Monday, March 26, 2012

Chicks & Our Outdoor Watering System

Finally!  A chicken post for all you poultry fans.

Jamey came home from running errands the other day with six Rhode Island Red chicks.  The kids were ecstatic and so was I.  Nothing says spring like sweet little chicks that will grow into hens who will lay eggs for us, get into the garden and flower beds, poop in the yard...oh, wait.  Happy thoughts.  Chicks are just precious:-).


They started out inside, right off our mudroom, but quickly transitioned outside to the chicken tractor.  A heat lamp over a bed of straw will keep them nice and warm. 

Jamey is a wiz at rigging things up (that's really the best way to say it).  Our chickens have access to water in the chicken house but they spend so much of their time outside, we wanted to give them outside access as well.  Here's an action shot of them enjoying a fresh drink.  Go, go gadget neck!


The way this system works is that water is pumped from our cistern (or well in winter) into the top of a 50 gallon barrel via a standard hose.  The water flows out the bottom, through another hose that leads to the basin (technically, the cut-off bottom three inches of a five gallon bucket). In the basin (seen above) is a float valve (the black thing) that keeps the water from continuing to run once the basin is full (keeping it from overflowing).  As the chickens drink the water, the float valve lowers and lets more water in.  The wooden block and clamps attached to the float valve just keep the valve at the desired level. 

The screen over the barrel keeps the mosquitoes out and is held in place with a wire wrapped around and twisted like a twisty tie so it can be removed easily when more water is needed.   The lid has brackets on the inside to keep it from sliding off the top when the wind blows hard or kids bump it.


It's a low maintenance, high-ish tech, low cost means of keeping your chickens watered that doesn't require tons of attention.  It's right up our alley.

Pin It

11 comments:

  1. I loved the "gadget neck" reference. We have a fenced tunnel for our chickens - they used to be free range until they started eating our neighbor's house, so we had to cage them in even though we hated doing it. In 24 hours, their run was completely brown from them eating the grass. In another 24 hours, 6 inches on either side of the fence was brown from them poking their little heads through and reaching out with their gadget necks to get grass outside the run :O) We love our chickens!
    --Julie K.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for another chicken post, Jane! The powers that be at my house have nixed chickens for the forseeable future, so I love being able to live vicariously through your posts.

    ReplyDelete
  3. ARE THOSE APPLE BLOSSOMS,ONE OF MY FAVORITES.YOU GOT THE CHICKS AT THE PERFECT TIME ,KIDS THINK THEY'RE EASTER GIFTS

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They're actually pear blossoms. The kids do like the chicks. The challenge is keeping the children out of the chicken tractor. Maybe someone should invent a children tractor...hmm....

      Delete
  4. You put the babies outside? Really? Mine are about a month old and they are still in the house. Yikes. Maybe I'm just to over protective.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep. We put them in a cardboard box of straw that they can easily walk out of to get food and water when they want. Then, we point a heat lamp pointing right into the box. It got down into the 30s last night. Jamey did top the box with some plexiglass to hold in the warm air just for last night and they did fine:-).

      Delete
  5. Those chicks are so cute! I have been wanting chickens for a year or so but they got pushed back to next year because we couldn't fit the cost of building a coop in this year's budget. So I dream...

    Quick question, where did you find the blue barrels? I have been looking for two to use as rain barrels and haven't had any success...

    Thank you so much for sharing!!!

    Bethany

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jamey got it as industrial surplus (it was used as secondary packing). He has seen them frequently on craigslist (just search for barrels) in the past, too. I hope you find some soon!

      Delete
  6. 2 non-chicken things :)
    That last photo is GORGEOUS.

    How did you get the little "pin-it" thing at the bottom of your posts?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. I'm pretty partial to that photo myself:-). As far as the button goes, I followed the instructions found here...http://www.spiceupyourblog.com/2012/03/pinterest-pin-it-button-blogger.html

      Delete

Just a friendly reminder, if you know me personally please try to refrain from using my name. There are those who may try to locate me, break into my pantry and steal my pickled beets. Thanks:-).

Please choose the Anonymous option if you prefer not to sign in to comment.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Related Posts with Thumbnails