Rain Barrel For Drinking Water?

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by flspnr, Nov 12, 2011.

  1. flspnr

    flspnr Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 23, 2011
    Gibsonton, FL
    I wanted to get one of those blue giant barrels (55 gallon?) and add a spout on the bottom (like for were you attach a hose? Don't know the name, lol), so that I can collect rain water for the chickens drinking water. I'm also wanting to do a pvc waterer for the chickens. I have seen the rain barrel done on here somewhere before, but can't quite find it agan. [​IMG] Anyways, the one that I saw had 2 layers of wire to screen out any leaves and whatnot as the rain came in it. It looked really neat, and that's what I'm looking for.

    DH had a few questions - he's not sold on the idea yet. We live near Tampa, FL, and there's factories and such near us. Lots. He's worried that pollution from the air will be in the rain water and therefor the chickens would be drinking the pollution. Is this a worry? Is there any solution? How easy is it to clean, and how often do you clean?

    We don't pay a water bill, so it's not to save money, I'd just like to do it so that it helps conserve the water we are using a bit (environmental reasoning) and because I think it would be neat and fun. We'd also use the water for plants in the summer if we have watering restrictions.

    Anyone have any experiences they want to share about collecting rain water to water the chickens?

  2. The Red Rooster

    The Red Rooster Poultry Observer

    It sounds like a good idea using natural resources to water your chickens. [​IMG]

    Good luck! [​IMG]
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2011
  3. mons02035

    mons02035 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 4, 2010
    Carmel, Maine
    I don't want to start a big debate or argument here and this comment is not meant to start one. Cem trails is a myth. People believe that those white streaks you see in the sky left in the wake of planes is a chemical that the government is releasing into the atmosphere. As a person with an aviation knowledge, I can tell you that those white streaks are moisture in the air. But encourage you to do your own research on this and draw your own opinion.

    However, I would be careful using a rain barrel of untreated water for the chickens. If you have shingles on your roof you can get certain chemicals in the water that leach from the shingles. You also have other birds that fly over your roof and leave droppings that will then mix into the rain water and also possibly make your chickens sick. If you somehow treat the water it may be okay but I'm not 100% sure.
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2011
  4. flspnr

    flspnr Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 23, 2011
    Gibsonton, FL
    *sigh* Okay, thanks! Maybe will have to look into treating the water somehow. Does anyone do this or know how? Would it cost a lot? We don't pay for water, so it seems kinda silly to pay for the water that comes free from the sky, lol! I don't want my chickie poo's to get sick though. *knock on wood* they're all very healthy now!
  5. UrbanFarmerGreg

    UrbanFarmerGreg Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 11, 2011
    Personally I use a barrel to collect rain water which I give to my ducks and chickens... I live in a city that has oil refineries, pulp mills, breweries, tons of industry, etc... as well as 2 power plants (1 nuclear) all within 30kms (19miles) of my house. I collect the rain water in a large plastic barrel with the run off from the coop... The coop roof is covered with corrugated plastic. I don't use screens or anything just use a large bucket to scoop it out. I have had 'birds' for over a year now and I haven't noticed any harmful reactions. they all look healthy and never had a runny nose, eye or anything... Knock on wood.
  6. seanb

    seanb Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 24, 2011
    Central PA
    I've been using a rain barrel to water our birds since earlier this summer without any problems. I've also heard that you shouldn't use it for drinking water though if you have a shingled roof. That was one of the reasons we decided to put a metal roof on the coop.

    I can post some pics of the barrel if you'd like. Fairly simple and inexpensive to put together.
  7. The Red Rooster

    The Red Rooster Poultry Observer

    Quote:I will not argue with you. There are lots of opinions. I've always heared that it wasn't a myth. I guess I shouldn't have said that thinking I might start somthing. I'll edit right now. I don't want to start a debate either.

    Thank you! [​IMG]

    Edited for mistakes.
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2011
  8. kuntrygirl

    kuntrygirl Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

    Feb 20, 2008
    Opelousas, Louisiana
    I plan on using the same type of rain barrel system. I'm still studying. Can't wait to hear other ideas. Great thinking on the free water. My thoughts exactly. [​IMG]
  9. Hunter0704

    Hunter0704 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 8, 2011
    Wentzville, MO
    I was considering a rain barrel that collects rain water off my roof, however, I felt that the small particles alone that come off a roof weren't exactly what should be in the water I wanted my chickens or ducks drinking.

    Therefore, I decided that if I get a rain barrel it will be one that actually collects rain water with a filter on top, that sits out in the yard...not hooked up to the down spouts off my roof. One would think it has to be as safe as it can be, except for any chemicals that would be in the air.

    Speaking of air? I'm still undecided if I want to collect water yet.
  10. flspnr

    flspnr Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 23, 2011
    Gibsonton, FL
    Okay, so maybe it will work?? LOL! I guess I'm going to have to see.

    Red Rooser and Mons02035, I didn't hear any arguing, just different sides to a point. [​IMG]

    UrbanFarmerGreg, thanks for the viewpoint from someone who's tried it! Sounds like you're in an area like mine, so I may have to give it a go. The barrels are cheap here, so I'm not out but like $15 and some time if I do try it!

    Seanb, I wasn't sure if I wanted to collect it off of something or just let it be in the open. I'm voting on in the open right now, as we're renting a trailer, and though the roof of the trailer is metal, I don't know what is on that roof! The coop is under a covered porch, so no collecting off of that. Thanks for the tip though!

    Mons02035, I will definitly keep in mind the other birds that might fly by and poop in it - I want my girls healthy!

    KuntryGirl, good luck with yours!

    Hunter0704, That was kind of my thought, I don't know what's on my roof, so I'd be scared! I think I may just try it and then run some tests (ooh! chemistry! lol) and see what comes of it, before the chickens get any. If need be, I might could filter it through rocks or something to help with cleaning out the water (Like in the water bottle filters? But large scale?)

    I'm going to do some more thinking, but I'm going to give it a try sometime in the near future and see what I get, thanks everyone for your replies!!

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