Chook Drinkers

Discussion in 'Poultry, Domestic Livestock, Pets, & Bees' started by Steve, Aug 20, 2017.

  1. Steve

    Steve Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Well I'm nearly at the stage where I can put some chooks to work.
    I've built their house and just need to fence off their free-range area. And I've found a guy at a local market that sells chooks so everything is moving in the right direction.

    So while all the building was going on I've been thinking about how I should feed and water them.
    Do I just go simple and put a bucket of water in the corner and do the same with feed? That sounds far too simple for this goose who has to over-engineer everything. I wanted something a little special for the waterer and I already have another idea for the feeder.

    Luckily I came into some money thanks to Marks competition the other month so I jumped online and went searching for a watering device or 'luber' as it seems to be called.

    This is what I got.....
    IMG_0874_Fotor.jpg

    I ended up getting 3 of them from a place called Dine-A-Chook.
    Its a float system basically with the little yellow lever in the cup being the trigger to bring in more water.
    It has a nice little attachment system and comes with a T-piece on the back so you can run multiple lubers off the same water line.
    When they arrived in the mail I noticed they didn't have the T-piece so I sent them a little email asking about it. They did send me the missing bits plus some very short pipe which I have no idea what I'll do with, but their lack of email reply was a little rude I thought. I would have liked a nice little reply to my email just to say sorry and they'll pop some in the mail straight away. But no, they just sent me the bits with no note. I guess I shouldn't be upset as it all turned out alright but I do like decent service. I think I'll think twice before I go back to them for that simple reason.
    IMG_0876_Fotor.jpg

    They aren't set up yet as I need a fence to attach them to and thats my next job.
    I will add a post of what it looks like once all plumbed in. Plus I need to find some type of water tank too to connect these drinkers to. Eventually I have to put a gutter on the chook house to catch the rain but that's on the list for later.

    Cheers
     
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  2. letsgo

    letsgo Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Wow chooks are getting spoilt by the sound of it. It's good to have things setup so they have enough food and water to last a few weeks so you don't have to top them up every day and you can go away for a few weeks if you want. Look forward to seeing the finished result.
     
  3. Steve

    Steve Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Yeah that's the idea @letsgo.
    We'd like the luxury of being able to get away for at least a weekend or so, so this system will definitely help in that regard. And as you said, it's nice not having to attend to these things every day and instead just be able to glance at the cups and make sure they are working.
     
  4. ClissAT

    ClissAT Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    They are good Steve but require daily cleaning or they soon clog up with algae. The water goes 'thick', green & stinky from chook saliva!
    Any sort of waterer has to be high enough off the ground so it doesn't get too much crap in it when the chooks are scratching around but if too high, will dissuade the chooks from drinking enough. They actually much prefer to drink off the ground from a small trickle.

    I tried many versions & ended up with a cheap plastic 1lt waterer (red & white, you'll recognise that sort) that turned upside down & sat on the ground. I made a little fish net from some white string that was the stitching along the top of a couple of fertilizer bags to hang it in & hung it (at chook neck wattle height). To hold the net inplace around the neck of the drinker I used the rings off 2 plastic jalna yogurt jars. I hung the drinker from the roof by a piece of baling twine right in the middle of the chook house over some concrete so there was nothing immediately near or under it that they could scratch up into it as they chuck stuff right up in the air as they turn it over. At the top of the little fish net I secured a wire hook & at the end of the twine I made a wire loop so I could easily undo it to take the waterer outside to clean & refill it every few days without upsetting the height of the waterer. I hung a bottle brush at the tap to clean the drinker out inside each time I refilled or the algae soon built up.

    The other thing which I'm sure you have thought of is how you will prevent rodents from making a meal of your chook meals!

    It has to be a treadle feeder because rodents can find their way into every other type no matter how it is designed. If a chook can reach into it so can a rodent scramble, jump or climb to reach it. Or a possum for that matter.

    There are plans online (& on youtube too) for a lovely handmade timber treadle feeder if you want to make it yourself or if you search treadle feeder on this site you will find my thread about the sort I got which proved very successful & rather cheap considering its benefits. It came with good instructions for getting the chooks used to it.
     
