Tuesday, 20 March 2012


Thought I would introduce to you a couple of the adaptions both successful and experimental that I have been adding to chicken-knox. The first was the addition of a water butt.  My dad added a roofed section to the inner run to help protect the house and also make my life more plesant when cleaning out in the rain!  So I decided to utilise the roofing further by getting free water for my girls (and guy).  I added some guttering and a water butt and after frozen hands, shouting at it a couple of times cos no matter what it kept draining out in the middle!  Even with a proper connector, then gettting Farm Guy to come take a look we had a functioning system.  It isn't the most attractive and guttering experts are clawing their eyes out right now but it works and it makes life easier and a little better for the environment!

I am always trying to make life more natural for the hens, I believe that animals should (and are happier) when they are living as much as they would in the wild as is possible when in captivity.  Even my university studies reflected this as I did my final year project working with keepers at a Safari Park to enrich the lives of their three elephants.  So I intend to make my chicken habitat as natural as I can.

We now have 12 chickens and the little shop bought drinker we have gets a bit crowded at high drinking times, is not really in keeping with the 'would you find it in the wild' approach and is broken!  Also, I always strive to get the chicken chores done as quick and efficient as possible.  So the drinking pond idea was born.  Dig out a small pond which is attached to the water butt by a hose, then I can just turn the nozzle and fill the pond fast when I see it needs it.  No more getting wet feet flipping over the full drinker.  No more fighting with the broken leg on the drinker.  No more chicken queues and punch ups waiting for a turn to quench thirst!  And more .... yep .... natural!!

This is a small pond, I may decide to move/enlarge it at a later date.  I was experimenting with the ease of the system and whether the chickens liked a more au naturale way of drinking. (It's not as wonky as it looks, honest, the ground is on a hill!).  So far they seem to like it, more chickens can get in at one time as they can get all the way round and they seem to like being able to put their whole beak in the water.  The filling system works well.  

On the cons side, I think it could be slightly deeper to counteract the affect of the hill and if we ever got chicks it would need to be filled with stones to prevent any drowning issues.  But apart from that it appears that it is working well so far. 

The testing continues.

1 comment:

  1. I think this is a great idea to get water to the chickens...of course in the summer you may not have water readily available in your 'butt'...however I think the chickens will much prefer the water out the tap if it has stood a day or two in the butt and so the chemicals have weakened some. Great job.


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