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Problem: Chicks kicking wood shavings into waterer...

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Scifisarah, Sep 25, 2012.

  1. Scifisarah

    Scifisarah Songster

    May 1, 2009
    Rockford MI
    My Coop
    I have always had trouble keeping my chicks from kicking and scratching all their wood shavings into the base of their waterer. It is gross having to scrape out the chips and poop several times a day, and I can't imagine it is good for their water. We are leaving on vacation for the weekend and I need to figure out some way to keep them from doing this since I will not be around to clean it out for several days. Ideas? I use a waterer like the one below for my six three-week old chicks.

    Last edited: Sep 25, 2012

  2. pemphredo

    pemphredo Chirping

    Jun 21, 2012
    Aransas Pass texas
    can you elevate the waterer a bit.? like on a brick?
  3. ll

    ll Songster

    My 3wk old chicks can jump & fly a bit ... raise it up onto something.

    I raise both the feed & water dishes so the adults don't kick/scratch litter into them.

    Use a wide platform type thing, like a wide piece of wood - wider than the base of your dish.
    If you feel it's too high put a brick next to it, they will jump up & then on ~ mine do.

    Good luck!
  4. The Howards

    The Howards Songster

    I always had the same problem. With the last brood I had some 2 inch wood blocks left over from some 2x4's and put them under it. I stacked them 2 high and 2 wide so there was a wide base under the waterer. Only the few rare pieces got in there but the nasty mess didn't occur again.
  5. blueeyeddemon

    blueeyeddemon Songster

    Aug 28, 2012
    South Texas
    Hang it up....Like on a rope or something
  6. LeslieDJoyce

    LeslieDJoyce Crowing

    Jul 30, 2012
    Sherwood, OR
    My Coop
    We built a little wire platform at one end of our brooder. That's where we put the waterers. They stay so much cleaner so much longer now! And the brooder smells a lot fresher. To see how it works, look at our brooder page: https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/brooder-for-joyce-farms

    You'll probably want two of these so you can clean off one and let it dry while the other is in place.

    We found the flats we use as the platforms already made ... we just trimmed the "legs" so they were the same height as the deepness of the bedding so even the youngest chicks wouldn't have a problem getting to the water, and also to keep the shavings from getting under the platform and causing a wet stinky mess. If you plan to build your own and have very young chicks, use wire mesh with a small grid because their little feet are so delicate ... but remember: the finer the mesh, the more poo you'll have to clean off the grid ... and ducks are different.

    I was also looking around the house for things that might work without having to build from scratch ... the "sifter" part of a sifting cat-litter box or the wire mesh tray you keep silverware in would probably do in a pinch.

    Before that, we tried all kinds of arrangements of raising the waterers on bricks, but we found that the water they spilled while drinking -- and they are geniuses at tipping things over given half a chance -- caused the shavings to get quite wet and under the bricks where there wasn't great air circulation mildew grew rather quickly. It worried us as we don't think either wet bedding or mildew is very healthy for chicks.
    1 person likes this.
  7. fizzyizzy

    fizzyizzy In the Brooder

    Sep 25, 2012
    Northern NSW, Australia
    I had the same problem. I just put it on a brick and it wasnt as bad, but my chicks couldn't drink from it. So, I just cleared away the wood chippings from around the base of the water feeder. I will put it back up on the brick once my chicks grow up a bit.

  8. Scifisarah

    Scifisarah Songster

    May 1, 2009
    Rockford MI
    My Coop
    I really like the idea of having an area on fine hardware cloth just for the food and water. Not sure I could make that work with my sandbox brooder, but I have a 40 gallon long aquarium I could probably rig something up for. I found a new home for the 6 chicks we had, but will do something like this for my next hatch. I was just not comfortable leaving them alone for 4-5 days without anyone to check in on them. Bad planning on my part...
  9. Going Quackers

    Going Quackers Crowing

    May 24, 2011
    On, Canada
    Elevate it, i was fortunate that my brooder had this piece of wood built in so when they got old enough i could lift it up. The brooder was this old wood ship crate. I actually still have their water container elevated in the coop with two small pieces of wood, i still have to dump it each morning but it's tons better than what they do to it without it being raised.
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2012
  10. Silkies~Polishes

    Silkies~Polishes Chirping

    Jun 2, 2011
    Seattle, WA
    Use a water bottle instead. I use them for all my chicks and chickens. Works great. Just buy the biggest water bottle you can find and it will last you a couple weeks depending on how many chicks are sharing it. You may have to show them how to use it but they catch on fast

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