Automatic Chicken Waterer and Feeder


When my wife and I were thinking about getting chickens one of our concerns was how difficult it would be to care for them. I’ve got friends who completely “baby” their chickens (e.g. chicken diapers, baths, cleaning their watering dishes daily with bleach, etc.). I’ve also got friends who barely even deal with their chickens other than to make sure they’ve got some food and some water (no matter how dirty). I wanted to find a good balance between these two extremes, between fanatical and neglect.

One of the big “chicken care” questions was regarding food and water. I wanted to automate this process as much as possible.

I looked into quite a few different solutions for getting water for my girls. One of those was to setup a nipple watering system. The pro’s of this system were:
1) They wasted less water.
2) They took up less floor space.
3) They didn’t fill up with dirt, feathers, leaves, shavings, etc.

The biggest cons of this system were going to be setting it up and training my girls how to use it. After buying a few of these nipples and testing them I decided I’d try something else.

I saw some automatic poultry watering systems at the feed store but they were pretty expensive. I found something at Wal-Mart that works just as well and have been VERY happy with it. It is a “Never Dry Auto-Wata” system for dogs. It was only $12.78.


NOTE:  This feeder (dubbed Frankenfeeder) is the perfect example of function over form.  It worked great in all of it’s hideous glory!  Below is an update with the new homemade chicken feeder I’m currently using (a bit better looking, more functional, larger capacity).

I saw a lot of different feeding systems and couldn’t decide what to do. I had a few extra mason jar feeders and thought I’d attempt a modification to one of them. If it didn’t work then I’d go out and buy something.

I took the mason jar feeding attachment and a small plastic peanut butter jar that was the same size as a mason jar. I cut the bottom off of the jar and attached a bigger peanut butter jar to the smaller one. I cut out the bottom of that one and took a long piece of A/C conduit and funneled the end a little to fit into the larger peanut butter jar. I then cut out the bottom of a big plastic container and attached it to the top of the conduit. Finally I cut some holes into the conduit and plastic container and threaded through some wire. This wire would support the majority of the weight of the feeder and take pressure off of the jars. I really like this feeder because it was cheap, takes up very little floor space, is easy to refill, holds a lot of feed, and oh yeah… it was cheap! I haven’t kept excellent track, but it seems that I only need to refill this feeder about 1-2 times a month. To the right is the finished product. It isn’t pretty, but is works GREAT!!!

Another idea I had was to add a tin pie plate nailed to a piece of wood that would catch the food as it is “billed out” by the girls. This keeps a substantial amount of food off the ground and from being wasted. The wood and the nails also help keep the feeder in place and from falling off of the cement block it is resting on. Below is a closer look

Additional Notes:

  • My chickens spend most of their day free ranging in a large section of the back yard.
  • The automated water system is outside of the coop / run.
  • I’ve got the feeder in the chicken run with a gallon waterer. I need to refill this waterer about every two weeks.

  • I feed my chickens old wheat from food storage and day old bread I get for free from the local supermarket. I also give them piles of worms and bugs from my compost bin. I haven’t noticed any decrease in egg size, frequency, or quality, but I have noticed a HUGE drop in the amount of feed I have to supply. This is wonderful since chicken feed in the city is about $14 for a 50 lb. bag.

  • I decided to do a test and didn’t give my girls any bread, wheat, worms and they weren’t let out of the run as much. They went through the whole feeder full of layer pellets in about a week!

UPDATE 9/15/07
I finally upgraded my “temporary” feeder so something a lot bigger and hopefully a bit nicer looking.  You can read all the details here:  HomeMade Chicken Feeder

UPDATE 12/2/09
My system has been working great for years.  There were only two problems I’ve had:

  1. Waterer: The white supply hose going to the auto chicken waterer split open and gave our yard a good soak.  I’m not sure if it was a weak spot because of a kink or if maybe a thirsty rat wanted a drink.   A $2.75 hose mender and 10 minutes later everything was fine.
  2. Feeder: During a really bad storm some sideways rain got into my wood feeder… what a mess!  I took the whole thing apart, scrubbed it out with bleach, let it dry really well and painted it all over an put it back together.  Of course I also made sure that there would be no way water could get at the feeder again!

