How to keep water dish CLEAN?!


In the Brooder
8 Years
Feb 17, 2011
Mesa, AZ
My chicks are about a 1 month old and they keep kicking pine shavings into their water and feed dishes. It is driving me CRAZY. I am having to clean them out multiple times a day, and its wasting so much feed/water/vitamins/etc. Not only is it a PAIN to clean all the time, but I'm worried about them getting dehydrated, etc if there isn't fresh, clean water and feed available 24/7.

They have just the normal feeders...the quart size container that screws into the plastic dish, the feeder has little circle cutouts all around the bowl, etc. I tried putting the water dish up on a cake pan turned upside down, but it didn't help. What else can I do???
We hang ours from the wire used to wrap the bundle of poultry netting; it's hung high enough for them to drink standing up, and while some shavings still get in there, it's still quite clean.

Not sure if this is possible, depending on the type of brooder you use, but we have twisted the wire around a long, thin stake (kind of like the sort you'd find marking a property survey) and just lay the stake across the top of the brooder, under the lid. As the chicks get bigger, the water container gets higher.

Good luck!


**edited to add: We've also used a gallon milk jug with an oval hole cut out about head height, and that has worked all right too, but not as well as the hanging one....
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I was right there with u and te changing the water and food all the time cuz of the shavings. I hung mine from a broom handle over the top of the brooder. that made it to high for them to get up to it, so I built steps up to and an area around the feeder & waterer that they could walk up and drink and eat. no more shaving and 50% less waste of food. Depends on ur brooder tho. Here is a pic of my set up.


This is one of the reasons I quit using shavings in my brooders. The first few days while they were on paper towels weren't bad, but as soon as I switched to shavings, the problems started. Finally the light bulb went on and instead of switching to shavings, I grabbed an old towel and used that in the brooder instead. I've now brooded three batches to four weeks all on old towels and will never go back. The feed and water stay relatively clean, the towels are easy to shake outside and shake off most of the poop and I have enough old towels that I can change them out every day, and every few days do a small load of just chicken bedding in the washer. The only negative is that they can't use the towels for dust bathing like they do the shavings but once they're moved outside they have areas they can dust bathe so they just have to wait until then
I have a chick with a sour crop right now due to eating shavings. ( just a side note)
I did like the other people said. I put the water on a couple bricks or flat pieces of wood. They can get up there to drink but the shavings do not get kicked in there.

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