Keep Your Chicks Warm and Safe… Without Burning Down the House

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The smell of warm dry wood chips and the sound of calmly chirping chicks in their brooding area is one of my favorite parts of spring, but I’ll never forget the day I noticed smoke rolling into our laundry room curling from around the door to the garage and the sound of frantic chicks coming from our makeshift chick brooder. I rushed in to find the heat lamp had slipped from the board it was clipped to and the impact of the fall had caused the wire guard to also slip off. The light bulb was lying in smoldering wood chips. Thankfully, I arrived in time to douse the wood chips before they burst into flames. I also managed to ventilate the area before the chicks got sick.

chick brooder
That incident prompted me to seriously consider how to keep my chicks warm and safe without accidentally burning down the house. And a quick Google search reveals that homes and barns destroyed by heat lamp triggered fires are all too common.
Through a bit of research on the topic I found several safer brooding options:

1. Brinsea sells a line of “Ecoglow chick brooders” which provide radiant heat which the company says are safer and more efficient than conventional heat lamps since they use a 12 volt transformer. The company sells a 20 chick brooder for $94.99 and a model for up to 50 chicks for $189.99.

2. You can build an Ohio Chick Brooder. Though the concept was originally developed decades ago you can still get the directions published by the Ohio Agricultural Experiment Station in 1942. This roomy brooder will accommodate a good-sized flock, but I would definitely recommend adding a plexiglass viewing area in the top of the brooder so you can get a peek at your chicks without putting your head on the floor.

3. Set up a brooder in an insulated shed detached from your home. This proved to be a quick and easy option when I needed an immediate solution. I simply positioned my cardboard chick brooder border under a rafter. Then I used sturdy string to hang my head lamps from the rafter. This allowed me to tie the light up a little higher to keep the chicks from overheating  during warm weather. On cool spring days I could lower it to make the brooding area warmer.

With all of the above options it’s critical to provide a round border around the chick brooder area and monitor the chicks regularly. Many experienced chicken-keepers have learned the hard way that a variety of factors can cause temperature fluctuations in the brooder area. And if chicks begin to feel cool they will inevitably pile up in a corner to take advantage of the warmth of their fellow chicks’ body heat. Unfortunately those on the bottom of that heap can quickly suffocate.

Your chicks’ behavior will also tell you a lot about their comfort level. If they crowd together near the heat lamp or warmest point of another heat source it means they are a bit cold. Often a few will also be loudly chirping their displeasure with the accommodations. If they are pressing their bodies against the outer edge of the brooder area and are lying down, look a bit lethargic or are even panting they are dangerously warm and need the temperature reduced. A group of cozy happy chicks will usually be scattered throughout the chick brooder area with some eating and drinking, some running around chirping softly, and others content to doze off.

Do you have a chicken raising tip to share with our online community? We’d love to hear from you! Just send us an e-mail.

And remember, whether it’s time to build your first coop or upgrade to a new hen house we have high quality plans available in our book bundles. With every $29 purchase you get immediate access to a digital copy and if you choose the $49 (plus shipping) bundle we’ll also ship a hard copy to your home.

A Beginner’s Guide to Feeding Your Backyard Chickens

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Feeding ChickensBackyard chickens make great pets. They are surprisingly intelligent and sociable. They are easy to care for. They eat pesky insects and table scraps, and they are a great source of food themselves, whether you raise them for eggs or meat. However, these birds need more than just table scraps and insects to be healthy and productive. Learn what to feed backyard chickens at each age and stage.

Chicks

Chick feed comes in two types: mash and crumbles. They are equally beneficial. Vaccinated chicks should be given non-medicated feed. For birds that have not been vaccinated, medicated feed can guard against illness.

If your chicks will be meat birds, they’ll need a high concentration of protein in their diet. Choose a feed that is 22-24 percent protein, called “meat bird starter” or “broiler starter.” Chicks destined for laying should be given a lower protein feed, no higher than 20 percent.

Laying Hens

Chicks can be given starter feed until they lay their first egg. After that, they need extra calcium to create eggs with strong, healthy shells. Switch to calcium-enriched layer feed or supplement all-flock feed with ground oyster shell, limestone or eggshells. Non-layers, including meat birds and broody hens, should not be given layer feed or added calcium, as it can cause gout, kidney damage and other health problems.

