Help with ideas for automatic waterer...PLEASE!!

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Titania, Mar 16, 2011.

  1. Titania

    Titania Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Let me start out by saying that I have scoured, I mean SCOURED, the internet for a couple of hours each day for a few days now looking for the best idea for my situation/setup.

    I only have 6-8 chickens (as in, currently six, will soon be eight) and the coop is not very large. I am a backyard poultry enthusiast living in a suburban neighborhood with a small backyard. We do what we can.
    [​IMG]
    I love my coop and I love things to look neat & tidy (well, as neat and tidy as is possible with chickens, right?).
    My husband is a resident physician so funds are very limited and he is never (read "literally never") home. I do all things related to home, yard, finances, children on my own. So, my time is even more limited than the funds. (The time I've had to waste searching for an automatic waterer has come because the children and I are sick, sick, sick. I even dreamt last night that I was dying soon and had to find a new wife for my husband.)
    I want to do the poultry cup waterer system. I think this will work well for underneath the coop in the shaded part of the run. I want the chickens to never run out of water, I want their water to be clean, and I want things to look neat. (so no automatic waterers for dogs or big buckets hanging with nipples on the bottom)
    This is the cup waterer I'm thinking of using: GQF cup waterers https://www.gqfmfg.com/store/comersus_viewItem.asp?idProduct=179
    The price seems right.
    Now, how do I get the reservoir water bucket to automatically fill with water? I get that I need a float valve. But what kind of float valve? And how do I install it? I'm so not naturally good at these kinds of things and I can't spend hours making mistakes so that I can get it right eventually.
    What about this float valve? https://www.gqfmfg.com/store/comersus_viewItem.asp?idProduct=33
    Is this the right thing? What else do I need to make sure that it will work properly near the top of a bucket (besides silicon caulk, that is)?

    and then I'll need something like this https://www.gqfmfg.com/store/comersus_viewItem.asp?idProduct=164 to attach the cup waterer tube to the hose, I think.

    What am I missing? Am I off the mark? I really appreciate any help because I am darn near next to complete & utter dunce when it comes to all of the creative & inventive things everyone else on this forum does so well.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2011
  2. Titania

    Titania Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I forgot to say thank you for even reading my question & especially thanks for any responses & help!
     
  3. amberflea

    amberflea Chillin' With My Peeps

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    IMO, you still have to clean out the cups QUITE often, this setup to me is for LARGE commercial houses...


    I use the nipples attached to buckets (which you can get a nice looking bucket or smaller version that looks nice), or a pvc pipe hooked up to a hose (no big ugly buckets then), VERY clean, I only have to put water in the buckets once a week, I could go longer, but I do like to swish the buckets out once in a while... VERY EASY.

    Its less time consuming, very clean, and the chickens learned to drink from them fast. I also use a smaller version with my new chicks, and let me tell ya, that is soooo nice not to have to change water and swab out watering dishes full of poop.
    You can buy the nipple watering pails or containers on e-bay... as well as feeder systems that work similiar...
    or I know they sell the nipples connected to a PVC pipe on the internet also.
     
  4. Titania

    Titania Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ok, thanks Amberflea!

    So, you think the cups would get very dirty even if they're 6-8" above the run floor?
    Hmmm...thanks for the advice! I'll do a quick search on the tubes w/nipples attached. Again, definitely need something that won't need alot of time to assemble or frequent trips to the store for numerous pipe adaptors, etc.

    really, really appreciate the suggestion!
     
  5. Neil Grassbaugh

    Neil Grassbaugh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You could attach something like this to the post that I see in the pic. With a backer it could also be attached to the fence.

    [​IMG]
    It takes a high production layer about 20 days to drink a gallon of water. So for eight birds could you give them fresh water in a five gallon container every two or three days and have enough capacity for 12 days if you need it? That would not seem to warrent a hose and float. And at that price!
    If you want a float get a toilet refil valve at a big box home improvement store.

    Then there is this- a cup.
    [​IMG]
    Your problem is that you do not have enough birds to keep the cup clean even under ideal circumstances otherwise.

    In any case if you use a resivoir tank you do not need a bulkhead fitting or anything improvised. All you need is a suitable tubing and a correct size drill bit.
     
  6. Titania

    Titania Chillin' With My Peeps

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    funny thing is that I was just looking you up, Neil! Your name comes up as being the guy to email to buy some nipple attachments! thanks for jumping in & replying.

