water bottles

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by fluffycreatures, Feb 6, 2009.

  1. fluffycreatures

    fluffycreatures Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 1, 2009
    I noticed in one of the sites I visited that someone was using a rabbit type water bottle for the chickens. I think it was the ball type bottles.

    I was wondering if these are good or ok to use?

    I have rabbits and several unused new of these ball type of waterers. So can the chickens learn to get water from them ok and will they get enough?

    I don't have my chickens yet but am in the planning process for spring.

    thanks
    Dianne
     
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2009
  2. dixiechick

    dixiechick Chillin' With My Peeps

  3. Sunny the Hippie Chick

    Sunny the Hippie Chick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 8, 2008
    Brookings Oregon
    I have a few button quail that will drink from a rabbit bottle. To teach them I just placed it in the cage along with their regular waterer. And curiosity would get them. They would peck at it. Then started drinking from it.. I think chickens should be able to learn it..
     
  4. fluffycreatures

    fluffycreatures Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks. That answers my question for the most part. I just wonder why they aren't usedas a matter of course. I think the water stays cleaner than in the other containers. Maybe it is because of the cage. But I intend to use rabbit cage wire I have for the run anyway and I can attach it to the outside of the run. It would just save some of the expense of new waterers.

    However, I probably will get a heated waterer for the winter.

    Thanks again
    Dianne
     
  5. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    They probably aren't used as a matter of course because much chicken farming of the past was in large numbers, and a gallon water bottle can be drained on a hot dry day at the extremes by 4-6 chickens. Not a problem for a backyard raiser with a few, but not so useful for the owner with 100+ birds. A 5 gallon fount is a good middle ground and on extremes there are auto pressure nipples that are used. It's probably historical really.

    As for myself, opening a water bottle and scrubbing clean is a lot more work than kicking over a gallon rubber bucket, giving a scrub with a toilet brush, or popping out a block of ice before refilling from a 5 gallon bucket on water rounds. No cracks, crevices, tubes, or threads to clean.

    I do use them for chicks in a brooder, for the first few weeks before they free range and get water from the outside water buckets, but since I usually do at least a dozen at a time, they start to drain a 32 ounce bottle twice a day in no time.
     
  6. fluffycreatures

    fluffycreatures Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 1, 2009
    That was good to know info . Thanks
    Dianne
     
  7. Andora

    Andora Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 26, 2008
    Lexington, Kentucky
    Petsmart and Tractor Supply both sell 64 ounce rabbit waterers. I have two of those for 18 chickens, and I refill them once a day or sometimes every other day in winter. It's easy to swish bleach water in them to disinfect every now and then, and I'd rather use the rabbit waterers than try to drag the five gallon waterer across the yard without spilling it. I had to refill our regular chicken waterer everyday anyway since it was always so dirty. The rabbit waterers are definitely cleaner and easier, at least for a small flock. Mine never froze this winter, even when it was below 0...I had it near a red bulb heat light.
     
  8. fluffycreatures

    fluffycreatures Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks Andora. This is just what I wanted to know. I appreciate it.

    Regards,
    Dianne
     
  9. Akane

    Akane Overrun With Chickens

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    Jun 15, 2008
    Chickens use a lot of water. I have the largest rabbit bottles on my japanese bantam pens and in cool weather with less water requirements they empty them within a day or 2. That's with only 3-4 birds to a waterer. Chicken waterers usually hold gallons not ounces. Bottles are extremely useful for chicks and small pens of chickens or quail though. I didn't have to teach mine to use them at all. By the time I got back with the camera they were all fighting to drink out of it first. My chicks pick it up within a day or 2. The only problem I had was button chicks aren't big enough to push the ball on even the smallest bottle so I had to put a dish of water under the bottle until I saw they were drinking successfully from the bottle.
     
  10. Andora

    Andora Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 26, 2008
    Lexington, Kentucky
    [​IMG]

    Those are my waterers. I have another one on the other side of the run too. I refill them every other day in cool weather. Not sure how long they will last in hot weather, I might have to buy a couple more.

    When they are out free ranging I usually have some water in a dog dish or two for them to drink from randomly placed out in the yard, plus there is usually a smaller waterer turned so that they can drink from it on the outside of the run.
     

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