Broilers

Broilers, also known as meat birds, need extra protein right from the start to grow to a satisfying size for eating. Chicks should be given unlimited starter feed for three to four weeks, then switched to adult meat-bird pellets. Once they’ve graduated to adult food, allow them free access to unlimited feed for 12 hours a day, and then remove the feed for 12 hours. Meat birds need to consume a lot and will eat more feed each week as they grow.

Grit, Grains and Garbage

Chickens are omnivores and enjoy a wide variety of foods, including grains, fruits, vegetables, insects, and even snakes and lizards. They have a natural instinct for scratching, and grains can be scattered in the yard for a fun activity that yields a special treat. They also enjoy table scraps, chicken scratch and mealworms, though these snacks should make up no more than 10 percent of their daily calories.

While it’s ok to share your food with your chicks, some foods are toxic to them, including

  • Avocados
  • White potatoes
  • Tomato leaves
  • Apple seeds
  • Rhubarb
  • Onions
  • Chocolate
  • Fried foods

Fortunately, most kitchen scraps are perfectly safe for chickens. Stale, wilted and overripe foods are all acceptable; moldy food is not. Citrus fruits, garlic and asparagus won’t hurt your chickens, but they may taint the flavor of the eggs and should be limited.

Chickens also need grit to help them digest their food. If they are allowed to roam and scratch in an area with dirt, gravel or sand, this can satisfy that need. Otherwise, you may need to add grit to their feed or sprinkle some with their scratch.

Backyard chickens are easy to feed and easy to care for. If you’re ready to start a flock of your own, we can help you get started. Download our free guide to building your first chicken coop, then select a plan that suits your needs. You’ll be amazed at just how rewarding backyard chickens can be!

Chicken Pecking Solutions: Winter Boredom Busters for Your Chickens

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Chicken Pecking Solutions: Boredom Busters for WinterWinter can be a rough time of year for everyone, including your chickens. Chicken pecking (where your formerly docile hens start taking a bite out of their neighbors) is one problem likely to arise when environmental stimulation is at a low point. You can prevent excessive boredom in chickens by making a few strategic changes to their habitat. Because boredom can lead to depression, irritability, egg eating, and a range of other behavioral problems, planning ahead to prevent this problem can make winter a much easier season for everyone.

Exercise Stimulation to Reduce Chicken Pecking

Physical activity is one of the best boredom busters for chickens and people alike. In the cooler months, chickens are less likely to stick with their normal busy schedule of scratching and walking about. Give them a little motivation to stay active by covering up the cold ground with some fresh straw. Ground cover protects their feet from getting too chilly and will encourage more daytime activity. Simply strew straw over the rocks and dirt that are within their usual area of activity. Leaves and pine needles are other great ground cover ideas. Chickens will readily walk on this insulating layer and will likely find a few hidden snacks, too.

A new variety of perches is another great way to encourage activity during cold weather. Arrange perches at different heights or try switching up the material that the perches are made of. These can be placed anywhere your chickens are likely to spend time.

Cabbages are excellent food sources for chickens, providing lots of vitamins and other nutrients. To make a cabbage tetherball, simply tie a string securely around a cabbage and suspend it a short distance above beak height. This way the chickens will have to work just a little bit to get those tasty greens.

Adding Variety to the Coop

Part of what fuels chicken pecking is spending more time inside their coop during the winter, so changing up this environment will help prevent boredom and provide valuable motivation to stay active. Try these options:

  • Create quiet spaces for chickens that prefer alone time by propping tilted boards or pallets against vertical surfaces.
  • Angle tarps or pieces of canvas to create small tents or lean-tos
  • Create interest to bedding and scratching area by spreading leaves or pine needles collected earlier in the season
  • Toss a handful of corn or other treats for the chickens to hunt for once each day

Corn and other chicken treats add some exciting variety, and provide a distraction from chicken pecking, but these snacks should be provided in moderation. Chickens can easily gain too much weight in winter as a result of decreased activity. A sprinkling of dried corn is all that is needed to cause quite a bit of activity each day.

Space and Variety

Like all birds, chickens like to have space to spend quiet time alone. Coops and runs can get a little claustrophobic in cold weather, so adding some variety to that environment will help create new spaces for quiet rest. New perches and other interesting features will help encourage healthy activity and deter boredom and chicken pecking. Plan ahead to keep your chickens happy and stimulated this winter.

