Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Water Water Everywhere...the Hanging Chicken Ware Canteen Waterer



Clean, fresh water is the single most important thing you can provide your chickens for their health and welfare. Important in the summer of course, a constant water supply is also equally important during the cold months.



In the winter, care must be taken to ensure that the water doesn't freeze, and warm water on a cold day is always appreciated.  In the summer, ice cubes added to the water are equally appreciated.

Laying hens drink more water than roosters and non laying hens.  An egg is made up of up to 85% water, with water being drawn from the hen's body, so she needs to replenish that water on a daily basis, as well as drink enough to sustain her needs.


A rough estimate is that each hen will drink 16 ounces of water per day as a bare minimum.  Water should be provided at all times during the day. At night, its your choice. I don't leave any feed or water in the coop as a general rule, although I do leave water in the coop in the summer on the hottest nights.


Since we also have ducks, we not only can't use the traditional chicken waterers because they aren't deep enough, we also have to accept that the water tubs will always be full of mud and feed. Oddly enough, the chickens don't seem to mind a little dirt or feed in the water and it certainly isn't going to hurt them. (Fecal matter is another story however.) 

I think I've tried every type of waterer on the market. I had to stop using the metal waterers because I add apple cider vinegar to the water (ratio: 1T ACV/1gal water) a few times a week and the metal waterers always start to rust.

(Note: the apple cider vinegar - raw unfiltered with the 'mother' such as Bragg's - is great for their immune systems, guards against bad bacteria and maintains digestive health in the intestines by regulating the pH levels and is an overal health booster. It increases calcium absorption so your chickens will get more 'bang for the buck' from the eggshells or oyster shell you provide them. ACV aso acts as an antiseptic by killing the germs that cause respiratory problems - which chickens are extremely susceptible to - in the throat. It also helps to keep the water algae-free especially in the summer.)

The plastic waterers crack in the winter. The shallow dishes were working okay for awhile but the ducks mess them up too quickly and also like to stand in them.

I use large rubber tubs. They are durable, quick to clean/refill and inexpensive. It's easy to put a block of ice or a frozen water bottle in them in the summer, and if I set them in the sun in the winter, the black rubber absorbs the sun's heat and they seem to stay unfrozen a lot longer than other types of waterers.

In the winter I also plug in an electric heated dog water bowl that works really well.


Regardless, I have found that whatever you use for water ultimately turns into the chicken equivalent of a 'water fountain' or coffee machine in an office. The chickens and ducks cluster around and alternate taking drinks, while they cluck contentedly.  Drinking seems to be a community activity.



 For this reason I caution against using any type of chicken' nipple' waterer.  I have seen several tutorials on making them recently.  Originally designed for rabbits and hamsters, the nipple waterers do have the advantage of staying clean thereby alleviating several trips to the run to clean them, but just because they make it easy on you doesn't mean they are best for your flock. They severely limit access to the water, especially to those chickens low in the pecking order. There is a very good chance that you will end up with dehydrated hens if you use them.  They also bar the chickens from taking a long satisfying drink or cleaning out their nostrils of caked feed.

No matter how many you put around the run, you will find that your chickens all want to drink from the SAME one at the SAME time (sort of like the nesting box syndrome) and that you run the risk of some not getting enough water.  I can't stress enough the importance of the availability of water.

Besides the obvious issues of overheating and dehydrating, going without water for just a few hours can curtail egg production sharply.  For this reason, easy access to water for your whole flock is a necessity. I don't believe they get that with the nipple waterers.
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Even with the four large rubber tubs I keep filled in the run, I still wanted to provide additional water, especially as the summer is starting to heat up, that I could try and keep clean.  That search is what led me to the Farmers Market Hanging Chicken Canteen made by Ware Manufacturing Inc.



Its a great compact size - it holds 16 ounces - and hooks right onto the side of the run. It will attach to chain link, chicken wire, 1" hardware cloth and even 1/2" hardware cloth.  It's super convenient to fill, refill or move. It's also great for growing pullets because you can keep raising it as they grow. 

The one disadvantage is not being able to add the apple cider vinegar to the water since its galvanized steel, but since these are supplemental waterers anyway and I only add the ACV a couple of times a week, I'm okay with that.

I received my Canteen Waterer yesterday, eagerly filled it with water and positioned it in the run.


I watched as three of my hens immediately clustered around to sip the cool clean water. They refused to hold still for a photo, but my diva Magda was more than willing.


She even offered to demonstrate how easy it is to get a drink.
Others were soon curious and came by to check it out.

At the end of the day, having topped it off a few times, the water was still crystal clear. Voila! A simple solution to clean water for the chickens that the ducks don't seem interested in and the chickens can't kick straw and dirt into.  I personally think the chickens prefer the taste of the 'dirt water', but at least now they have a choice.


I highly recommend this waterer. I am going to buy several more to place around the run in the shade and also put one in the coop at night hanging from the vent that's covered with 1/2" hardware cloth.


 Amazon.com has the best price I could find for the Canteen Waterers, eligible for free shipping with a minimum $25 order.

35 comments:

  1. Looks like a great little waterer! I agree about the water. The kids or I fill the 3 gallon waterer for the hens and ducks every day...and more on super warm days. Water is so important!