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84 thoughts on “Automatic Chicken Waterer and Feeder

  1. wow, i absolutely love the waterer idea. I have a “regular” old chicken waterer, made of galvanized steel. it is starting to wear out (leak) and i have been seeking a super solution. This may just be the ticket. I live where it freezes (alot) in michigan, so i’ll need to address that issue for sure. This will be the 1st winter for the birds.

  2. excitedVulcan, thanks for the comment. A few notes:

    1) The chickens sometimes jump up on the waterer and the plastic started to break where the top screws hold it to the wood. I ended up putting a block under the waterer to support it.

    2) I’ve seen some people use a small 40 watt light bulb in a tin can underneath their waterers to provide just enough heat to keep the water from freezing.

  3. I picked up a six foot section of 12″ square (in cross section) ductwork from a salvaged heating system. I intend to use this as the vertical portion of the feeder, using this concept. Feed will go in from the attic loft (with a cover to keep out mice and a hardware cloth screen to prevent accidental feed back loss down the chute). How does the feed get to the loft you may ask? I used an old garage door opener and a pulley from a neighbor’s tractor (both free) to winch it up to the loft door. Total cost for lift: cable and hardware ~ $15. Ductwork: free

  4. In addition to bringing out fresh water daily during the winter, you can also put a container of snow in the coop for the chickens. That way they can get a good deep drink every day, plus nibble at snow (which they love) between times when they’re a little thirsty.

  5. Ann, I’ve never had a problem with freezing water, but some people on the chicken forum ( ) have put 40 watt bulbs under a tin can that sits under the waterer and is just enough heat to keep things from freezing.

    Elvi: by “old wheat from food storage” I’m referring to the wheat our family has kept in case of emergencies. We like to store a few months of emergency supplies “just in case” something really terrible happens. It is a good idea to rotate through these supplies after a bunch of years, and since we’re not up for eating a few month’s of wheat it goes to the birds… literally! 🙂

  6. I’m nearing completion of my coop right now, I’m just getting ready to insulate and sheetrock. After seeing your feeder, I’ve been pondering building something similar “into” my coop. My plan is to use the gaps between the studs (2×4’s 16″ on center) as the chute. This way I’d only have to build a trough at the bottom and a door for refilling at the top. I could put the refill door inside or out, or maybe even both. and it will take up less floor space in my coop. Thanks for sharing your great idea.

  7. I’m amazed at how dirty my 4 chicks get their water container everyday (by pooping in it or kicking up shavings). The water ‘inside’ the container is still fresh, but the part they drink from ends up filthy so I end up having to dump out the good water to clean the bowl. I was just wondering if you have to clean the ‘auto wata’ bowl everyday for the same reason? I ask cause I like the idea of a automatic waterer, and was trying to decide between the Little Giant (with small hanging bowl) or one like yours.. thanks!

  8. Wow what a kindred soul you have. Duct tape and 16 penny nails! You make this old carpenter cry.
    I have watched my chickens take a drink, turn 180 degrees and then poop right into the water. After observing this a few times I elevate the rim of the waterer to the height of their back. They have to strech a bit but the water stays a lot cleaner. It seems to help keep out the litter as well. A better idea I went with is to put a hardware cloth floor about 2 feet above the litter and suspend the waterer from the ceiling adjusting the height as needed.
    I use a metal container instead of plastic because I need to keep the water from freezing. (Non heated coop) A 40 watt bulb directly in contact with the metal works in all but the coldest weather then I go with a 75 watt. The shade on the drop light keeps it away from the roost which is above. When I mix little chicks with the adults I put a small watterer outside the fence of the run where hens cannot knock it over. I also elevate it with bricks/blocks.

