Keeping chick waterer clear with BIG DUMB HEN kicking litter in it

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by savingdogs, Aug 25, 2010.

  1. When I had chicks without a hen, I was able to put down a chick waterer and feeder without any problem. Now that I have a mama with the babies this time, and I actually have TWO hens that are sharing five chicks, they are kicking and scratching in the litter around the chick waterer and the chicks have water for only the first hour after I fill it!

    I don't want to leave a big bowl in there for them to drown in and I need to keep litter in the enclosure (it is a multi-purpose space) so how do I keep the waterer clear? I tried setting it on some stuff but the chicks were having a hard time getting to it. What would be the right thing to set it on or are there any other suggestions?

    I know I could take the hens away, but these poor mamas were broody for almost three months and I could not break them of it. They need to finish out their families and I'll only take them out if its a last resort and I can't devise anything else. The mama hen/baby love thing going on is just too cute too, I wouldn't want to break it up.
  2. shelleyd2008

    shelleyd2008 the bird is the word

    Sep 14, 2008
    Adair Co., KY
    Put it on a block of wood that is big enough for the chicks to jump up on. Then it's still up off the floor but the babies can still reach it. Also, make sure the feeder is far away from the waterer, they are more likely to scratch closer to the feeder for all the feed they spill [​IMG]
  3. Thank you, I'll try that. It is like the mamas are showing the babies how to scratch for food. Annoying though.
  4. matimeo

    matimeo Songster

    Jul 29, 2010
    I just made a waterer for my chicks using a nipple waterer. I don't have a hen with them, but they were kicking shavings into the water and pooping in it to the point it wasn't usable. Now they always have fresh clean water and no maintenance on my part. You can buy these online at QC supply and they work really slick. You can search the forums to see pictures and reviews of these.
  5. I didn't realize chicks would figure those out.
  6. matimeo

    matimeo Songster

    Jul 29, 2010
    I just showed one of them what it was, then it became a competition between her and the others to use it. Took about five seconds for them to get what it was.
  7. WallTenters

    WallTenters Songster

    Feb 16, 2010
    Sweet Home, OR
    Rabbit waterers! All the way! We'll never use the chick/chicken waterers again. They figure them out very quick. We don't get the really big ones, because we weren't sure if the chicks could push up the ball, but we get the standard sized ones.

    Just push the chick's beak up in it once to get a drink and they learn very quickly how to use them.

    No more shavings in the waterer, no more wasted water and never a drowned chick. Our adult chickens seem to prefer them too, the water is always squeeky clean! [​IMG]

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