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Please Help! Watering Question

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by TOCityChicken, Apr 5, 2012.

  1. TOCityChicken

    TOCityChicken New Egg

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    Apr 5, 2012
    Hi All,

    I currently use a heated water bowl in the cold Toronto winter.

    But since the waterbowl is wide and big, lots of chicken poo gets in.

    Does anyone know how to keep poo out? Any tips for the amateur?

    In addition, does anyone recommend any water bowls (heated or not), that are small (I have 4 chickens)?

    Please feel free to email at: [email protected]

    Andrew
     
  2. bnjrob

    bnjrob Overrun With Chickens

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    Dec 31, 2008
    North TX
    Can you elevate the bowl so that it is up off the ground? Putting it higher may help some.

    Can you rig up a cover for it, like one of those squirrel baffles you can buy to keep squirrels from getting into bird feeders? If you were able to get one of those squirrel baffles that are pretty sloped so the chickens can't perch on it, then hang it above the watering dish with just enough room for them to get their heads in to drink, then they couldn't sit there and just poop in it, especially if you had it the bowel elevated off the ground some.
     
  3. TOCityChicken

    TOCityChicken New Egg

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    Apr 5, 2012
    Thanks. I put the bowl on some bricks. I will try to rig up something. Also, can you take a look at this?


    In the hen house (totally secured part of the coop, where they sleep and lay), do I need to put down horse bedding, or any bedding? Right now, I am putting down bedding and when they poo in the bedding, I clean everything up. This takes a long time, and it a hastle. So I was wondering, if it was even necessary to have bedding. If I do not use the bedding, then the chickens would be walking/sleeping/laying on plywood. Or should I only put bedding in their nesting boxes... What would you do? What do you recommend?

    Also I have a run attached to my coop. In the run, the bottom is just dirt (because they ate all the grass)! Currently I do not put bedding in the run. Should I? When I go to clean out the run, it is hard to tell what is poo and what is dirt. So I end up taking a lot out. Could I put a piece of plywood down on top of the dirt, so when they poo, it is easy to just pick it up. Or should I use gravel/sand or something to put ontop. Please help me! It is hard to clean so much every week. What do you do in your chicken run, to keep it clean?

    I do not know how many people respond on these things (first time using one), but I appreciate all help.

    In addition, here is my email address if you would like to contact me personally: [email protected]
     
  4. bnjrob

    bnjrob Overrun With Chickens

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    Dec 31, 2008
    North TX
    The problem with the plywood is that it can get slick from the poop, making it hard for the chickens to walk safely. This is a really big problem when you have little ones that are still developing, but it can cause problems for the big guys too if their legs slip out from under them.

    People use all kinds of different bedding in the coop. Some say straw/hay is terrific and they swear by it. For small growing chicks, straw gets too slick with poop for them to walk on. Other people prefer pine pellets or pine shavings (usually found in the horse stall bedding section of the feed store). Some people use leaves from their own trees, although I am not sure how much the leaves actually absorb. I've seen some people say that a deep layer of sand works well for them, then they periodically scoop poop and add more sand as needed.

    Me, I like the pine pellets or the pine wood shavings. personally. I even use pine pellets in my kitty litter boxes. You can scoop poop but leave the pellets in, the pellets turn into fluffy "sawdust" as they absorb moisture. When I notice they can't absorb any more moisture, I replace the pellets. For the chickens, I've been stirring the pellets up after scooping the biggest piles of poop off the top and then stirring it up. And the chickens will also stir up the bedding on their own.

    Before now, the last time we had chickens was when I was a kid - back then the coop floor was dirt as well as the run. Nothing fancy. I recently saw the same set up of dirt flooring at someone else's place and it wasn't a problem.

    Have you looked at the deep litter method, where you let the chickens scratch up the poop and then you only have to clean it up a few times a year? Here's some links about that: https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/...e-easiest-way-to-deal-with-chicken-litter-dlm http://www.purelypoultry.com/blog/the-deep-litter-method/

    Using food grade diatomaceous earth in the bedding can not only help keep it drier but also helps with external parasite control for your chickens.

    I just read some posts from someone that uses a zeolite product called Sweet PDZ in their coop and they have a lot of chickens in there. Said she built a tray that sits under the roosts - since they always poop all night when they are roosting - and she fills the tray with the Sweet PDZ. The poop falls in and she scoops it out, said there is pretty minimal effort and smell. I am looking at trying it since she said it worked so well for her. Here is the link for that product, perhaps they have something similar where you are at. http://www.sweetpdz.com/our-products.html

    You don't have to put anything down in the run unless you want to. Like if it gets too muddy with rain/snow. Then you could put down sand or bedding material.
     

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