Protecting Chickens From Frostbite and Other Cold Weather Problems

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Frostbite ChickensChickens are hardy creatures. They can survive in extreme heat as well as extreme cold. However, cold weather can stress a chicken’s immune system, leaving it vulnerable to infection and illness. In addition, weather and wind chill can create temperatures below freezing, leading to frostbite in chickens and humans alike.

Identifying Frostbite

How can you tell if a chicken has frostbite? When tissue freezes, it can’t transport blood, so cells are deprived of oxygen and will eventually die. Dead cells change color, turning grayish-yellow, grayish-blue or even black. The tissue will dry up and may fall off, leaving your bird permanently scarred. Combs, wattles and toes are especially prone to frostbite, particularly in roosters and hens with large combs.

Treating Frostbite

First-time chicken owners make a lot of mistakes when treating frostbite. Improper care can further endanger your chicken’s comfort and health. When dealing with frostbite

  • Do not warm affected areas too quickly. Rapid changes in temperature can create further damage.
  • Do not use a heat lamp, hair dryer or other source of direct heat.
  • Do not rub the area or trim it, unless it shows signs of infection.
  • Do not break blisters. The liquid inside can help with the healing process.

So what should you do with a frostbitten chicken?

  • Move the chicken to a warmer place, and keep it there until it is fully recovered.
  • Gradually warm the affected area. Submerge frostbitten feet in lukewarm water. Gently place a lukewarm, wet washcloth on frozen combs and wattles.
  • Keep the injured area clean.
  • Watch for signs of infection, including swelling, oozing, inflammation, redness or foul-smelling discharge.
  • Give your chicken plenty of water.
  • Obtain veterinary care. Your vet can treat damaged tissue as well as prescribe medication for pain, inflammation and infection.

Preventing Frostbite

Frostbite is painful and dangerous. The best way to prevent it is to keep your chickens warm and dry. Make sure their coop provides adequate protection from both cold and dampness.

  • Check for condensation. In the morning, check for droplets on the walls and windows of the coop. Condensation is a sign of improper ventilation. Moisture in the air leads to damp bedding and skin, and an increased risk of developing frostbite. If you do discover condensation, keep windows slightly open or add ventilation holes near the top of the coop to improve airflow.
  • Limit sources of moisture inside the coop. Add dropping boards for easy cleaning. If possible, keep waterers outside, where they can’t be spilled into bedding, or use a poultry nipple waterer.
  • Keep bedding fresh and dry. Sand is a great choice during cold months because it absorbs moisture and insulates better than straw or wood shavings. Layer more deeply than you would during summer months.
  • Watch the temperature. If the forecast calls for subzero temperatures, use a flat panel, radiant heater to warm the coop just a little. The coop should not feel warm; you just want to avoid temperatures below freezing. Do not use a heat lamp, which can spark a fire.
  • Protect vulnerable tissue. Spread petroleum jelly or a thick moisturizer on wattles and combs during cold snaps.

A warm, dry coop is key to preventing frostbite in chickens. Our coop plans show you how to build your birds a home that will shelter and protect them regardless of the weather.

7 Cold Hardy Chicken Breeds

Delaware Chickens
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If you want eggs all year long but live in an area with harsh winters, you will need cold hardy chickens. A chicken is considered cold hardy if it can weather frigid temperatures, and it may even produce eggs, but do so at a lower rate. There are a few different characteristics that help make a chicken cold hardy, such as a small comb or large size. Here are seven cold hardy breeds for you to consider as additions to your coop.

Chantecler

This breed was created specifically to endure Canadian winters, so it is tremendously cold hardy. This chicken has an extremely small comb and is a bit on the chunky side. They weather the cold so well that they can continue to lay eggs in the deep mid-winter.

Buckeye

Developed by a woman in Ohio, these dark brown hens can lay all year long. They are good foragers as well, meaning you will not have to increase their feed as dramatically during lean months. They are also quite docile and do well with children.

Delaware

Delawares are another good foraging breed, and they are known to lay between 200 and 280 eggs every year. Their single, small comb is more frostbite-resistant that larger-combed hens. They mature quickly and are good for both eggs and meat.

Ameraucana

One feature that makes Ameraucana hens different from other cold hardy chickens is that they lay blue eggs. For that reason, be careful about hatcheries that sell Easter Egg hens in place of this breed since they are less cold hardy but still produce blue and blue-green eggs. These beautiful eggs make them a breed that is always in high demand, so you may need to get on a waiting list if this is the breed you want.