  9. Rett, that is a very interesting idea to use the stud cavity. I’d suggest you fill another one with oyster shell while you’re at it!

    Alalele, keeping the waterer a little higher than their backs really helped keep the water clean. I actually put it even a little higher so they have to stretch a little to get at it, but the water was very clean. I say “was” because now that I’ve added a duck all hopes of a clean water bowl are gone!

    estpr13, sounds like you’ve got a great setup! I’m really glad I don’t have to deal with freezing water containers, but I’ve seen the light bulb trick and it doesn’t take much to keep the water from freezing in most climates.

  10. Hello
    Any idea where i can get 1/2 dozen nipple pecker i am in the process of making a water supply for the wifes 8 rescued battery hens they have come on leaps and bounds in about 4 weeks they are producing about 5….6 eggs a day but we get one soft shell nearly every day why? the diy is after my own heart ps we have just had a R A F Fly past chucks did bat a eye lid (LOL)

  11. read your ideas plus other peoples going over to allotment later to build a new feeder and lift water container to shoulder hieght the chickens not mine
    thanks for the ideas george

  12. That is a great idea about the pet watering system.

    I am getting me one for sure.

    Thank you for some great ideas.

  13. Will adult hens drink out of a typical “chick waterer” with the holes and mason jar system? I have one pet hen and it seems silly to keep a huge waterer in the coop that she never empties before it gets dirty.

  14. Sure, she’ll drink out of it, but if you raise your large waterer off the floor a little, it should stay pretty clean, especially with just one hen, and you won’t have to refill it every day. Raise your waterer 6-8 inches off the floor and see if that doesn’t help keep the dirt and other grime out of it. I just sit mine on top of a couple cinder blocks and it stays relatively clean until it needs to be refilled (about 2 weeks with 9 chickens)

  15. Chickens swallow using gravity and don’t have a valve between their beaks and their crops so recently eaten food can spill out while they are drinking. The best solution to the dirty water problem is to elevate the waterer above the level of their crops!
    (and of course their bums!) tee hee

  16. Thanks for the tips. With winter coming in Minnesota, water hygiene is definitely something that I don’t want to worry about too often. 🙂 I’ll try the raised waterer- I always got the impression that chickens had to “bow” down to get a drink.

  17. I have guinea fowl for the first time and was concerned about water freezing during winter. I have put out a heated bucket of the kind used by dogs, and so far haven’t seen them use it. I was interested in the idea of the light bulb, so may resort to that method. Really good tips.

  18. I made a much more simpler water dish that stays pretty clean. I used a regular dog feeder from Walmart (the kind you fill with food in a tower like concept and it trickles into a bowl which is attached. Its $14. Then I ran 1/4″ tubing you use for drip sytems thru a hole I cut in the lid , into the reservoir. I set a regular water timer for gardens to go off for 1 minute, two times a day. I turned the faucer all the way up so there is a really strong stream coming into the feeder. It cleans it out quite good. Place the whole feeder on gravel and sprinkle some kind of cover crop seeds into the cracks in the gravel. In the summer you will have a ever renewing source of clean water and greens.

  19. Great idea Davilyn! Your timing is also perfect as I just (literally 2 mins ago) came in from washing out the waterer. What I usually do is just manually spray a bunch of water in the bowl and reservoir to flush everything out. A more manual process than what you described, but seems to do the trick.

  20. You can buy a heater to sit under your waterer, they are sold in all farm and ranch stores, and they are not too expensive. Also we are in Wyoming where it freezes in the winter, we have heat lamps when it gets really cold. Putting a light in your chicken house in the winter will keep the hens laying.

