How to keep food off the ground and water clean?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Chick2chicken, Apr 17, 2017.

  1. Chick2chicken

    Chick2chicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 19, 2017
    almost every time I go out to see my chickens their water is dirty!
    I end up cleaning it out almost everyday!
    What can I do to make sure that the water doesnt get dirty?
    Do you have any tricks to keep your water clean?
    Also sometimes I give my chickens treats that I put in a plastic container than I put them down on the floor of the coop the chickens end up tipping over everything that is in the bowl how should I get food to the chickens WITHOUT it falling on the ground?
    thanks so much!!!
  2. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri
    I put waters up on elevated surface well away from feeder.

    Generally, feed getting on ground does not concern me. When it does either place feed on a hay bale or put in a large rubber feed bowl with a little hay scattered on top. Moving hay out of the way provides birds with scratching opportunity that is less likely to have birds more vigorously kick feed out of bowl onto ground.
  3. Grub Digger

    Grub Digger Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 5, 2016
    Middle TN
    Rabbit water bottles are fairly cheap and they can't get their beaks in it or step in it. They can hang on the outside of your run. Just tap the ball a few times with your finger, they'll see the water and start pecking at it themselves.
  4. Chick2chicken

    Chick2chicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 19, 2017
    Thanks a lot, but if I'm giving them treats how do i give the treat to them without getting it on the ground.
  5. blondiebee181

    blondiebee181 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 21, 2012
    Boise, ID
    Getting their food on the ground is pretty "every day" for a chicken. They are used to foraging and scavenging for bugs and tasty greens in the dirt, under dead leaves...they're always scratching with their feet to unearth something new and tasty. Don't worry about them eating off the ground, it's perfectly normal. Now them tipping over the feeder is another thing...
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2017
  6. rosemarythyme

    rosemarythyme Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 3, 2016
    Pac NW
    Nipple watering systems are great for providing clean water - there's many different types but they all work similarly, where there's a toggle the birds peck to dispense water.

    For treats, unless it's something that's wet or so fine that it requires a bowl, I just throw it on the ground. They go nuts for it that way and as others have mentioned that's the way they would naturally eat. They're not people, they're perfectly happy eating dirty food and drinking dirty water.
    1 person likes this.
  7. centrarchid

    centrarchid Chicken Obsessed

    Sep 19, 2009
    Holts Summit, Missouri

    Treats, by my definition, have more to do with how much effort the birds will invest in order to consume them. Train the chickens to fly up to a platform or your hand to consume the treats in small amounts. See video below. My birds are not man-fighters (prone to attack people) because proper handling techniques used.


    Training them to fly into a platform in a pen requires much less effort than I invested to get them to come out of come to hand.
    1 person likes this.
  8. Yaychicks

    Yaychicks Just Hatched

    Mar 20, 2017
    I just throw most of their feed on the ground >.<
  9. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

    Mar 9, 2014
    My Coop
    X 2 on both counts.
    If nipple water systems aren't something you want to use, you can elevate any poultry waterer by placing it up on a block or hanging it from above......locate it so that the rim is at about chest/back height - the birds will still be able to reach the water but will not be so likely to fill the "trough" portion with bedding, etc.
    Feeders can be handled the same - either by building a "no waste" feeder bucket or other similar project or simply elevating the commercially designed feeder the same as the waterer. Commercial feed, if put on the ground, will be subject to significant feed waste, so I keep that in the feeder and the feeder clear of debris using elevation and no waste design.
    I, too, scatter treats such as scratch grain or kitchen scraps on the ground - I use a deep litter approach in the coop and run, so this method of giving treats employs the chickens as "stirrers" to the litter as they dig around looking for tidbits.
  10. ChickNanny13

    ChickNanny13 Chicken Obsessed

    Jun 23, 2013
    Hilo, HI

    3x Water nipples - I converted to the horizontal type attaching to a plastic container, I'm limited to 6 hens, no more dirty water nor spilling [​IMG]

    I ferment my girls feed, feeding in a plastic dog dish that's square & wider at the base (WM). No spills nor tipping, majority of the time it's empty before the dirt & shavings are scratched in. I've seen dry feed feeders made out to 5gal buckets that look to work.

    2x I scatter treats (scratch, mealworms, kitchen scrapes & veggies/fruits) on the ground, gives them something to scratch around for, I do as Ol Grey Mare = DLM

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