    When you say I don't have enough chickens to keep the cups clean, do you mean that they won't be filling the cups enough with water to clean them?

    Your math does sound right about not needing to fill up the bucket except every 4-7 days. Does the height of water in the bucket matter? I seem to be reading that 10" of water is necessary for proper pressure. Or, do I manage this by elevating the reservoir so that the height difference adds the needed pressure? Also, I live in Oklahoma and we get up to 107-110 daily through July-August. I read somewhere that a lady needed to fill her reservoir bucket every 3 days. I just want to make sure that I never stress my birds out by letting their waterer go dry (and, yes, I hate to admit that it does happen currently with their galvanized waterer in the winter by the 3rd day).

    So, a material list for nipple drinkers on pvc pipe would be something like this:
    2-4 nipple drinkers
    pvc pipe
    fittings to attach a tube or hose to the pvc pipe
    fittings to attach tube or hose to a bucket
    5 gallon bucket
    ties to attach pvc pipe to 1/2" hardware cloth
    silicon caulking
    drill bits

    alright...I guess what I need to know is what sort of "fittings" to use. This is so far out of my area of knowledge & comfort. I really appreciate everyone's else's knowledge so I don't have to build & then scrap a leaky piece of wasted effort.
    thanks!
     
  7. Neil Grassbaugh

    Neil Grassbaugh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Now that I look at your avatar I see you have many different sizes of birds. Considering that I think I would recomend a cup.

    Put the cup in a place that is easy for you to access and save a squirt bottle of some sort to swish the cup out after you run a cloth around it every three days.

    E mail me so that I have your e mail address and include your mailing address. I will fix you up. Your list includes many items I cannot imagine you will need.

    So, a material list for nipple drinkers on pvc pipe would be something like this:
    2-4 nipple drinkers To many. One cup will do the job.
    pvc pipe
    fittings to attach a tube or hose to the pvc pipe
    fittings to attach tube or hose to a bucket A simple hole will suffice
    5 gallon bucket Or maybe a lower profile container with a cover. Like a plastic hanging file carrier with a lid. Depends on where you are going to put it. http://www.sterilite.com/SelectProduct.html?id=371&ProductCategory=181&section=6 I like these. But remeber that the chickens will check out the top of anything as a place to perch


    ties to attach pvc pipe to 1/2" hardware cloth Nope
    silicon caulking Whatever for? There are not going to be any leaks.
    drill bits
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2011
  8. firsthouse_mp

    firsthouse_mp Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We use a bucket with holes that has a toilet bulb valve in it--essentially, when the water gets low, it senses it and fills up the bucket. Like how your toilet re-fills with water. Not sure it would be as "tidy" as you had hoped. I still tip it over every 3 days and "clean" it out.
     
  9. Titania

    Titania Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Ok, firsthouse_mp, I would love to see a pic & hear how you did this. I would like to do something like this for the water reservoir container so that it fills up every morning when the timer for all the hoses (drip irrigation for garden, soaker hoses for flower beds) goes off. Do you use it inside your chicken coop & is that why it gets messy every 3 days or so? I was planning on keeping my reservoir external to the coop & covered.

    Quote:I guess I'm confused, Neil. It just seems that a hole in a bucket with a hose coming out of it will leak lots & lots of water. And don't they say 1 nipple drinker/3 chickens. And 1 cup/6chickens? But, thanks for suggesting I go back to cups. I was wondering at what height to put the nipple drinkers so they could all reach. I guess I could put two levels in.

    Again, thanks everyone! I love learning from everyone on here...so many smart people with good thoughts.
     
  10. Neil Grassbaugh

    Neil Grassbaugh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I guess I'm confused, Neil. It just seems that a hole in a bucket with a hose coming out of it will leak lots & lots of water.
    But then you are not a fluid dynamics engineer. I will tell you all about the easy way to do it.

    And don't they say 1 nipple drinker/3 chickens.
    Yeah- a lot of people say that but they are wrong. It is one per 15 unless they are meat type breeder hens in hot climates then it is one per ten.

    And 1 cup/6chickens?
    Same people that are wrong about nipples say this. It is one per 20 on broilers or layers.

    But, thanks for suggesting I go back to cups. I was wondering at what height to put the nipple drinkers so they could all reach. I guess I could put two levels in.
    Like I said earler, contact me I will fix you up.​
     

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