How Big A Waterer? How Big a Feeder?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by 3KillerBs, Mar 18, 2013.

  1. 3KillerBs

    3KillerBs Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 10, 2009
    North Carolina Sandhills
    I did a search and couldn't find a clear answer to this question.

    How big a waterer does a small flock of 4-6 hens need?

    The obvious answer is "plenty" -- especially in central NC in the summer. But how much is "plenty"?

    I'm thinking a nipple system. I always put my cockatiels onto water bottles because they foul their water in no time flat and I'm sure chickens are no different, except for being big enough to spill the water outright. And, of course, a minimum of two nipples in case one is clogged or a dominant animal tries to prevent a low-ranked one from drinking.

    I want to be able to fill the reservoir no more than once a day and, optimally, to be able to take an overnight trip without worrying about them running out.

    Likewise, how big a feeder would the same flock need under the same circumstances?
  2. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

    May 14, 2008
    North Phoenix
    My Coop
    Put your nipple system into a bucket with a hose and floater valve.... like the old toilets.... then you just have to check everyday to make certain they are working.
  3. Faso

    Faso Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 17, 2012
    Pompton Lakes, NJ
    I have 3 chickens. My goal was to not have to tend to them daily for the food and/or water. I STILL have the same small feeder which is now needing to be filled every 2 days(every other day). I will be changing this to a PVC system when the weather warms up. I plan on making something to hold a good 5-10 pounds of feed, which i think will last much longer.(and allow me to pour the feed in from outside of the coop!)

    I think I have a 1 pound feeder now!

    For water, I use a 5 gallon bucket.(check you tube for chicken waterers) It's flipped in an oil pan and up on cinder blocks so they can't poo in it. It only fills when the water drops below the holes. The water stays clean and doesn't need to be refilled for roughly a month, or maybe a little longer!

    It froze in the winter but i just made sure i went out with a pitcher of warm water and poured it over to break the ice up. Then i hit it with the shovel and all was ok for a nother few days depending on the weather. If you stay on top of breaking the ice and it's not TOO cold, it's not a big deal.

    Regardless, with this watering system, you will get a long time out of worrying about your chickens. I went to disney for a week and had my neighbors watch them and all was ok. This was back in November and they were smaller and eating less. They only needed to fill the food once in that week!

    Hope this helps. Youtube has a lot of videos on this and "how to videos".
  4. yyz0yyz0

    yyz0yyz0 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 2, 2012
    read somewhere that chickens average 1/2lb feed per bird per day. So you can base your feeder size with that as a starting point.
  5. 3KillerBs

    3KillerBs Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 10, 2009
    North Carolina Sandhills

    What a great idea! DH is good with plumbing too.
  6. 3KillerBs

    3KillerBs Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 10, 2009
    North Carolina Sandhills
    Thank you.

    We have a busy household with complicated logistics and like having pets like the cats and the cockatiels who can be given extra food and water then left to cope with sudden events and so I'm glad to see its not too difficult to set a small flock of chickens up that way too.

    I was concerned about the water in summer.

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