Explore the blog, Then Check out our website

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Chicken Scratch Poultry

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Chicken Farm Water System - Homemade Poultry Water System

Here at the Chicken Scratch Poultry farm nothing goes to waste we re purpose and reuse everything.  We're not fancy and we work with junk, just like I'm pretty sure most of you folks also do.  If we can't make it ourselves then a lot of times we just don't need it.  My husband is a very handy man and I think he can do anything he puts his mind to, with a little help from his brilliant wife, hee hee.  It's amazing how different a man and a woman's brain works.  When we put our minds together we can come up with some pretty great things.
When we first started the poultry farm the biggest part of the chores each day was cleaning and filling all the waterers.  It seemed the waterers were always full of gunk and muck, it was just to much to deal with.  The bigger the farm grew the bigger the water burden.  Not to mention in the winter the water was always froze and that was a huge problem.  We put our minds together and started thinking.  Low and behold if it wasn't my brilliant mind that came up with the solution.  I said honey running water won't freeze correct, he thought that was correct.  So we came up with an idea.  We actually supply water three different ways depending on what time of the year it is.
During the spring months when we're getting frequent rain showers we have a very small creek that runs down the middle of our farm right between the two barns.
 
We take two Goldfish pond pumps one for each barn, connected to garden hoses and the water is pumped from the creek to each barn.  Inside of each barn is PVC pipe that runs through each chicken pen. The pipe has holes cut out for drinking.   The end of the pipe that the water begins on needs to be higher as it snakes through the barn and it needs to have a gradual down grade so that the water flows.  After it flows all the way around the barn and through each pen it then empties back into the creek.  The water has a constant flow.   When the water is no longer deep enough in the creek to pump water, which is usually late June we switch to another method. 

 
Back behind our barns we have a pond once the weather turns hot start using this water source.  The pond sits higher than our barns so we can use gravity to get the water to the barns and no longer have the need for the pond pumps.  We run a garden hose to each barn from the pond and stick it down in the PVC pipe and the chickens have constant fresh running water again.   In the very hot summer they have cool water sucked off the bottom of the pond.   The system is not perfect we do have the occasional clog up and it needs to be checked daily for possible clogs.   If a clog up happens and we aren't on top of it we can have a lot of water in the barn pretty quick.  We do have an egg ever so often make it into the pipe, by the way hens how does this happen?

 
The picture on the right shows how the water begins the flow.  The garden hose is just pushed down into the PVC pipe.   Holes are cut in the PVC pipe, just big enough to get a drink and apparently just big enough for an egg.  The water only trickles down the pipe, it's not a great deal of water, especially when we are syphoning from the pond.  As long as we get normal rain fall we never notice the pond level getting any lower.
During the summer months we also run the water through the grow out pens for the young pullets.  This is disconnected during the winter months and no birds are kept out here
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During the winter months we need to do things a bit different.  The first year we used this system we found that running water will freeze.  When the water freezes up and you have 300 or so chickens without water you've got trouble!!  Once again we switch to another method.  We use a large stock tank filled  with water and a stock tank heater to keep the water warm enough to make it all the way through both barns and back into the tank without freezing.  This is where we start using the Goldfish pond pumps again.  The water tank is emptied each night and refilled with fresh water. 
It's amazing how the chickens will notice instantly if we turn the water off  and it's like they are dying of thirst.  We turn it back on 5 minutes later and they drink like crazy, they are so funny.

 
When we administer wormer it's easily done with the stock tank and pumped through the barns, give them enough time that they have all had a drink and it's as easy as that.
Hope this was helpful, it works well for us. 

Angie

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