  21. I live in BC, Canada and it is under -20C right now. I have just set up a water system for the wild birds I feed using a second hand food warming tray I picked up at a thrift shop for under $5. This one has a thermostat control so I can set it on low. High would draw 100 watts but so far the low setting is enough to keep a cake pan with water and a few rocks in it from freezing. I used to use something like this for my chickens. Also, a car battery warmer is a blanket type of device that could be wrapped around a water jug or a heating pad might also work. I put duct tape on the edges of the metal pan and covered the cord connections to protect from moisture and short circuiting the whole thing. You can get shrink wrap type protectors from some auto or electrical supply places. (also handy wherever you need to use extension cords outdoors) Currently waiting for our city council in Kamloops to approve a pilot project for urban hens. I miss having chickens. Fingers crossed.

  22. We use vinyl rain gutter for feed and for water troughs, works great. Lots a room for a pretty good sized flock of thirty. And so cheap, about six dollars for ten feet.

  23. I like your automatic waterer idea, but we developed one that I think is better. It took weeks of trial and error, but we came up with one that not only automatically dispenses the water, it keeps the water pristine (which makes my hens very happy.) It’s basically like a big guinea pig water bottle, but with a special nipple that chickens can drink out of. You can see it on our website at

  24. I love that I went looking for info on a Canon i860 and wound up on a glorious chicken site. I had eleven girls until two years ago. I retired the chicken yard because it got flooded and I didn’t have the resources to fix the water problem. I plan to re-introduce chickens this year and am so happy to find this friendly site. I love the feeder ideas. What I’m looking for is a mechanism I can put on a timer that will open and close my little chicken door. If I go a way for a few days I either have to have a chicken sitter or risk loosing birds to the varments. (Racoons and Possums). Any suggestions?

  25. I Have a 4gallon alum. waterer and have a big problem with the inside getting slimy very quickly. I wash it out with soapy water and rinse it well and still it gets really slimy, any Ideas???

  26. Our chickens were in an enclosure in our barn until last month when a tornado blew it away:( They had a dirt floor which worked fine. Now we have them in a wooden building that used to be a playhouse. It is about 6′ x 8′. It has a wooden floor. We have about 12 birds in it.

    Now we have to figure out how to deal with feed and water and manure on the wooden floor.

    In the barn we suspended the waterer from a chain which kept it clean (except they somtimes roosted on the pole above it), but they tilted and swung it so that some water leaked on the ground. So, I agree with what the posters above say about raising it up to keep it clean, but then how to prevent spillage?

  27. Hi i live in central california and dont know much about chickens. My fiance came home awhile back with the only survivor,a badly injured white chicken that had fallen off one of the “Foster Farms” trucks aparently on its way to meet its DOOMI never in a million years figured this bird was going to live due to the extent of its injuries and the terrible gurggling in its chest, so i just did my best to make it comfortable using a heat light,cooking him pinto beans and hard boiled eggs and fresh fruit. Didnt know what else to do but make it comfortable. The gurrgling was terrible and for sure i figured he was going to die WEll GUESS WHAT “CHICKEN” as i named it is very alive very VERY big and has just learned how to COCKA_DOODLE DO and has a big red spike thing on his head and long neck hanging chicken lips under his chin!!! Anyway “Chicken” is not a chicken but a rooster AND hes our pet. We love him . what we dont know is how to properly care for him. I need advice about the dirty water bowl CONSTANTLY!! We made him a big coop and got him a girlfriend. Her name is “BERT” cuz thats how she talks she goes BEERRRRR-BER-BER-BER-BER BER . Hence the name. But “BERT” wont lay any eggs and we got her from a guy who says she was of laying age. Please help me with all this cuz we want to keep them and really want to do the best for them we can. I actually raise Mini Dacshounds and well there is a differance any help would be appreciated from the water bowl issue ,the eggs not being layed , the proper diet anythingh is great. Also i was told that its hard to keep a chicken with pneumonia alive(which i assume is what he had cuz of his gurrgling. Oh one more thing my sister inlaw says “GREAT now we are officially “White Trash” cuz weve got 2 chickens” i say shes a bit@#!!!

