Tuesday, December 10, 2013

DIY Wooden Chick Brooder with DIY Poultry Chick Waterer

We recently plumbed the chicken coop (see posts 1, 2, and 3).  In the end, the chickens don't use it because they don't know what it is.

This time, with the newest batch of chicks, we want them to use nipple waterers from the beginning.  Maybe they will teach the older ladies a thing or two when they move out of the brooder.

So... you can buy a Cheery Chicks pre-made chick nipple system for $30, or we made our own.  Here it is:

As you can see, it is a yogurt container with 1/2" PVC fed into a hole we drilled and silicon sealed.  There is a PVC connector screwed into the top and bottom of it.  This is the weakest link of the waterer-- it really needs to be tighter. An O-Ring would probably do the trick (one inside and one outside, then the silicon sealant).

Then comes the 1/2" PVC.  This feeds into an elbow from 1/2" to 3/4" (switched because the poultry waterers need to seat into 3/4" PVC).  Then there is the 3/4" PVC, the nipple is screwed in, and a 3/4" cap is at the end.

Below is our brooding box (DIY) before we attached the waterer and roost bars.  It is made from a few old shelves and some hardware cloth at one end.  The one end is higher to attach the heat lamp, and the other end is mesh for air flow and is staple gunned on.

Not pictured is a piece of hardware cloth that sits on top to keep the cat out.

Here it is with the waterer attached.  We drilled a hole in the side of the brooder to fit it through.  The water container is screwed onto the outside.  This way, debris will stay out and it won't get too hot or take up space-- or get roosted upon/ dirty.

If you look closely, you can see we modified the waterer so we could remove it.  Between the 2/4" to 1/2" elbow and the nipple, we added a screw connection.  We wanted to be able to move the chicks as they grow and to be able to use this waterer the whole time.

You can see the heat lamp height here.  You can also see the roost bars we added by cutting two lengths of bamboo and drilling holes in the sides of the box.
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