Need help with setting up a Rain Catchement System/Auto Waterer

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by humboldtpeeps, Mar 19, 2011.

  1. humboldtpeeps

    humboldtpeeps Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 6, 2011
    Hi everyone
    Im hoping someone can walk me through how to set up a rain catchment system and automatic waterer for our coop/run.
    I need the for dummies version [​IMG]

    We have five chickens, all standard size [​IMG] and I am in the process of building a 5' x 10' coop/run. The coop is elevated with 2.5 feet of run below. The entire coop/run will be covered with a metal gabled roof with gutters at about 6 feet high- id like to have the gutters drain into a 30 gallon food grade barrel i already have.
    Ive never set anything up like this before but i am soo excited about it!
    We get lots of rain here and I love the idea of 'harvesting' it and using it for the garden and the chickens!

    Anyway, needless to say I have no idea what supplies I will need, type of filters, how high up my barrel needs to be to get the correct water pressure, how to place the gutters to harvest the runoff from both sides of the gabled roof etc...and of course what the best way of delivery to the chickens will be- i've seen nipple waterers and cups but not sure which would be better for my situation?

    Would love some guidance [​IMG]
  2. humboldtpeeps

    humboldtpeeps Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 6, 2011
    I went to the local feed store today and took a look at their setup- they have a 30 gallon barrel elevated on a stand about 3 feet high. The top is completely open and at the bottom they attached a spigot and have a hose running into the run connecting to a large bowl with a device in it that signals when the water level gets low and it fills up automatically.
    I already have the large barrel and found a lot of great information regarding how to rig it to catch the rain and keep out bugs etc but the part i am missing is how to connect this to some sort of nipple waterer or cup system...or even which would be best as we only have 5 standard chickens.
    I could buy a big bowl from the feed store and copy their setup but that seems like it could get messy fast.
    For nipple waterers- would i rig pvc down into the run and put the nipple waterers on that pipe or would I need to insert them into the bottom of a bucket and have the water come from the larger barrel into the bucket and down to the waterers?

    Any thoughts? or can anyone point me to an example? I know there are a million and one posts on this same subject and i've read quite a few of them but i'm not finding the one that will be like a light bulb on the subject.
    I am so clueless about this [​IMG]
    Thanks for any light shed [​IMG]
  3. BellevueOmlet

    BellevueOmlet Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 10, 2010
    I like the idea of connecting a rain catchment system to the chicken waterer. What a great idea. I'm going to go home and work on one right now.
  4. NicolaT

    NicolaT Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 9, 2011
    I'm curious....the man who we bought our P.O.L chickens from said that we should not give them water from the rainwater butts as it isn't fresh. It should be from the mains tap water.

    Can we give them rainwater from the butts????

  5. Toothless Willie

    Toothless Willie Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 6, 2011
    IMO, using rainwater kind of depends where you live, or even what you are downwind of. If you live out in the country with no heavy industries upwind of you, you would probably be fine using rainwater for either your flock or your garden. On the other hand if you are in/near a city, or downwind from a major air polution source you would be well advised to use some form of filtration before sending it to your birds or garden.

    Even in a country environent I would think passing the water through a layer of activated charcoal would not be a bad idea.[​IMG]
  6. Chris09

    Chris09 Circle (M) Ranch

    Jun 1, 2009
    Quote:If you are worried about it being "fresh" all you would have to add a alternator (like the ones used in aquariums) it will add air and keep the water from going "stale".

  7. Bi0s

    Bi0s Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 22, 2009
    Bland County VA!!!!!
  8. packmomma

    packmomma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 10, 2009
    Argos, IN
    I catch rain from my coop. We put a tin roof on ours. I dont know if I'd let them drink from shingled roofing. I got pickle barrels from my recycle center. The tops screw on but are open in the middle. Then if you unscrew them there is an insert that sits in the barrel for the lid. If you take out the middle part, place screen on the barrel, then you can screw the top back on and it leaves it all open. I put a spicket on the bottom using a washer and spicket outside and an odd nut looking piece on the inside. sealed it with silicone. I put up plastic gutter because I'm a chick and I dont have tools but I have a knife and drill. I ran a down spout into a barrel about 2 feet off the ground and then used pvc to actually connect two more barrels to that first one. all in a down hill fashion. I am for now just running a hose to fill up their water but I want to use one of these waterers eventually. They are made for non pressure systems. I like the low pressure watering system pictures and I saw on another post the other day around here a cheaper place to get one. It was about $40 but I like you can connect more than one because I have two areas. I can get pics if you need them.

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