When raising chickens, one common challenge that poultry keepers face is keeping shavings out of the chickens’ water. Shavings can easily find their way into the water, leading to contamination and making it unappealing for the chickens to drink. However, with a few simple strategies and adjustments, it is possible to keep shavings out of the water and ensure clean drinking water for your chickens. In this post, we will explore various methods and tips to address this issue effectively.
Methods to Keep Shavings Out Of Chickens’ Water
1. Elevate the food and water bowls
Placing the food and water bowls on an elevated surface can prevent shavings from falling into the water. Use items like a piece of wood, a tray, an inverted plate, or a cinder block to create a raised platform for the bowls. Ensure that the bowls are at a height accessible to the chickens, but not so high that they cannot reach or tip them over.
2. Hang the food and water bowls from the ceiling
If you have a low coop, suspending the food and water bowls from the ceiling is an effective solution. Use chains or wire to hang the bowls, ensuring they are out of reach of the chickens. This method prevents shavings from contaminating the water and keeps the bowls clean and accessible.
3. Use wall-mounted feeders and waterers
Wall-mounted feeders and waterers are specifically designed to be hung on the wall, keeping them out of the chicks’ reach. By attaching these fixtures, you can prevent shavings from entering the water and maintain a clean drinking source for your chickens.
4. Utilize a wire bottomed brooder
A wire bottomed brooder is an alternative option to prevent shavings from accumulating in the food and water. The wire mesh allows the shavings to fall through, keeping the water clean and free from debris.
5. Choose the right waterer
Opt for a waterer designed specifically for poultry that incorporates features to prevent contaminants from entering the water. Look for narrow openings or special attachments that block debris and shavings from contaminating the water source.
6. Elevate the waterer
Place the waterer on an elevated stand or platform to discourage chickens from kicking or scratching bedding material into the water. Elevating the waterer helps maintain cleanliness and reduces the chances of shavings ending up in the water.
7. Use a waterer with a cover
Select a waterer that comes with a cover or lid for an additional layer of protection against shavings. Ensure the cover fits securely and is designed to keep out debris, preventing contamination of the water.
8. Regularly clean the waterer
Establish a daily routine to clean and refill the waterer. This practice prevents the buildup of shavings and other contaminants in the water. Empty the waterer, rinse it thoroughly, and refill it with fresh, clean water to ensure a constant supply of uncontaminated water for your chickens.
9. Adjust the bedding material
If shavings consistently find their way into the waterer, consider adjusting the type or depth of the bedding material in your chicken coop. Larger wood shavings or alternative bedding options like straw or hay are less likely to get kicked up by the chickens, reducing the chances of contamination.
10. Position the waterer strategically
Place the waterer in an area of the coop or run where there is minimal activity or movement. Avoid positioning it near roosting bars or areas where chickens tend to scratch and kick up bedding material. Strategic placement can minimize the chances of shavings reaching the water.
11. Provide alternative dust-bathing areas
Chickens engage in dust-bathing behavior, which can contribute to shavings finding their way into the water. By providing a separate designated area for dust bathing, preferably with sand or fine soil, you can divert their attention away from the waterer and reduce the risk of contamination.
Q: How often should I change the water for my chickens?
A: It is advisable to change the water for your chickens frequently, even if shavings are kept out of the water. Changing the water daily helps maintain its cleanliness and prevents the water from becoming dirty or contaminated.
Q: Are there specific waterers designed to prevent shavings from entering the water?
A: Yes, there are waterers available in the market designed specifically for poultry. Look for waterers with narrow openings or special attachments that block debris and shavings from entering the water, ensuring a clean water source for your chickens.
Ensuring clean and uncontaminated drinking water is crucial for the health and well-being of your chickens. By implementing the methods and tips outlined in this post, you can effectively keep shavings out of your chickens’ water. Elevating the waterer, using appropriate waterer designs, regularly cleaning the waterer, and strategically positioning it can significantly reduce the chances of shavings contaminating the water. Additionally, providing alternative dust-bathing areas and adjusting bedding materials can further minimize the risk. By taking these measures, you contribute to the overall welfare of your chickens and promote their optimal health.