Plastic or metal waterer?

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by WalkingOnSunshine, Nov 26, 2013.

  1. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Overrun With Chickens

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    Apologies; I know this has been asked before, but I have some specific questions not addressed in other threads.

    I have been using these waterers from TSC:
    http://www.tractorsupply.com/en/store/harris-farms-poultry-drinker-35-gal-capacity?cm_vc=-10005

    I like them because they are lightweight, easy to clean, easy to fill, and the ice slides out of them easily (VERY important to me this time of year). However, my waterers both failed within the past month. Small cracks developed on the top of the waterer, which of course allowed air into the waterer and all the water leaked out without my noticing. That meant that twice I had chickens without water and had to do a total clean out of the hen house because of the water-soaked bedding. That also cost me money because of all the bedding I had to buy that I didn't expect. The second one failed just yesterday, so I need to buy new waterers ASAP. Here's what I'm looking for:

    1. Can be hung by a sturdy hanger
    2. At least 3 gallons
    3. Easy to clean
    4. Easy to fill
    5. Ice slides out easily
    6. Less likely to fail

    Anyone have any ideas? TSC also sells this waterer http://www.tractorsupply.com/en/store/harris-farms-double-wall-drinker-5-gal-capacity?cm_vc=-10005 but something about it makes me nervous--it looks difficult to use, easy to bend out of shape so it doesn't work, etc. Also, reviews said it rusted and it's very expensive compared to the plastic--but maybe you've had a difference experience with metal waterers over time? Waterers are so expensive and I'll need to buy at least two of them this weekend.

    Many thanks!
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    We used that double wall galvanized one when I was a kid because that's all they made.

    They were fairly durable if kept clean and not abused. They probably work better sitting on a heated base in winter.
    The downside is one CANNOT use ACV or anything else caustic in them.
    A couple days with ACV in the water and they start to rust.
     
  3. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Overrun With Chickens

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    Ah, I didn't think about people using ACV in them, that might be why people had such rusting problems.

    No problems getting the ice out in winter? Did you ever hang them, how tough was the hanger? I won't put them on a heated base, instead I keep one in the house and one outside and then switch the frozen for a new one in the afternoon.

    In the summer the hens have a 50 gallon pasture waterer, but then the portable waterers get used for the meat bird pen and the pullet pen, so they end up sitting on the ground. Any problems with that, do you think?
     
  4. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    I put all waterers up on blocks to keep them from kicking debris in them. If you don't have a heated base then the outer wall would probably freeze to the bottom and you wouldn't be able to get it open to refill.
     
  5. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Overrun With Chickens

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    I hang mine for the same reason, and also they can't accidentally get off balance when they're hung and pour all the water out the sides. I think you're right, the double walled ones might be harder to thaw in the winter. The base does freeze solid on the plastic ones, but pouring a bit of cold water over it thaws it well enough.
     

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