Feeder size? More than one? Waterers too?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by AuburnChickenNewbies, Apr 24, 2011.

  1. AuburnChickenNewbies

    AuburnChickenNewbies Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We're consumed with designing the "perfect" [​IMG] coop and run for our 8-chicks -- and newbies to boot. I just keep reading and reading and reading on the Web trying to learn as much as I can ... but whew, there's a lot to learn. [​IMG] (poor chicks--to be subject to newbies)

    Anyway, we've now designed our coop (I think) and also want to include some sort of a feeder with a hopper big enough for an entire bag of feed and possibly an automatic waterer. After talking to folks at our local feed store, we've been told that we should have two feeders and two waterers so as to prevent a dominant chicken from preventing others from getting to the good stuff. What do you think? Is more than one a good idea? Or one in and one out?

    Also, Is there an optimum width to a feeder so that everyone can have access? Are chickens polite enough to wait their turn (hahahaha) or should we plan on making the thing wide enough for two or three to feed at the same time?

    Haven't really figured out the waterer issue yet either. For now I'm thinking we'll just pipe a hose & spigot close to the coop so that I can fill a bucket from there, but I can see this practice getting old fast. And I know the chickens will wake up earlier than I do in the mornings (I tend to work late days, so mornings for me don't start until around 8 or 9-ish.)

    Thank you!!
     
  2. sonally

    sonally Out Of The Brooder

    I am a newbie as well! I also am spending hours reading online and books! My chicks are due to arrive on May13th. Have you seen the "chicken nipple" waterers? Avian water miser i think it is called. I have ordered a DIY kit. I really want to avoid poop-spoiled [​IMG]: water and food! ~Allyson /sonally
     
  3. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

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    A nipple wasterer system would probably suit your requirements best. There are I believe several designs on here; you should do a search in this forum (blue search bar 4th from the left across the top of the page, not the google search.) I don't know anything about them but understand it is what commercial operations use. I just have a couple of feed store waterers and a water spigot next to the coop. Yes, there should be feeder space sufficient so they can all eat at once, about 2" each I think it is. They don't need a second feeder unless you get a bully who keeps another or others from the food. Your hopper could open onto a piece of PVC pipe of whatever length you want -- half meaning cut lengthwise. Again, there are a number of homemade PVC feeders on here. One fellow built a feeder out of, essentially, plywood for the bin and duct tape, and I think a 5 gallon bucket.
     
  4. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    If you live in a cold climate, water in the winter is whole new ball game. Otherwise, the large waterers do not need to be filled every day, nor at the crack of dawn everyday. There are ways of making life easier for yourself. I check on the coop, water, feed, eggs, etc a few times a day, just because I can and I want to.

    However, I can also be gone for up to three/four days and they are fine. I just use larger equipment or multiples of equipment when I need to be away. There are only a couple times a year that concern me. Summer's hottest heat wave and winter's coldest cold snap. I do not like to be gone for more than a day or two during those times.
     
  5. AuburnChickenNewbies

    AuburnChickenNewbies Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:We're looking at those nipple things; I'm hesitant only because if these chicken smarts go the way of our dufus golden retrievers, we could have some really thirsty chickens before they finally get on board. At the moment, I think we'll probably go the same way as you do with the spigot and waterer. We bought a 3-gallon one for use in their brooder (it's really a tall space), but rapidly found out that the 3-gallon top wouldn't fit in any of our sinks and I don't have a hose handy to the area of the current brooder in the garage.

    Quote:Oh! I kinda like the PVC pipe thing. That seems easy and clean. I'm hoping we won't need a second feeder, but then again. Are bully chickens common? Or is this more likely if we end up with more than one rooster (is that a okay thing?)[​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2011
  6. AuburnChickenNewbies

    AuburnChickenNewbies Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Fred's Hens :

    If you live in a cold climate, water in the winter is whole new ball game. Otherwise, the large waterers do not need to be filled every day, nor at the crack of dawn everyday. There are ways of making life easier for yourself. I check on the coop, water, feed, eggs, etc a few times a day, just because I can and I want to.

    However, I can also be gone for up to three/four days and they are fine. I just use larger equipment or multiples of equipment when I need to be away. There are only a couple times a year that concern me. Summer's hottest heat wave and winter's coldest cold snap. I do not like to be gone for more than a day or two during those times.

    Oh! This is good to know. We've also been having the talk about "who's gonna take care of these guys if we go away for the weekend?"

    What's your solution for the water when it's really cold? We don't get cold cold for more than a couple of weeks, but sometimes it does happen and I want to be sure these guys have sufficient fresh water. I know I've forgotten a good-sized dog water bowl outside for a day and it's been frozen solid in a matter of a couple of hours now and then.​
     
  7. secuono

    secuono Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 29, 2010
    Virginia
    Two or more feeders and waterers is best. They will dive in on top of each other for food or water if they managed to dump the water or you ran outta feed for a day. So, hanging I've realized I need to tether down on 3 sides so they do not spill[food or water] and they all will, either a little or a ton! Make sure to space them apart from each other, 2ft or more for standards, 1.5ft for banties.
     
  8. llrumsey

    llrumsey Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We have alot of cold, cold days here in Nebraska, I find it hard to keep fresh unfrozed water for the birds, this year I hope to try a heated watering bowl. That will be for the chickens, turkeys but I dont know what to do yet about the ducks and geese, they love to play in their water and splash out more than they drink. We have to carry water about 200 feet in 5 gal buckeys since I dont have a water spout very close. I am looking into digging a pond and using a pond heater for the winter for the ducks.

    Good Luck
     
  9. Fred's Hens

    Fred's Hens Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    The heated dog bowl is one of the easier methods and one I employ. A couple of them. I buy the super large sized. A gallon pail, actually a 2 gallon pail will sit nicely in the dog bowl. I merely use the dog bowl as the heating device. It has it's own built in on/off thermo switch. Easy.

    If one's "winter" is mild enough and brief enough, carrying warm water out each day isn't too awful bad. But when winter lasts for months, carrying out water is tedious. Of course, they also sell heated poultry fonts, for a price. Lots of folks have built their own simple "cookie tin" heater, which is quite easy and inexpensive.
     
  10. wsdareme

    wsdareme Chillin' With My Peeps

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    A lot cheaper solution than buying a heated bowl or heated waterer is to make a heater out of a cookie tin, ceramic socket with cord a little bit of insulation and a pair of tin snips.

    Here is the thread: https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=107951&p=1

    I
    found a ceramic socket and cord and thin silver insulation at my local hardware store. I took the lid off one of those short round Christmas cookie tins and cut a piece out of the lip of the bottom section so there would be a hole large enough for the cord when I put the light inside and the lid back on. I cut out insulation to fit the bottom and the sides, leaving the top uninsulated. I believe I only have a 40w light in there, and you can find one that is skinny, like a chandelier bulb, that will fit when the lid is closed. Put the lid on, set it on a concrete block, plugged it in, and set my metal (not plastic!!) waterer on top of it. It will heat the water just enough to keep it from freezing, even when the temperatures get into the single digits.

    Cost me less than $10 to make and it works great!
     

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