    Thank You
    Randi in california

  28. oh chicken is been with us at least 2months now also one more question He has a very dirty area way deep into the feathers surrounding his DERRIER for lack of a better term. i mean a black area it is on top half where his tail feathers would meet the skin. No odor but im not running behind him “SNIFFING” his booty feathers. Also he hasnt gotten his spikes in will they come in and will he poke us with em? He doesnt try to get us at all.

  29. I am not an anmial specialist, but I think they are all chickens, then some are roosters, some are hens, and some are capons–like deer, bucks, and does.

  30. Please feed your chickens and roosters chicken scratch and hen ration purchased from a local farm and ranch store. They also need clean water daily and you can also purchase a waterer and automatic feeder from the same place usually. You also need to take the dirty part that is on your rooster off either with a paper towel if dryed or soak his butt in warm water so this comes off. This is usually caused from improper food, too rich, etc. They do like greens, lettuce romaine, anykind of veg’s dry alpha, cracked corn, but if you feed hen ration, or scratch you can treat them with the green veg’s not as a main diet. If you raise chickens they also need room to roam, so if you put them outside, remember, dogs, cats, coons, possums, raccoons also like chickens, so you have to make a coop, with all sides, top and bottom covered so nothing will fly in or dig under. You use chicken wire, and they also need a place out of the elements, so they need an enclosed little room.
    We have over 100 chickens and 6 roosters. I sell eggs to the local people as our chickens are all feed with no antibotics….natural food only. You can also tell your sister, not all people that raise chickens are white trash, we are farmers and we also have geese, ducks, goats and sheep. Tell her if it wasn’t for us ‘white trash’ farmers she wouldn’t have any food!
    Getting back to your rooster, beings it came from the foster farms it could be a capon, but it sounds like he acts just like most roosters. Glad you saved him,and since you did he will probably never get mean, my roosters are not mean, it is usually banties and fighting ones that get mean. I have never had a mean rooster

  31. Thank you for your info. Id like to ley you know we have a rather large & completely enclosed 10x15ft PEN. we have made an henhouse (I think its not made right) and we have also put a overhang over part so they have that extra shaded area because our temps out here reach well into the high 90s and 100s we also feed them scratch from our local feed store but knew nothing bout the hen ration. Is this something the rooster will eat as well. Also how is he a capon whats the detrmining factores. We are sitting here trying t figure out just how the heck do we wash his butt with soap and water? Let me try to explain in greater detail the area thats black. if you were rub him down his back like you do a dog starting from its neck to where the dogs tail starts Ive used my keyboard to try to draw the area im speaking about with my x key marking the area_______x/”’ .Its only on top but when your able to get a good look into his feathers wow is it black like hes gotten into black tar oil. And as far as my sister inlaw well you know what they say “A fox smells its own hole!!!!” anyway thanks again for the time and infor u provided and the hardwork it takes to reise these very interesting and misunderstood creatures we call chickens!!!! one more little thing id like to know is it possible to construct a harness of sorts to take them on a walk like can they be leashed to walk em safely? also ooops forgot to ask can we reaise chicks with this pair.?