Marans

This active and friendly cold hardy hen can produce about 180 eggs or more each year. Their comb has extended tips, which means that while they can weather most winters, they are not ideal for the most extreme places.

Dominique

When you have especially harsh winters and mild summers, Dominique is a good choice. They are not very heat hardy but produce well in the winter months. This is another breed with a look-alike, the Barred Rock. To tell the two apart, notice that Dominique has a rose comb while Barred Rocks have a single comb.

Wyandotte

This breed has a very dependable layer and an easygoing nature and is quite cold hardy. They are usually heavy bodied and come in a few different sub-breeds. One particularly beautiful one is the Silver Laced Wyandotte, an American-made version of this old breed.

Getting eggs all year long is easy to achieve when you have chickens made for the unforgiving cold of winter. These seven breeds are all quite popular for areas that experience cold winters. Look for hens with small combs and heavy bodies to know if they can handle the cold. On the flip side, there are also heat hardy breeds you can look into if you have harsh summers.

Heating a Chicken Coop in Winter

Heating Your Chicken Coop
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As a chicken owner, one pressing matter that may be on your mind as the temperatures start to drop is chicken coop heating. Although chickens are very resilient creatures and able to survive some pretty harsh conditions, you need to understand that it’s in your best interest to keep them comfortable throughout the season. The happier and more comfortable your chickens are, the more eggs they’ll lay. Here are some suggestions for you to use to increase the warmth inside of your chicken coop.

Your Comfort Level Is Not the Same as a Chicken’s

First, you need to remember that chickens don’t require the same level of comfort that you do. What is cold to you may not be cold to them and vice versa. As long as you keep this in mind while you are arranging your chicken coop for the winter, your chickens will be fine.

Use Something Other Than Heat Lamps

Avoid the use of heat lamps inside of the coop. They pose a fire risk because there is no way for you to use them safely. The conditions and materials inside of the coop in addition to your chickens’ movements are all factors that can increase the risk of fire occurring from heat lamp use.

Instead, consider solar and natural lights. Depending on the setup of your chicken coop, you may be able to strategically incorporate them into its design. Keep in mind that any electrical light source you do decide to use needs to be connected to a generator. That way if an outage happens, you won’t have to worry about your chickens freezing to death from the extreme cold.

Hay and Bale Equal Toxic Insulation

Try to limit or not use bale and hay inside of the coop for insulation. Although this may seem like it is a practical idea, these materials can harbor mold and bacteria and create a very toxic and unsafe environment for your chickens.

Fresh Air Should Circulate Freely

In your effort to minimize drafts, you need to understand that sealing the coop up so that it is air-tight can be catastrophic for your chickens. Your chickens need lots of fresh air to circulate and prevent moisture buildup and mold growth. There are ways to seal the coop so you can maintain circulation without having to deal with the drafts.

Another issue that you’ll need to consider in regards to maintaining your coop during the winter is the water supply. It’s not always possible for you to prevent water from freezing in the winter time, and your chickens need around-the-clock access to it. A heated bucket that warms up just enough to keep your chickens water from freezing overnight may be something you’ll want to consider so you don’t have to get up several times a night to replace it.

There are plenty of ways for you to see to your chickens’ comfort during the winter. Consider their needs and goals and invest in the right processes and materials that allow you to meet both in the middle.

7 Tips for Keeping Chickens in Winter

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Right between the end of summer and the beginning of fall is the perfect time to learn how to take proper care of your chickens this upcoming winter season. We’re here to offer 7 expert tips on what you can do to take the best care of chickens in winter.

 Know Your Breed

One of the most important things to keep in mind when it comes to keeping chickens during the colder months of the year is that some breeds do better than others. Chickens of a medium to large weight, meaning those that are at least six pounds, have the small combs necessary to offer them sufficient protection from the bitter cold. Specific breeds with this advantageous feature include:

Pay Special Attention to Chicks

Chicks growing during the winter require especially close attention if they’re to survive. Loud peeping and huddling means they’re in need of warmth. If your coop has a red heat light, lower it to warm your chicks up; just make sure they don’t get too warm. Additionally, baby birds should have plenty of insulation to walk on and live in an area that isn’t exposed to drafts.

