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Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by chickiebaby, Oct 18, 2009.
Anybody worked this out already, before we start reinventing the wheel?
We have a rain barrel with a tap. You could attach a garden hose to the barrel, then the other end to an automatic waterer.
we're in rainy Gloucestershire, GB. so we've put a square metre of plastic shower curtain over the run, with a dip and a hole in the centre-- stay with this !......
In the run under the hole is a plastic funnel connected to tubing which runs along and down delivers rainwater into the hens bucket!!
Just for the girls its a pink funnel and a yellow seaside bucket!!
Not many snags. We had to wire the plastic corners down so it didnt flly off. It can get blocked with leaf debris- a fine mesh over the funnel top would sort that. It needs a mild bleach out now & then but I dont do that much.
I think it depends on a lot of things- location of the barrel, what type of cover, do you get a lot of wild birds on that roof, is barrel in sun with bacteria growing, even had a raccoon boar fall in one and die there...so we use our rain barrels for the garden and give the hens their water, filtered, from our house well.
I agree with LynnP. They need fresh water not water that has been sitting in a barrel. Great for the garden though.
I water my cat and dog out of our rain barrel. It has a secure mesh cover and about once a month I add a couple cups of bleach to kill any bacteria that might be in there. I also use the water in my salt water aquarium. In a day or two the bleach evaporates out and is safe to use again. (I don't use the rain water for 2-3 days after I add the bleach.)
I have hooked a rain barrel to bucket fountains that I made. The bucket fountains are vacuum fountains so I put a 1/4 turn valve in line. I turn the water supply on when needed and off when the buckets are full. This is not an auto water, but it does take the work out of carrying water. Of course I do not use it during the winter and I disinfect the barrels every season.
I have been watering my chickens for over a year with rain water. We built our run on the South side of a 10 ft storage building. Then we put a gutter on that runs into the rain barrell. Where the water comes out of the barrell we put a splitter. That way I can use the water without detaching the hose. One side of the splitter goes to a short water hose that in turn goes to one of those regulated water things that keeps the water from over flowing the dish. We tried hooking a pvc pipe with chicken nipples on it straight to the rain barrell. It didn't work. We think it is because there is to much water pressure forcing water out the nipples. So, we are going to add a small tub or such with a lid and put the regulating water thing in it. The rain barrell would flow into the tub as the regulator allowed and from the tub to the nipples. I saw something similar to this on the internet. A guy hooked up his water hose to the back of a toilet complete with the float. From the toilet back the water ran into the pvc nipple attachment.