    randi in cali

  32. The black tar area is probably dryed blood from his fall off the truck, I would not worry about it. Do not give chickens a bath, this includes roosters, the only thing they need is a mite powder to keep any lice away. This you can also get at the farm store or go on line to . You should also get some oyster shell for the hens, they need this to produce strong shells on their eggs. This rooster is probably not a capon and it is very hard to tell if it is as you would have to remove the feathers to see where they made the incision, he is probably a broiler and he will get very large, so make sure the hens you get are a large breed also. Like white leghorns,White Rocks, or Black Stars, or one of the other large ones. Yes you can raise chicks, it is best you have a couple(2-4) hens to one rooster.Otherwise he will wear just one hen out.
    My chicken that I have on the porch just follows me around, of course we do not live in town. The other hens picked on her so I just moved her to the porch and she stays there with the stray cat someone dropped off during the night and she roams free all day, comes in the porch at night. So also lays her egg in the chair almost everyday. Most chickens do not lay everyday, they lay 6 out of 7 days. I have heard of chickens that lay everyday, but I have never checked my ones in the hen house, just this Rhode Island Red that I have on the porch. They make a harness for parrots, but I guess you could make one for a chcken. Maybe a small/medium dog harness could be made to work, but remember they have small heads and large breasts.
    Glad they have protection from the sun as they do not like real hot weather. You also need straw for the nest boxes, you can use the plastic milk carriers for nest boxes, or build your own, also chickens like to roost on something high at night, (2-3 feet off the ground) so put in a rod or something they can jump/fly up on, make sure it is not too small in size as they have large feet 2-3″ diameter is probably good. They probably sell raising chickens books at McMurray’s Hatchery,would be a good buy.
    I really enjoy my chickens, geese, ducks and etc.
    Judi in Wyoming

  33. Also the rooster will eat the hen ration. Remember you don’t need a rooster for the hen to lay eggs, but you need a rooster to make the eggs fertile. Judi in WYO

  34. Remember your ‘weiner dog’ is a killer of many things and chickens fit into his program. We also have the ‘weiner dogs’ Hunter is our 4th ‘weiner’ and he likes to chase ducks, chickens, kill birds (if he can) and has tryed to chase the geese but the geese chase him and it is pretty funny when ‘he’ gets chased.
    Judi in WYO

  35. First on behalf of myself and “Chicken” and “Bert” Id like to thank those of you who have taken the time to give me such wonderful and informative advice on caring for these guys. I never thougfht of chickens as anything but ,well you know to eat. But thety really are cool animals and i just love ours dearly. I realize that reaisingf ANY anumal is a job aqnd it will last FOR THE REST OF THAT ANIMALS LIFE so i am greatful for those that took the time to answer me so that i may provide a healthy and safE Aand nurturing enviroment for my newest family members. Id like to assure you that we have a harmonious family here where all our animals get along well and the doxies could absolutely casre less about the chickens. However they are safely behind the walls of their fully enclosed chicken area. that weve done our best to make sure nothing leaves and nothing enters.!!! One more rather stupid question ok So is that story bout that headless chicken named mike really true, i mean did that chicken REALLY lose its head only to be found the following day in a corner with its own head tucked under its wing still alive.? I just cant stand to think its true it makes me so sad for that bird i just have the most horribly saddening images when i think aboiut it. Please tell me its just a fake story…………pleeze
    Everyone take care and if ever the need for any canine help i can help. Id like to include an important finding that has been rewcently discoverd by the animal center for poison control .they have learned that Grapes and raisins are toxic to our canines. They report that they havent determined the exact substance in the raisins ir grapes (raisins being more toxic due to their concentration i cup of 6 cups of grapes is equal to 1 cup raisins. The symptoms mim ic those of poisoning by rat poison and with many of our vets unaware of this new finding they often mis diagnose the illness. Thias is a deadly forem mof poisoning with the final end of our beloved canins is total renal failure. If not treated IMMEDIATLY and AGRESSIVELY your canine will die a horribly painful and heartwrenching death. So please pass this on to anyone that isnty aware. It will save a life. I live in the raisin capital of the worlkd and believe it or not most people here are still uneduacated even my own beloved bobble head loe was inflickted with this illness but because of the agressive treatment and longterm aftercaRE HE IS STILL WITH US HERE TODAY!!!!

  36. Listen to Judi. She knows. Most everything I was going to say she has already said. We have had chickens for 4 years and are still learning.

    She is also very kind because many of your experiences are of someone who would have only thought of a chicken as a pet or like a dog. If one of our chickens becomes high maintenance, we are thinking about the next time we could get around to making it dinner.

