Tips for keeping bedding out of the water feeder?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Writingbug, Mar 17, 2013.

  1. Writingbug

    Writingbug Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 17, 2013
    Payette, Idaho
    Hey guys :) Newbie here and just starting out. So, we got 4 chicks yesterday and got a little waterer - the standard kind from the feed store with the bottle in the middle and a red bottom that it flows into at the base. However, when we got the chicks the woman said to put pine shavings down. now I have a little roundabout of puffed up soggy shavings in the water that I have to change every 2 hours.

    I am housing them inside in a cat carrier (large enough to fit 2 cats in comfortably) with a top lid and front cage entrance (so there is plenty of ventilation.

    So yes, I was wondering - maybe I have too much bedding? How much is too much?

    Maybe I need a bigger area? I have an aquarium I could put them in... but seriously it seems they have WAY more room than where I picked them up from. There were like a million of them in a cage, lol. They are healthy and I was watching them in their current cage though. They just pick at the bedding and drink the water there still. I didn't think that would be good for them though?

    Any suggestions?

    Thanks,
    Willa
     
  2. threeleggeddog

    threeleggeddog Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 22, 2012
    Cape Cod, Massachusetts
    Hello and welcome to your new addiction- chickens! So, with chicks, they do get the water filled with shavings more then an adult bird , so you will need to change the water a couple times a day- two hours is very often though. We always just lift the water a bit, place it on a piece of wood less then an inch high and see if that helps. Remember to make sure the wood/lift is large enough to cover the base of the waterer or larger because the othy thing to worry about is the waterer/feeder being off balence and falling on one of the chicks. Good luck and we love to see pictures around here so post away!
     
  3. Writingbug

    Writingbug Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 17, 2013
    Payette, Idaho
    For a make shift plan tonight, I put a cardboard box and cut out the sides and then it blocks the stuff from getting in there but still has an area. It's their watering area, lol. We will see how it works. It was chalk full though - I didn't want to go to bed with it being full because I didn't want them to go without water. Tomorrow, I will find a wood block or something to put it on. Sounds better than my idea. But... this is why I am here! To get advice from the more experienced. :) Thank you and I'll let you know how it goes!

    Oh! And pics soon! Wouldn't you figure - the day I bring them home that my batteries in my camera would go out!
     
  4. mandelyn

    mandelyn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 30, 2009
    Goshen, OH
    After the first week of age I start propping it up on whatever I have handy. Right now it's the bottom to a round plastic take-out container placed upside down, that's just the right size for a chick drinker. Sometimes it's a brick. Or a piece of wood. I aim for an additional 2 inches of height, depending on the height of the birds. The big girls have their drinker on 3 12x12 pavers for an added height of about 6 inches.

    I also use children's playsand as bedding after the first week, to cut down on waste. The sand lasts until it's gone, while shavings last until they're soiled. You use a reptile scoop to sort out the poo from the sand. Also doesn't kick as far as shavings, helping to keep the water clear. As it is, I clean the water once per day. One bag of sand is about $4 for the washed kind (not dusty), average brooder will need 1 bag or less. Compared to $5 shavings that get thrown away/composted. The sand also acts as grit and dust bath material. With the grit, you can then start adding in greens and treats, getting them used to new foods. The sand dries the poo quickly, and reduces odor.

    After you're done with the sand, you can add it to the coop as bedding, or till it into garden soil for improved drainage in clay based areas.
     
  5. threeleggeddog

    threeleggeddog Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 22, 2012
    Cape Cod, Massachusetts
    I agree 100% with Madelyn- sand is a better option for the chicks bedding- it helps in keeping the water clean because the sand just goes to the bottom of the waterer and it is still ok. And yeah anything is ok to prop up the waterer, -lids, tupperware, Legos etc. Anything yu have around. I think its good to reuse whenever possible so I also love the sand idea- the other advise I can give is that my most expensive but well worth it- chicken item besides the coop/run, was my heated waterer. It was like $45- not the worst but just saying- it was worth the money. Good luck and enjoy!
     

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