how to keep chicks' water clean

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by NewFlockOnTheBlock, Apr 3, 2018.

  1. NewFlockOnTheBlock

    NewFlockOnTheBlock Songster

    Sep 20, 2017
    Washington State
    We have a broody raising five chicks (one week old as of today) in a large stock tank in the house. We put down chopped straw for bedding as we've been told not to use shavings with young chicks because they may eat them. The problem is they (mostly the mama) keep kicking the straw into their waterer (the standard mason jar type) so we have to clean it out and change the water at least a couple times an hour; otherwise so much straw piles up in there that it is impossible for them to drink. We put the waterer on top of a bunch of small boards, stacked so that it's sort of like a pyramid that they can climb, but they are still filling it with straw and we don't want to build it too high to reduce the chance of it toppling over.

    Can anyone think of a way to prevent the waterer from constantly filling with straw? We could replace the straw with newspaper (we raised our first batch of chicks on newspaper) but the mama keeps hopping up on the side of the stock tank and then back down into it and we want her to have a soft landing. Perhaps there are other types of waterers we can use?
  2. I have the same issue. Raising the waterer off the ground Is the only way I've done it, but it has to be at your smallest chick's back height or they can't reach. I don't know how big the brooder area is, but could you remove the bedding around the waterer? She might still kick some in it, but maybe it won't be as much? :confused:
  3. sdaikus

    sdaikus Chirping

    Mar 20, 2016
    You can try nipple waterers.. they are completely closed off so the water always stays clean!
    Acre4Me, nminusyplusm, SueT and 2 others like this.
  4. HenOnAJuneBug

    HenOnAJuneBug Crowing

    May 20, 2015
    DO you have your waterer sitting on a brick or something to raise it off the ground?
    HuskerHens18 and sdaikus like this.
  5. NewFlockOnTheBlock

    NewFlockOnTheBlock Songster

    Sep 20, 2017
    Washington State
    I will look into the nipple waterers, thanks! I think we had something similar for our pet mice.

    We do currently have the mason jar waterer raised up from the floor on a stack of boards as I described above but it is only marginally helpful.
    HenOnAJuneBug and HuskerHens18 like this.
  6. blackdog043

    blackdog043 Crowing

    Feb 19, 2017
    Charlotte, NC
    You could make a platform for the waterer. I use a couple pieces of 2 x 4 with a piece of 1/4 underlayment nailed to them.
    HuskerHens18 likes this.
  7. Enchanted1s

    Enchanted1s Songster

    Sep 25, 2017
    New Mexico
    We all absolutely LOVE or Chick waterer with the dripper tip. CLEAN water ALL the time. Best $20 I ever spent! Now, I make my own for less, but they do love their chick waterer.

    You can see it in the corner of the brooder box in this pic.
    nerfworthy and Rachealx4 like this.
  8. nerfworthy

    nerfworthy Songster

    Mar 29, 2018
    South Western Idaho
    May I ask how you trained your chicks to use it?
  9. bruceha2000

    bruceha2000 Crossing the Road

    Apr 19, 2012
    NW Vermont
    Chickens are very curious. One of mine was hitting the pins on the nipple water pipe I made before it even had water in it.

    For the issue at hand, it seems you have plenty of space if you are using a stock tank, try putting a partition up beside the water station. That should keep the bedding from flying into the water ring.

    BTW, I've not had a problem with chicks eating pine shavings. The last 2 batches (of 3) were raised out in the barn in the coop. I just made a 2 sided separator with top and stuck it in the corner of the coop after replacing all the bedding with new shavings.
    nerfworthy, sdaikus and HuskerHens18 like this.
  10. Enchanted1s

    Enchanted1s Songster

    Sep 25, 2017
    New Mexico
    With the tiny ones - I hold them and put their beaks on the dripper until they realize it is water. I only had to show them one time. The LOVE playing with it to get their water. With the older birds - remove all other water and show them how to use them - DONE
    nerfworthy likes this.

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