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How do you keep the water clean?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by notsooldmcdonald, Nov 17, 2008.

  1. notsooldmcdonald

    notsooldmcdonald Songster

    Oct 14, 2008
    Lempster, NH
    I have an intuitive guess about how to fix this, but I'd really like more educated/experienced input.

    Since we've had such rainly weather lately, my chickens have taken to "dust" bathing in the coop. Unfortunately, this means that great quantities of shavings are tossed into the waterer, which I currently have placed on a cinder block. I am gradually deepening the litter, so it is now about 3 inches from the bottom of the waterer. Do I add another cinder block? Get a different waterer (I spent the $ and got a heated one. I have yet to see a hanging heated waterer, btw.)? It just seems to me there must be a sensible way to fix this problem, but it's eluding me.

    How do you keep your water clean?

  2. redoak

    redoak Songster

    Feb 27, 2008
    Russia, NY
    I keep mine in the corner of the coop where they don't do much but eat. It's raised about 6 inches higher then the bedding. I've been using hay around the waterer and feeders since they can't kick that around much, unlike shavings.
  3. notsooldmcdonald

    notsooldmcdonald Songster

    Oct 14, 2008
    Lempster, NH
    Quote:Ooohhh! The hay is a GREAT idea! Also a super insulator! I knew I'd get a smart, common sense answer here.

  4. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Two things: add a cinderblock (or whatever) to keep the water at the level of the hens' backs (honestly - so they're not bending down to drink), and also you can put the waterer and the block it's on atop a decent-sized plywood scrap set on TOP of the litter. Then keep the litter kinda swept back off the plywood as much as convenience permits. The less shavings near the water, the less get in.

    Oh, and make sure the water is out of major traffic patterns. Like if it's right next to where the hens, in their infinite wisdom, think they should be burrowing and dustbathing, maybe see if there isn't a quieter corner you can move it to [​IMG]

    Good luck,

  5. mtnhomechick

    mtnhomechick Songster

    Jun 27, 2008
    Mountain Home, AR
    I use 2 and a half blocks. I just graduated to heated dog water bowls. Three of them for 48 chickens. So far it works ......... have to fill them twice a day though.
  6. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Crowing

    May 8, 2007
    We also provide a covered dust bath outside. That way, even in rainy weather, they can dust bathe outside.
  7. bearcat73

    bearcat73 Songster

    Feb 29, 2008
    Southwest Ohio
    I built a very basic table to put the water bowl on and it has worked quite well for me. Just a piece of plywood, about 20" square and I cut some 2x4s to 6 inch lengths (5 of them) and nailed them from the top (four corners and one in the center for stability).
  8. TaLani

    TaLani ~ Gemini Chick ~

    Oct 2, 2008
    Bryson City, NC
  9. ChickaD

    ChickaD Songster

    Aug 6, 2008
    central Vermont
    Quote:The precaution for using hay is to somehow make sure it doesn't get wet from water splashing or spilling, or from moist droppings...that creates messy problems and moldy hay, especially bad in winter when it's more difficult for things to dry out well. Perhaps it would help to sprinkle Dry Stall (available at Tractor Supply) or food grade diatomaceous earth on the hay to keep it dry.
  10. dastardlydeed

    dastardlydeed In the Brooder

    Oct 23, 2008
    Hatboro, Pa
    wonder if i could use a covered litter box for a dust bath? what do you put in it, sand?

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