  5. Steve

    Steve Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    I kind of like the style of feeders that Mark has made/shown on this site.
    I really don't think there is a perfect system for feeders but I'll just have to see how it goes.
    I have not seen a possum at my place so hopefully that's one less problem to deal with.
    Rodents are the most cunning of animals so I'd think it's pretty hard to keep them out 100%.

    This is what the manufacturers had to say about cleaning the drinkers out '...Dine a Chook Chicken Drinkers are manufactured from heavy-duty PVC and are glue-free to ensure that drinking water is not contaminated. Made specifically to prevent algae growth, these waterers do not require the frequent cleaning of other brands....'.
    So it will be interesting to see if they hold up to their statement.
     
  6. stevo

    stevo Backyard Farmer Premium Member

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    hrm where's the chook yard build photos? I better have another look. :)

    ooo getting chooks hey... good stuff!

    I got some of those luber things that are attached to 90mm plastic pipes that hold the water. I put them right inside the secure chook area which ended up being pain to access for me so they tend not to get filled much, i'll have to move them to a place that i can easily access from just outside or inside the gate.

    I mainly use one of the upsidedown bottle/tray things that Clissa describes. It lasts almost a week.

    When i go away for a weekend i fill the bottle and also put in a icecream container full of water so they have an extra backup for water.
     
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  7. Steve

    Steve Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Yes yes, they're coming....I waiting for just the right light :pic: :feedchooks:
     
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  8. OskarDoLittle

    OskarDoLittle Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Please also ensure appropriate hair and makeup for the chickens...
     
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  9. ClissAT

    ClissAT Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    :ROFL: You are so funny Oscar!!

    But seriously...... chooks are so vain & intelligent....they love being part of the process of caring for them.

    When my daughter & I resurrected the old falling down chook house, I placed some wire netting over the old doorway & pushed a old slatted bush house bench against it to make them a perching table. (Modern breeds of chooks actually prefer somewhere flat to perch like flat slats rather than a stick or branch type perch because they like to rest their heavy breast bone on something.)

    This wire netting panel gave my chooks a place to put their noses into the fresh air in the evenings which gave them the sense of perching in a tree because vines grew up the wire very fast & an old hibiscus overhung the whole area. This netting panel also inadvertently provided them a place to view my activities around the house from.

    They soon worked out what happened before what happened, happened! So they knew exactly by my movements around the house & yard, when they were to be fed & what they were being fed with which itself seemed to be important to them.

    They would jump up & down excitedly from the metre high perching table when they knew I was about to walk down the track to let them out or feed them.

    So I decided I needed to include a observation window & platform in my new chook shed.

    Now having this new knowledge about their intelligence & activities, I couldn't possibly deny them this privileged daily excitement. :p:chuffed:
     
  10. ClissAT

    ClissAT Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    the right light? ;)
     
  11. Kasalia

    Kasalia http://retired2006.blogspot.com.au/ Premium Member GOLD

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    We have the red water feeders and find they fill up with a lot of muck. Anything on the ground usually a mess also. We are between chooks at the moment getting new ones October.
    We also use the tube feeders and placed a pot tray underneath to catch the dry feed that gets flipped about, but put it too close underneath as it also catches any rain so you end up with a soggy bottom of a feed lot. Needs something with a fine hole and a bit lower. Love a few pictures of everyones system.
     
  12. Mark

    Mark Founder Staff Member

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    I purchased some drinker cups from Dine-a-chook on eBay also (the old style) several years ago and found they over filled and leaked so I sent an email and was promised their newer design would be sent out to me free of charge but it never arrived...

    I also purchased their old style PVC chicken feeder and it was far from perfect - don't get me wrong it was an ok feeder but it certainly was not "no mess/no spill" and when I wrote this in one of my articles on my Website the Dine-a-chook maker Ryan (a plumber from up north) contacted me and requested I modify the article to make it reflect better on the product particularly since they made modifications to rectify the spill issue. We'll, I stand by what I wrote and ended up getting some new cup drinkers from Royal Rooster.

