Saturday, August 18, 2012

The Watering Hole

...was a bar my dad used to go to before I was born. Now, it's a nifty backyard watering system.

This keeps the chickens and rabbits well supplied with clean, fresh water - very important when we're having a heat wave, and hard to do when I'm on call so much. Two births in 24 hours this week!
The central feature is this bucket, which clearly needs a more stylish hat. The hose coming in at the top is attached to a float system that keeps the bucket topped full all the time. From here, the water is gravity fed out two hoses that fork off to the rabbits and chickens.
I cannibalized the chickens' old auto-watering trough to build this, but I hear you can do the same with toilet float parts.
The chicken's watering bar is now the coolest place to hang out in the coop. It is a PVC pipe with five saddle type nipple waterers.
We tried to "teach" the chickens how to use them, which was hilarious and entertaining, but didn't seem very effective...but when I looked out the window an hour later they were all drinking from the founts. Go figure.
The rabbit system features smaller clear tubing that runs the length of the hutch, with forks every two feet that go to little metal drinking nipples. I ordered those direct from China and ended up with 20 of them for much less than the cost at Klubertranz or Bass, but no instructions and weird sizing. Overall, it probably wasn't that great of a deal, especially since I only really needed five or six of them.
All in all, I think it cost a little over $100 to build, and a couple of days to put together (including troubleshooting and drying time for silicone sealant). Each morning this week I've checked to make sure that the water is running and there are no leaks, and so far everything has been working wonderfully. It is a huge relief and I think it was well worth the money! I'm hoping that all the animals will be healthier and happier too with clean water all the time.

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