. Got an old Frisbee?
  10. cpendleton84

    cpendleton84 Just Hatched

    Feb 19, 2014
    By the way everybody I am getting them as chicks and am getting chick feeders and waterers for them, I was wondering for after they are 8 weeks old. Thanks for all the feedback!

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