Suggestions welcome for my devious plan...

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by redfordchick, Feb 11, 2015.

  1. redfordchick

    redfordchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My Husband is a very handy and capable guy, he loves building things and does an amazing job. He sometimes gets hung up on his perfectionist ways, so that leads to hesitancy on his part when taking on new projects. I want him to build me a coop, but I don't have a plan in mind so I'm thinking of asking him to make me something for the coop for Valentine's Day, how romantic! lol... But seriously, if I can get him into it and a couple small projects under his belt, he will jump on board with the coop later. ;-)

    So... Ideas? What is the BEST feeder and waterer? As for waterer, not sure if it matters, but we are in MI and will need to heat it... Don't even have chicks yet so I'm just seeing what I can do to prepare.
     
  2. yyz0yyz0

    yyz0yyz0 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Here's a link to a heated waterer that I built last year, this is my second winter with it and I love it. I have a non heated version with the same nipples that I swap in for the warmer weather.

    http://www.motherearthnews.com/homesteading-and-livestock/heated-chicken-waterer-zm0z13fmzhun.aspx

    I've made a couple mods to the design shown. I had some 1" foil backed foam laying around so I cut a piece in a circle and then sanded it down slowly until it fits inside the water bucket down about 1/4 of the way. I attached a small zip tie through it to act as a handle for removal. This helps keep the heated water insulated better

    another mod I made is I took the bottom that I cut off the outer bucket and drilled it to fit over the nipples then put a 1/2" piece of rigid foam up against the bottom of the water bucket with the nipples sticking through then I placed the bucket bottom cutout against the foam to keep the girls from pecking at it.

    Also I had a lot of trouble getting the foil bubble wrap to stay in place as I tried to get the two buckets together so I just put the foil bubblewrap on the outside of the completed waterer. I have not had any problems with the chickens pecking at the foil, YMMV.

    So far I love this waterer, I change the water about every two weeks and when I open it the remaining water is steamy it's kept so warm by the heat tape and insulation.
     
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  3. redfordchick

    redfordchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Cool, this might be a good project for next winter. Looking at this, I'm thinking I might as well just start with a regular waterer and maybe do a heated one next winter. I am all about the least amount of maintenance though, which is why these diy projects appeal to me. I saw a thread for a diy feeder thay looks pretty cool and very simple.
     
  4. pdirt

    pdirt Chillin' With My Peeps

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    As for the best feeder and waterer, there are lots of opinions about it. Think about what matters to you most:

    * Do you care how the feeder/waterer looks?
    DIY can look nice, but most photos of these you'll see look more functional than pretty. If you want pretty, you'll probably want to buy these things instead.

    * How big do you want your feeder/waterer to be?
    Chickens will drink about 16-24 fluid ounces of water a day and eat about 1/4-1/3lbs of feed a day. A bigger feeder/waterer means you don't have to refill it as often, but even with a larger waterer, you should refill it at least once a week to keep the water fresh. Open waterers (like the ones sold at feed stores) will need to be refilled every day because they get dirty very quickly.

    * Do you have lots of wild birds, rats, mice or squirrels? (they will devour an open feeder)
    * Is cost an issue?

    As for your coop, think about if you want electricity there. If you want to provide a light (for egg laying in winter) or a heated waterer (for freezing conditions), you'll need electricity. If you don't already have electricity where you plan to build the coop, that is something your husband will want to figure out first before building, or hire an electrician to do it, done properly. I don't recommend skipping this step and just running extension cords. Do a search on BYC for "my coop burned down and I lost all my chickens" and you'll see why.

    Also for your coop, do you already have a size figured out? Most people suggest building one bigger than you'll think you'll need, because of "chicken math"! (You'll end up with more chickens than you had planned for). Also, proper ventilation is key.

    BYC member @aart has an excellent page about building a coop, with lots of great photos:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/aarts-coop-page
    Granted this is not about building a coop from scratch, but there is good documentation of some similar things you'll need to do.

    aart also has links to good articles on ventilation and space requirements for coops:
    Great article on VENTILATION, one of THE MOST IMPORTANT aspects of coop design.
    Fantastic treatise to help decide how much space your chickens need.

    It also sounds like that the easier you make it for your husband, the more likely he might start the project sooner than later. There are lots of plans for coops out there, some for free, some you pay a small fee for. These will have all the dimensions, etc, that your husband will need so he doesn't have to craft his own. Some will even have materials lists.

    And if you haven't already, check out the forum for coops:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/f/9/coop-run-design-construction-maintenance

    Good luck!
     
  5. redfordchick

    redfordchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm replying in line-
     
  6. redfordchick

    redfordchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sorry for typos
     
  7. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Thanks pdirt.

    From all I've read and with an engineering background, the horizontal nipples are much more freeze proof than the vertical ones...they drip less too.
    After a false start, my DIY heated waterer is working excellent despite the frigid temps we've had...you'll probably have to run a cord tho, that's what I do.
    And I am most happy with my DIY no waste feeder...doesn't hold alot, and could be improved upon in that respect, but enough for my 15 per day.
     
  8. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    I've gone a winter with only the rubber bowls. Water in morning and kick out the ice and re water in afternoon.
     
  9. Egghead_Jr

    Egghead_Jr Overrun With Chickens

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    You'll need nesting boxes. That's an easy project.

    But you'll need to think about if your having external coop access to collect eggs or if your going with a walk in coop with nests on wall. A two nest box will do for up about 10 layers, if you plan on more than that make 3 nests.
     
  10. redfordchick

    redfordchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Is it better to make your own nesting boxes?
     

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