Can you believe that I am already starting to think about winter and the girls’ comfort? Unbelievably, despite this heat, fall is just around the corner. In the Northeast, we stick out into the Atlantic on our man made island. This leaves us subject to various winters with many different conditions. Some are mild, never having temperatures drop below the 20s and others are brutally cold, reaching below zero. This had a lot to do with my coop selection.
Some people are not advocates of small coops. They believe that small coops can overheat in the summertime and stress the chickens. Many feel they do not come with adequate ventilation. My small coop has solutions to every naysayer’s concerns. I have three windows in my 3’x4′ coop. Above the nesting boxes is a transverse window that runs the length of the coop and in both of the front doors are windows. These windows are covered with hardware cloth allowing for great ventilation during warm days and evenings. In colder times, plexiglass inserts are available to keep the girls away from drafts. The best part is that my girls stay nice and warm in the winter with their body heat. They never need to be heated by an outside source and they have yet to experience frostbite. Thank goodness.
|Click here to see the girls’ coop|
The only difficulty, in my opinion, is creating food and water solutions inside of the coop. As space is limited compared to walk-in coops, I have had to be practical and creative when it comes to keeping food and water inside the coop. Selecting a feeder was easy. Currently, I use the Little Giant 3 pound feeder. This feeder hangs off the coop’s floor and holds 2 days worth of food for my 8 girls. Its compact size is great and it seems to have been made for the coop.
|Little Giant 3 pound feeder|
The waterer on the other hand has been very challenging. It is difficult to find something that the large Buff Orpingtons do not bump into and knock over, leaving the wood shavings soaked. I have tried the 1 gallon poultry waterers that I use outside without success. I currently use a stainless steel dog water bowl with a large rock in the center to prevent the girls from tipping it over. It never tips, but the water gets very dirty quickly. It also takes up precious floor space. Then, while searching the internet, I found this:
This was perfect for my girls! It is 9 1/2″deep, 6 3/4″ wide and 13 1/8″ high. It holds one gallon and slides into a metal tray that mounts on the wall. I ordered it online and can’t wait for it to come in the mail. I am hoping that this solves some of the issues I had with waterers as well as maybe some of yours too.
If you have creative solutions, please share them in the comments. We are listening!
This post is linked up to Deborah Jean’s Dandelion House Farm Girl Friday Blog Hop.
Update: The waterer arrived! You can read more here.
Photo Credits: Miller Manufacturing, Tilly’s Nest
13 thoughts on “Waterer Solution”
Oh yeah, the waterer. We hang our inside. They do bump it and spill sometimes. Our problem is also in the winter because we use a galvanized waterer that we sit on a heater base. Since we cannot hang it they like to jump on top of it and it does not stay as clean. I like this wall mounted one you are getting but how do you keep your water from freezing during the winter months?
Brenda, in the winter, although a pain, I do change the water a couple times a day due to freezing. I am just nervous about the whole electricity and heater thing. Last year in the coop, I ended up heating up the rock that I used in the stainless steel dog bowl with very hot water. Then I added warm water to the bowl and put it in just before bedtime. Overnight, the rock radiated heat and kept the water from freezing. Sometimes, there was a very paper thin layer of ice on top that the girls had no problem breaking through.
I am going to have to figure that one out with this waterer. I have a few thoughts, but I'm not in any hurry for freezing cold temps to test my theories.
Maybe a fish tank heater. The small ones are pretty cheap. Just a thought, as i don't have to worry about this problem, I live in florida.
Oh Melissa… that waterer looks great! I think I could attach it to the inside of our coop easily. With 11 chickens ( TWO roosters, 9 hens ) sharing the house this winter they will definitely need more water than last year when it was just the three older girls…thanks for the tips… and like you… I'm in no hurry to begin thinking any ' WINTER " thoughts at all… still a month of summer to savor!
Happy Hen Keeping!
Deb, it would fit perfectly in the house with your girls! You will love it, I installed mine today.
We use a large dog bowl for water since our neighbor who had chickiens once upon a time, gave us his water heater and it's looks like a dog bowl.
It's so nice to neighbors that are so thoughtful! Your chickens are very lucky Kim!
how did the little giant piglet waterer work out?
Two years later and I am happy to report that it is still in awesome shape and is used everyday by the girls. It worked out great!
Tilly, I'm new to chickens… why do you need to have food and water inside the coop? I thought we just kept that out in their run?
It's a personal preference for sure, but I like to keep it in the coop for a few reasons, these are probably the two most important to me.
1. Living in the Northeast, sometimes the chickens spend more time in the coop than the run-especially in the winter during snow storms.
2. I believe it helps to keep mice and scavengers away from these potential food sources if they are in the coop vs. the run.
Hi Tilly, we have a brite tap waterer like you recommended on another page on your site. How do you deal with adding apple cider vinegar to that water? Do you add it to the entire big cooler whenever you fill it? Or do you give the chickens their acv in a little dish mixed with water, separate from the big cooler?
Hi Jay, I add it to the cooler just as you suggest. I simply add it when I refill the entire cooler.