Use a Lightbulb to Keep Egg Production Going

While egg production will undoubtedly slow during the winter, it doesn’t have to grind to a halt. Let your chickens molt as they normally do, then use a lightbulb to extend daylight hours; just make sure your chickens aren’t overstimulated with an abundance of light.

 Don’t Keep the Coop Too Warm

One common mistake when raising chickens in the winter is keeping them too warm. While they might not seem like it, chicken winter breeds are more comfortable at low temperatures than you might think. Keeping a heater or light constantly going runs the risk of a fire, and you don’t want your chickens to be too used to the warmth in case they suddenly lose it due to a power outage.

Go Easy on the Insulation

On a related note, be sure your chicken coop isn’t too well insulated. If it is, the trapped humidity could cause frostbite. There’s also the danger of too much trapped ammonia gas from their droppings.

Use Caution With Additional Heating

For those times when you absolutely have to resort to extra heat, either a ceramic bulb or a 60- to 100-watt lightbulb will serve you better than a standard heat lamp. Not only that, the bulbs are less of a fire risk than an actual heat lamp.

Pay Attention to Your Chicken’s Water Supply

As you’re checking to ensure your chickens are warm, make sure their water supply hasn’t frozen over. Break up ice that forms over the water, and be sure you change the water supply often. You might also like the idea of investing in a heated bucket.

Raising healthy chickens in winter is made easier when you’re pointed in the right direction. Keep these tips in mind as the mercury starts to plummet to keep your birds happy, warm and healthy.

9 *Must Have* Coop Accessories

Must-Have Chicken Coop Accessories
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The best way to create a healthy, happy and productive environment for your chickens is to use the right chicken coop accessories. Usually it takes a bit of guess work and experimentation before you can find the right products to keep your chickens happy. However, you can’t go wrong with these nine must-have accessories for your chicken coop.

Security and Access Door

An automatic chicken door is the perfect accessory for the person who often forgets to close and lock their chickens in for the evening. Get one with GPS technology to make it easier for you to keep up with different time zones. Once configured, you don’t need to do anything else to manage it. It provides safe and easy access for your hens.

Natural Light

A solar operated chicken coop light makes it easier for you to keep your chickens warm and provide them with the right amount of sunlight so their egg laying schedule is not interrupted. You also won’t have to worry about increasing energy expenses from its use. Installation is easy, and you don’t need a professional to do it.

Fencing or Netting

One thing your chicken coop should not be without is fencing or aviary netting. You need to keep your chickens protected from outside predators like hawks and wild flocks. An aviary net and adequate fencing enables you to do so efficiently without putting your hens at risk.

Feeder

A true-to-size feeder. As tempting as it may be for you to fill your hen’s feeder with enough food for them to eat for a week, doing so can attract other animals and encourage mold and bacteria growth. Also, there is no point in wasting valuable chicken feed. You can just as easily cater to your chickens’ dietary needs by using a feeder that is small, portable and easy to keep clean.

Security Motion Sensor Lights

You’ll need more than the right fencing and nets to keep your prized chickens safe and secure. You should also consider placing motion security lights around your coop to use at night to help deter unwanted intrusions from other animals and alert you to the fact that there are predators in the yard.

Nesting

Since the nesting area is where all of the egg laying magic happens, you want to use the right nesting materials. There are several different ways you can set up their nesting areas. In my book “DIY Chicken Coops” you’ll find more info on how to select the right materials and setup.

Toys

It’s a well-known fact that too many hens in the coop is trouble. Invest in some toys to distract them and to keep them from messing with others. Consider items that are shiny and small enough for them to peck at.

Roosting Bars

No chicken coop should be without a few roosting bars. Think of them as tree branches that your chickens can hop onto and roost on whenever they’re in the mood. There is no need to have one for each chicken; you just need enough to accommodate the size of your coop.

Waterers

You don’t have to get all high-tech for your chicken coop waterer. You just need one that is large enough to accommodate all of your chickens and simple enough to maintain, clean and sanitize as needed.

Chicken Coop Cleaning: 5 Tips for a Healthier Coop

chicken coop cleaning
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While you might love raising chickens, you may not have as much affection for cleaning the chicken coop. The good news is that ChickenCoopGuides.com has a few tips for chicken coop cleaning without cutting corners or putting the health of your birds at risk. So be sure you check out this guide before you next go to scoop out the coop.