    The cup drinkers may eventually get some algae inside but I'd be lucky to wash ours out every 6 months or more - it's not an issue at all. On the odd times, ours have clogged I screw them off pull them apart and wash them in soapy water let them dry and then they last another 12 months with the odd spray of the hose to rinse out any muck.

    My bucket/bin feeders are my favourite now. We have lots of rodents around but apart from the odd dropping they really aren't very noticeable and don't do much damage. I store our spare feed in 50 litre galvanised rubbish bins.
     
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  13. Steve

    Steve Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Well I'm not feeling too confident now in my purchase. Hopefully the new style are better engineered. Either way I wasn't going back to them for more business anyway.

    While I'm thinking of it, I've never bought a chicken before, what would be an average price for a point of lay lady?
    I've seen them for sale at two different places and now and one is almost twice the price of the other for similar breeds. How much better can one chook be over the other?
     
  14. ClissAT

    ClissAT Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Steve it depends whether you want long life heritage birds or high lay live fast, die young commercial birds.
    The first will cost you about $55 each POL, whereas the commercial breeds will cost you about $18-$25 POL.

    Try this link to read about heritage birds in Brisbane or at Yandina (actually North Arm near Yandina). You can visit north arm on Saturday mornings to collect your pre-ordered birds or just to see what they have in their for sale yard. All birds hand raised & as close to organic as you can get. I'm not sure about the Brisbane address but I guess you can visit them too.
    http://citychicks.com.au/

    Here's a PDF containing whole heap of great info from the City Chicks Sunshine Coast.
    http://yandinacommunitygardens.com....Yandina-Community-Gardens-Kirstie-Henning.pdf

    After rescuing some ex commercial organic free range birds in their second lay season & having all sorts of health issues with them because of their age, I now think it is more economical & far less traumatic for me to buy more durable long life heritage birds. I am thinking of 3 black &/or white Australorps or maybe barnevelders.
    All chooks are marvellous & highly entertaining to have around, buy very sad when they get sick. They are so fragile & go down hill very quickly.
    Having such a wealth of knowledge & experience with chooks during my life I am lucky in being able to treat many conditions & health issues & on several occasions I brought birds back to life & health, but it still doesn't detract from the loss of the birds that have become an integral part of the family or household.
    The less number of times I have to endure one of the chooks dying, the better for me these days.
    If kids are involved I think it would be better to have more durable chooks that will live longer which you get with heritage birds. That's why they cost more.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2017 at 10:18 PM
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  15. Steve

    Steve Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Ok, so that makes more sense now.
    My local market has heritage birds for $40. I thought that was a little steep but now that I compare it to the site suggested above, it's pretty cheap.
    And the produce shop near work has hybrids for $20 which sounds about right.

    Now for the hard bit, deciding on which type, Hybrid or Heritage?
    I've come to the conclusion that I'm going with Hybrid to start off.
    I do want long living ladies but I have my reasons. Which are....
    Firstly, my coop is new. I don't know if I have enough protection built in. I have no idea what predators are around. I can guess but haven't seen anything that is likely to take a chook. I'm going for the cheap option just in case they get a full frontal assault (with lots of smoke Mark! :D) in the first days, weeks, months, and I'm left off of pocket and out of chooks. Paying double for my flock may not pay off if this happens so I'm going to test and adjust (sorry Mark, gotta stop the lingo) and take it from there.
    And secondly, money is short at the moment. The wife was recently made redundant while on maternity leave and the government subsidy has now run out. We are now surviving on one wage so I need to be a bit smart with the cash.

    Cheers
    :cheers:
     
  16. ClissAT

    ClissAT Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    Steve I saw this photo when I went to this site:-
    http://www.beautifulchickens.net/

    They are in the Samford Valley I think.
    I wondered if you saw this little setup when you were searching for a suitable waterer?
    It could sit on 2 concrete house blocks.

    chook waterer.jpg
     
  17. Steve

    Steve Valued Member Premium Member GOLD

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    No i didn't see that... and I probably would have gone for that as its a reservoir and lubers all in one. Perfect!
    Never mind, I'm committed now to my system. Just need to get some time to put it together.
     
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