    Don’t do the harness thing until you have had it longer. Your pen is plenty big enough for two birds–even large ones. You could have 10 in there–not saying you should. Birds can be hard to catch, but if you want to take one out and are nervous about catching it, do it when it is just about to get dark. When it is dark, they are very easy to handle. Also, as she said, it is easy to make them trust you to follow you around and pick them up.

    That reminds me. I hope you have a roost for the birds. It is very easy to make. Anything to simulate a tree branch. They don’t like to sleep on the ground.

    I recommend you get a book I would tell you ours, but I don’t know the rules on this site about recommending books. Also there is another forum that has lots of chicken information, but again, I don’t know the rules about posting other sites.

    I don’t know the story about Mike the headless chicken, but can tell you that once the head is off, the chicken will be dead in a few minutes.

    Dogs can be trained to leave the chickens alone.

    How tall is your fence? Chickens can fly.

    If you want eggs, the chickens need so many hours of light per day.

    Listen to Judi on roosters. You don’t need one unless you are hatching eggs. That is fun, but also dificult.

    PS: Dogs don’t need people food or dog food. They need wolf food. A wolf would not eat a raisin or a grape, but would eat other stuff that we never feed them–like a whole rabbit. We don’t want to feed them whole rabbits or mice so we (Western People) try to simulate wolf food and call it dog food. That statement needs to be mitigated by breed types. The more bred a dog has been (from the wolf) the more sensitive the dog’s digestive system is.

  37. Good ol’ “Headless Mike” do some Google / Youtube searches and you’ll see some great stuff about him. I think he lived for a few years with most of his head / brain chopped off.

    As for another forum: Since I own I strongly suggest everyone that has chickens visit that site and also join our community of over 30,000 members! 🙂

  38. Hi All,
    Some really great ideas here. I use a 2 gallon paint bucket in the winter with a heat tape wraped around it. Works quit well. No pooping in it. Only clean and refill once a week.
    Summertime I use an automatic waterer attached to a 5 gal. bucket. Just turn the hose on once in a while to refill the bucket. It actually gets dirtier than the 2 gal bucket does.
    DId make a hanging bird feeder some years ago that holds a 50lb sack of feed. Incorperated it into the chicken coop. Made out of 1x12x20, with hinged roof to fill. 2 large eye bolts on the sides towards the top to hang with #9 wire.
    Love all the automatic door closes and openers too. Especially the paint stick one. Simple and easy.
    My girls won’t even come out in the snow. I have to sweep it off the ramp and the part of their yard that isn’t covered.
    Thank You All for your ideas, comments, sharing, and time.

  39. I’m just getting the “chicken fever”. Can anyone please answer these questions –
    With the deep litter method, can you use straw or does it have to be wood shavings? If you have an area with a cement pad, can you put the coop there and use the DLM (straw) and not harm the hens? Do you cover your coop and run with something in the winter to avoid getting your litter wet so it doesn’t stink?

  40. To Jerri;
    We use straw on our chicken house floor. Also you need a place where the chickens can go in at night to roost enclosed for that they need a roost, and yes you need a cover or roof on your coop. Depending on where you live, chickens need 8-10 hours of light all year round in order to keep laying. Read the above notes from Rural near Dallas and mine, we have over 100 chickens . If you have anyother questions please ask, we will be glad to help,
    Judi in Torrington, Wyoming

  41. Hi guys and girls,
    I use mulch in the coop. The kind you get from tree trimmers. Keeps dried out and has been down for some time.
    Also if you use kittly litter under the roost…things smell much better. And it dries up the poo. Some one suggested putting a sheet of plastic under the roost first. Then just pull out the whole mess and start over. Works and smell great. At least for 10 chickens and a Roo.
    This summer I sprinkle a bit of powered lime everywhere like the old timers used in the outhouses. TSC had it 7.99.

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