Little Giant Poultry Drinker, Solving the Overflow Problem

Many people are complaining this drinker overflows and leaves their birds without water, but there’s a simple fix to this problem! This drinker really is a good product, but there’s a trick to keeping it from leaking everywhere. I sent my first one back, the second ended up in the shed on a shelf. But now I use it every day and love it.

Solution to Overflowing

First of all, I’m sure you already know it’s important to place the drinker on level ground, and up on a cinder block is good practice too. But here’s the real trick to stop it from overflowing. After you fill the drinker full, loosely tighten the cover on top. Remove the black cap on side allowing the fountain to fill. While it’s filling, loosen the black cover on top (kind of a lot) then tighten it again. This will create the vacuum needed to stop it from overflowing. That’s it!

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Choosing a Chicken Drinker | Types, Ideas, DIY

Which drinker is right for your chickens? It depends on many factors to say the least.  Convenience should certainly be considered, but keep in mind, there are a variety of different drinkers available for many different reasons.
For every need (or problem) someone has no doubt found a solution. Visit my photo collection and see all the different drinker types, get some ideas, and even learn how to make your own!

Chicken Drinkers

Pinterest chick

Chicks Wasting Expensive Feed?

Right at about two weeks old, baby chicks start knocking out the food in their feeders. It then ends up in the trash after they either poop on it, or we toss it when replacing shavings during our daily cleaning ritual.
Feed Waste in the Brooder

Completely fed up with wasting feed, and money,  I came up with this super easy solution. The chicks are still going to knock out their feed, that’s a given. But at least the feed can now be salvaged. ”

This feeder is merely resting on the bottom tray of an ordinary chicken drinker, raised to just a tad lower than the chick’s back.  The feeder can be hung at any height, either way, the drinker base is a great catch-all for spilled feed. These chicks are two weeks old, as you can see they are not having any difficulty accessing their feed.

Fecal Impaction

Have, or Expecting Baby Chicks?

Don’t forget to keep their fuzzy bums clean! Pasting up is common in baby chicks, especially shipped birds, and it can be fatal.  Learn More

Suggestions for Minimizing Chicken Feed Waste

Solutions for the Coop and Outdoor Feeders

Got chickens wasting their feed by scratching it out of the feeder? Not only is this costing  you money, but it’s also attracting rodents and wild birds.  This problem can be easily solved by hanging the feeder and placing something beneath it to catch what they scratch out. Simply pour the dropped feed back into the feeder when tending to your birds.

Saving Feed

Raise the coop feeder high enough to where the chickens have to climb up on something to reach it, this will eliminate shavings from getting in both the feeder and the container below.

The Outdoor Feeder

Keeping the feed in the feeder is your best defense against attracting wild birds. At night when the chickens are cooped for the night, cover the feeder.  The less feed scattered around the feeder the better. Something under the feeder will keep lost feed contained. Wild birds will always be a problem, but lets not offer them a feast 24 hours a day!  I like to make it hard for wild birds to find any food at all when the flock is cooped or the feeder is covered. If food isn’t plentiful, wild birds will go elsewhere.

 

If your birds are free roaming during the day, it’s okay to keep their feeder covered, and just give them access to it two or three times a day for an hour.

Tip: If you have wild birds sneaking in the coop and devouring feed, replace any chicken wire with hardware cloth.  Or, offset another layer of chicken wire over the existing. Sparrows can easily squeeze through chicken wire.

Solutions for Chicks Pecking Each Other

Let’s start at the beginning with chicks in the brooder. Chicks don’t just peck each other for lack of something to do. There is an underlying problem causing them stress and/or aggravation. As any living creature, the first and foremost necessity for well being is comfort.

Providing chick starter crumbles and fresh water is a given, so we can certainly rule out hunger as the stress factor. It is my opinion there are two other very important factors to consider. Living environment and lighting, with significant emphasis on the latter. Overcrowding may or may not be the culprit in their acquired pecking behavior. However, if ample space is not provided away from a heat source, comfort is indeed compromised.

Always provide more than one feeder so weaker birds are not bullied. It only takes one drop of blood for the pecking disaster to begin, remember chickens are in fact cannibals. Also, by week 3, keep them busy with offerings of green grass, especially when you witness aggression.

Now let’s get to the nitty gritty of the pecking problem. Lighting, lighting, lighting! A brooder lamp is necessary for warmth but it shouldn’t be a blast of blinding light. Especially if you have the chicks in a small brooder and there’s no way to escape the annoyance.

I’m not at all a fan of the clear white bulbs and switched a long time ago to RED. They provide a calming environment, and as a bonus any minor pecking that’s caused an injury is better disguised under a red lamp.

You may want to make the switch from heat lamps altogether and switch to radiant heat from a Brinsea brooder. This will solve your fluctuating temperature problem, and providing you have a good number of chicks, it will be sufficient in keeping them warm.

Note: If it’s brutal cold… you can supplement with a low wattage red heat lamp. Low wattage heat bulbs are sold for reptiles, I usually use a 50 or 100 watt, depending on how cold it is.

For injuries, no matter how slight, I use a product called Blu-Kote. It has healing agents and the purple dye in the treatment hides the battle wounds. You’ll find this product at your local feed store.

I’m convinced that happy and content chickens start in the brooder. It’s easy to tell if the brooder has comfort zones. You should see some birds huddled together under the heat source, some resting alone, some scratching in the litter, and some eating. Watch your chicks, their behavior says it all!