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  2. I am going to have to stop by TSC today and pick up one of the black tubs. We are expecting 100+ temps for the next few days. It should be great for our big girls. I can't wait until I can use something like that with the 4 week olds! They are still with mamma hen and kick everything into their water, no matter how high it is. Keeping them cool this weekend is going to be an hourly job. Lots of frozen peas, water melon, ice pops, along with cool wet sand to lie in.

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  3. Replies
    1. ACV helps with intestinal health, respiratory issues and helps keep the water clean. I also increases calcium absorption. Here's more information: http://fresh-eggs-daily.blogspot.com/2012/01/holistic-trinity-acv-garlic-and-de.html

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  4. That's brilliant! Will definately be ordering one of these soon. Hopefully someone will make something similar in plastic. I use ACV too. It's great for their immune system and keeps the waterer clean too.

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  5. These are cool. I have been giving them away on the radio show for several weeks now, and people love them!

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    1. Oh neat ! I found them on Thechickenhutch.com website but shipping is ridiculous - $13 for two - so then I looke on amazon. I guess I need to start listening to your show - I would love to win one :0)

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  6. How old are chickens when you begin adding ACV to their water? Thank you for your great blog!

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  7. I can't WAIT to have some ducks and chickens! Thank you so much for posting this great information. I'm learning so much!! :D
    Cheryl in Texas (KC Farms on Facebook)

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  8. Great idea...and I found a local natural food store that sells organic raw apple cider vinegar in bulk - what a find!

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  9. I have a question....i have three chickens not sure if ones a rooster. I need to know how to get them more hand tame......we have had them since they were tiny babies and handled them a lot ....now that they are in their Cluckingham Palace......they run from us ....no matter what i try.... help

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    1. They seem to go through that. Like a teenage phase - but keep handling them and bringing treats and they'll be affectionate grown hens.

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  10. would love to have some of these. can never have enough waterers!

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  11. I have waterers peppered about EVERYWHERE it seems. I use an old dishpan for their "bath" as well. Perfect height, even the turkey fits in it. I have it sitting under the misters - so they get showers too. I also have a hanging one in the coop - which I absolutely LOVE. Since my girls are free range during the day, I would like to get some more for the fence area. These would be perfect!

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  12. I need to get a few of these. My girls drink a lot of water !

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  13. You can never have too many waterers!!
    Stephen Newsome

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  14. During the heat wave of late (especially down here in Georgia where we always have hot summers), I replenish the waterers every 2 hours or so (a few cubes of ice included), and have been using the homemade electrolytes recipe you posted earlier this month once a day.... Our hens have continued laying, and our young ones have begun to lay even throughout the intense heat! Thanks for all your wonderful posts & helpful information!

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  15. Added a frozen 16oz water bottle to the waterer this past weekend...the chickens acted like it was Christmas! I had to keep an eye on the water level since it was so hot, they drank and drank!! Thanks for the idea!

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  16. I found another waterer by this company at the feed store a couple of weeks ago. It's basically a 1 gal bucket that is set up to gravity feed water while it lays on its side. I love this waterer because it holds a lot and stays clean. They have yet to poop in it. And when hot weather is coming, I bring it in in the evening, fill it about 3/4 of the way and then freeze it. In the morning, I put it out, topped off with fresh cold water. The chickens seem to like to be near it because it is cold and they have cold water available for a longer time than when I put out a pile of ice.

    Given how much I like that one, I bet I'd really like this little one. It would be great to hang outside the run in the grazing garden I have set up for them.

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  17. Cool idea, I agree that you can't have too many waterers. We have three very spoiled free-range hens. :)

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  18. I have the one with the handle, but would love one to hook on the fence! These are great!

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  19. I have the same black tub, and found it at my local feed store. We don't have TS stores here. Ethel

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  20. It would be great to have a waterer that the girls can't walk in!!

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  21. So excited at the chance to winone ofthese for our girls!

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  22. I've seen these online and have wanted to try one! Do you think it will hook onto 1/2 inch hardward cloth?

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    1. Yes it does Esther. I just tried it. I am going to hang one inside my coop from the window that's covered with the 1/2" mesh. Great idea ~ in fact I took a pic and I'm adding it to the blog. Thanks for asking !

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  23. awesome deal....extra waterers are like insurance...thanks for the opportunity

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  24. I love the idea of a chicken water canteen...and the fact that it hangs on the fence. Thank you so much for the opportunity to win one.

    Pam Brown
    kansas

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  25. That is a nifty design! Thank you for the opportunity.

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  26. Thanks for the info! We should be getting more hot weather this weekend.

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  27. Thanks for the opportunity to enter

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  28. love it ! like the idea of hanging one inside the coop at night ...I always worried about a regular waterer in there with the wood chips and when i read about hanging it thought this would be a great idea! Is there any way to add ice too?

    June Gibbs

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  29. We have a waterer that stays filled with a level thing in it. I just have to clean it out once in a while.
    Why can't you add ACV to metal?
    Thanks,
    Di

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    1. ACV will rust even galvanized steel. I only add ACV to my rubber water tubs.

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