Use Hay

Rather than using only dirt to cover the bottom of the chicken coop, add barn lime and hay to the dirt to keep bacteria at bay and reduce health complications in your chickens. The great thing about hay is that it doesn’t lead to a buildup of dust, and another great thing is that it’s inexpensive. As for the barn lime, it helps chickens create shells for their eggs.

Be As Thorough As Possible

When it’s time to take care of shavings, manure, feathers and anything else inside of your chicken coop, it’s vital that you’re thorough. White vinegar and hot water make for a great combination, and you can also hose down the coop to spray out dust and make it easier to scrape away stubborn spots. Just be sure you let the coop fully air out once you’re done cleaning.

Use Dropping Boards

You know you’ll find plenty of droppings in the coop, so you might as well do what you can to make this cleanup step easier. Dropping boards are easily installed under the coop and are great for catching droppings and keeping bedding cleaner for longer. Know that you’ll still need to give the dropping boards a good scrubbing and cleaning every now and then. Once you start using dropping boards, you’re sure to notice how much money you save on bedding, not to mention the time it takes to install bedding.

Keep a Duster Handy

While hay can go a long way in keeping coop dust at a minimum, there’s bound to be at least a little bit, especially if you have young chicks. It’s a good idea to buy a high-quality duster specifically for the coop. Wipe down the window dressings and nest box curtains, and give the walls a dust down whenever they need it. Each time you do this, you’re making it easier on yourself when the time comes to perform your deep cleaning of the coop.

Use the Deep Litter Method

Are you raising chickens in a cold climate? The deep litter method is exactly what you and your birds need to remain comfortable. What’s so unique about this method is that it makes it easy for your litter to compost over time, and as an added bonus, the buildup keeps the chickens warm during the colder months of the year.

The deep litter method requires you to spread barn lime, which also helps discourage flies from buzzing around. Next, add anywhere from four to six inches of hay. Make it a weekly habit to mix up the litter and add more lime and hay as needed.

While these tips may not make it a joy to clean the chicken coop, they can most certainly make it easier.

DIY Watering Systems for Your Chicken Coop

Chicken Watering Systems
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In your quest to get your chicken coop up and running for the season, you find yourself wondering about chicken coop watering systems. Sure, there are plenty of options available that may require you to shell out a pretty penny. However, there are plenty of DIY options for people like you who are interested in doing things their own way. Regardless of how you approach the task, here are some things you’ll want to consider.

Make a Plan or Find One

First, you’ll need a plan. You won’t get far with your project if you don’t have a good idea of where to start and finish. If you have experience creating and designing plans for different types of structures, then you may not need to do as much research as someone who has considerably less experience. Look online for watering system designs and plans and check out a few books like our very own “DIY Chicken Coops.” You want to surround yourself with ideas so you can get your creative juices flowing.

Consider All Aspects of That Plan and Design

You’ve identified the primary function and need, but you should also consider the setbacks. One problem that many regular chicken waterers have is they allow fresh water to go stale and stagnant. They also provide an optimal breeding ground for bacteria and mold. Sure, you want your chickens to be able to drink water whenever they want, but you don’t want them to get sick from doing so. Also, some consideration needs to be given to the time of year. During the colder months, there is the risk of your chickens’ water freezing. Depending on your skills and design plans, you may be able to circumvent those problems.

There really is no right or wrong way to approach the task at hand. Some strategies can lead to a faster completion time and yield passable results. However, you want to do everything possible to get the right watering solution for your chickens on the first, second or third try. Remember, your coop’s design plays a major factor. If you have yet to let the chickens in to roost, inspect it with a critical eye before doing so. You need to decide where to set up the watering system.

The Nipple System Is a Great Option

One of the best DIY watering solutions for chickens involves the use of nipples. This gives them around-the-clock access to fresh water and prevents waste water and mold and bacteria growth. The way the nipple system works is once a chicken lightly presses the nipple pin, water dribbles out. When pressure is no longer being applied or the pin is no longer being moved, the watering system is sealed back up until the next chicken decides to drink from it. You don’t need many supplies for this project. Just grab a few PVC pipes, some pipe elbows, the right tools and a three-to-five-gallon bucket depending on the number of chickens you have, and you’re good to go.

When it comes to DIY watering systems for your chicken coop, don’t hesitate to experiment with different setups periodically and to revamp old designs as often as needed. Doing so will improve the appearance, function and safety of your chicken coop.