Waterer is hard to move without spilling water

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by eprebys, Dec 29, 2013.

  1. eprebys

    eprebys New Egg

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    My neighbors and I have a large backyard coop with 33 chickens. I'm a bit concerned that the coop is too wet inside. We have good ventilation (maybe even too drafty for cold Massachusetts nights).

    Obviously the poop is a big part of the moisture. We deal with that by cleaning and composting the straw from the floor every week. Even with this, I think it might be too wet. I think another cause is the waterers. We have two 3-gallon heated waterers inside the coop. They are impossible to move without sloshing water.

    Does anyone have a solution for this? Do I just need steadier hands? Has anyone built trays for the waterers to sit on? Anything else like that?
     
  2. jetdog

    jetdog Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hello leominster here, I use a 5 gallon bucket with nipples and this stock tank heater it is out in the run and has worked great nothing freezes it has a built-in thermostat so it only runs when it has to, I fill it with another bucket and since its outside if I spill a little no harm no fowl. Keeps all the unwanted moisture out of the coop.
     
  3. Triple Willow

    Triple Willow Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Check out "the deep litter method" using pine shavings, leaves, grass clippings, etc. I believe it is better than hay or straw. I am always afraid the birds will eat the hay or straw and get a compacted crop which is a very serious and deadly issue. I have never had to clean my coop out because the ground just seems to eat the litter. (It does not stink either!) If you did want to clean it out you could once in the spring for some great compost. I would keep the water outside the coop in the run if at all possible. Humidity is said to be what causes frostbite most of the time. Good luck! :)
     
  4. eprebys

    eprebys New Egg

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    We don't have a cheap supply for pine shavings or dry grass and we have a wood as opposed to earthen floor to our coop. I think these facts make deep litter tough, but I don't really know. What do you think?

    The struggle we have with keeping the waterers outside is that we don't always open the coop at the crack of dawn so they spend a couple hours in the coop in the morning. They'd be very thirsty if they didn't have a waterer inside.
     
  5. chfite

    chfite Chillin' With My Peeps

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    If you are trying to cover the need for water for a short period in the morning, a smaller waterer to pick up the slack until opening might be an improvement over managing the larger waterers all the time. A small water source inside with the larger ones outside might be a good combination.

    Chris
     
  6. eprebys

    eprebys New Egg

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    We figured out a way to get the coop open early and to keep the waterers outside but what happens when the weather is bad and there is snow on the ground? The chickens don't usually go outside in that situation.
     
  7. Triple Willow

    Triple Willow Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You can put green, freshly cut grass in there. The birds will love it. They will scratch it around making it dry out pretty quick and they will eat a lot of it which is really good for them. The grass and dry leaves are a good combination. You can bag up leaves during the winter to use all year or get them from other people who would be glad for you to take them off their hands. If you do bag leaves be sure to cut a hole in the bag so it can get fresh air. Otherwise it will build up methane gas and can explode. With a wood floor using deep litter might be more difficult. I would put down a weather resistant tarp and put the litter on top of that. Then hopefully you could just drag the whole tarp out (in the spring), litter poop and all and use it or even sell it. You can also use the deep little method out in the run. You can build up all kinds of good stuff that bugs love to live in and the chickens will love scratching around for the bugs. One very important aspect of the deep litter method is keeping the ground covered. If you have bare ground it is easy to get a case of coccidiosis and end up with dead bird.

    It won't hurt your birds to go without water a couple hours in the morning. They are really not as tender as you think.
     
  8. grullablue

    grullablue Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm a big fan of the deep litter method. It may be pricey by you, but I really only clean mine out twice a year. Before winter, and after winter. I may add a bag here and there, but not often. Maybe once or twice in between cleanings. I also use diatomaceous earth, helps it break down and takes care of any smell. Straw has no absorbing value, so the moisture has nowhere to go. I have a wooden floor in my coop, and it's always been dry as a bone!
     

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