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Make a hen hydrator from an old bucket.

In the past, we provided water for our flock of backyard chickens using all sorts of dishes, bowls, pans, and buckets. These were stepped in, pooped in, upturned, and, in general, quickly resulted in a messy coop and thirsty chickens. The problem was exacerbated when we had to leave home for a couple of days--we could heap up the feed, but the water just wouldn't last.

Then, after some experimenting, my husband made a simple, cheap, DIY waterer using an old bucket and a few water nipples. You can buy these very cheaply online if you look them up--just type "poultry water nipples" into a search engine.

You'll need the following items to make this simple, homemade waterer:

* Big, clean, empty bucket with a lid

* Drill

* 11/32-inch or 9-millimeter drill bit

* Waterproof glue or silicone sealant

* 4 to 5 low-pressure poultry water nipples

* Sturdy rope

(1) Wash your bucket thoroughly.

(2) Drill a hole into the bottom of the bucket for each nipple you plan to use.

(3) Apply some glue or sealant around the edges of the holes and screw the water nipples into them.

(4) Using the rope, hang the bucket in your chicken coop at the desired height (depending on the age and size of your birds) and fill the bucket with water.

(5) Place the lid firmly on top to keep the water clean.

We placed rocks underneath our waterer to make it easier for young chicks to reach the nipples--they figured it out pretty quickly.

Using the same principle, a smaller waterer (for chicks or small birds, such as quail) can be made out of an empty soda bottle.

Our bucket waterer, once filled, is enough to provide our small flock of eight chickens with fresh, clean water for nearly a week--so weekend getaways are no longer a problem. That's it! No bother, no mess, and no dirt in the chicken water.

Anna Twitto

Kedumim, Israel

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Title Annotation:Country Lore: Readers' Tips to Live By
Author:Twitto, Anna
Publication:Mother Earth News
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Apr 1, 2017
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