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Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Easy Fill Chicken Waterer Update and Improvement

There is one major problem with the Easy Fill Waterer that I made. That is air getting trapped in the bucket when you are filling it. You will see the lid of the bucket start to bulge and you have to stop putting water in for a second or two to let the air escape. One that I built had a smaller inlet fitting and it would burp water out the top of the spout. This makes filling take longer and you waste more water.

My solution was to add a second pipe with a valve to let the air out. I made the air release pipe lower than the fill pipe. I used 1/2" PVC but you could use something much smaller if you have it available. I added the same kind of valve and the same gasket to seal the top. The procedure is to open both valves and put the hose in the large diameter pipe. When water comes out the air release pipe then shut off the valve on it. You can add a little more water to fill up the fill pipe and shut that valve. It is a useful improvement.

I also made a mistake on one of these. When I was going to drill the holes in the bucket someone had left a bit in the drill. It was a little bigger than what I used before but I thought it wouldn't matter and I made the same four holes in the bucket to let the water out. Turns out the holes were too big and water would flow out almost as fast as I could put it in with the hose turned on all the way. Simple solution was to make a pair of plugs out of cork. I opened the lid and put the corks in from the inside. I put them on the sides of the water pan that face the walls in the corner of the pen. I don't know that chickens will stick their heads under to try and peck at the corks but they do lots of dumb things so I wouldn't put anything past them. With any kind of animal it is always best to plan for them to do the worst and most destructive things.

One of our hatchlings has become a serious pecker and is going after the tail feathers of a number of others in that bunch. They are not quite big enough to go into the freezer yet so we let them run loose for the first time this weekend. I'm hoping that with more room to move around they can avoid the pecker until it's big enough to eat. If this doesn't work then we may have to slaughter it sooner. I don't thing they ever went more than 20 yards from the pen and were all inside when we went to collect them about 10 minutes after sunset. They are a mixed lot and we were given the fertilized eggs so I'm not too worried if we lose one or two to predators. If any are taken I hope it is the roosters.

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