One of the things I have recently done to create less work is to build a chicken waterer that will hold more water so we have to water the chickens less often. Margo mostly does the watering and feeding of the chickens so keeping her happy by her doing less work is good too. Several years ago I built a chicken feeder so that we did not have to feed them every few days. I posted it about it here if you want to check it out. I have made a few alterations to it since then. We usually put 150lbs or so of feed in there which means we only have to fill up the feeder about once a month or so (for 25-30 chickens). At our last two houses we had ponds relatively close to the chicken coop so the chickens would get a lot of their water from there and we did not have to fill up the waterer in their coop very often. At our current house, the pond is a long ways off and so we were having to fill up our 5 gallon waterer almost every day. Margo was not a fan of that and it was bad for when we had to be gone for several days. So I started to do some research on ways to make bigger chicken waters (that don't use "city water"). I found some good ideas using nipple waters and used those ideas to create my set-up. I ended up putting up some old gutters on my chicken coop and ran those into a 55 gallon plastic drum that is on a stand. I have pvc coming out of that which goes into the chicken run. I then hooked a long section of pvc to that and screwed in nipple waterers to that. For my chicken coop roof (16x9) it takes about 1/2 inch of rain to fill up the barrel. We have had it for 2-3 months and the rains have kept it full. It only took the chickens a couple days to get used to it. I would probably design it a little different if I did it again but so far it is doing great.
|Here is a chicken drinking from it. You are supposed to mount it so the chickens have to reach up to the nipples. It helps them waste less water. But it seems like there is still quite a bit that gets wasted.|