Custom Search

Friday, July 25, 2008

Let's talk waterers

or watering systems

I have pigs and I have chickens

I have a barn about 100 or so yards from our nearest water source

so this means hauling water
we do this by using the kids wagon and milk jugs we fill them up at the hose and then haul the water 10 gallons at a time down to the barn

I keep a bottle of vinegar (white vinegar) down at the barn to clean out the stubborn gross mess that ends up in the chicken water (anyone who thinks birds are neat and clean is living in a fantasy world)

I use roughly half of the water for cleaning the assorted pans and the rest for watering the animals

this is done at least twice a day depending on how hot it is and how thirsty the animals are (I check on them several times a day probably part of the reason I am loosing weight FINALLY)

The pigs have a gravity fed waterer designed by my brother Leo (if you are reading this hey bro!) and we just got a new pig nipple for it so it works much better now

Dave and I have discussed a few options to fixing our watering "problem" (this can be inconveinent when we are busy or want to go anywhere for the day)

Here are a few of the options we have come up with
Option 1
Digging a well ...expensive .. work intensive and would require Dave taking time off work no matter how much fun anyone thinks this is I do not relish the idea of doing this with my kids especially since I am NOT a tool person. but it would give us water up at the barn I would however insist on it being a neato hand pump just because ...well I have always wanted one!

Option 2

Some sort of a rain catchment system very cool idea very neat to implement and very "hip" (not that I ever really cared) however this would mean we would need to put up gutters on the barn (currently has a metal roof no gutters) and set up the thing that does the water catching under ground beneath the frost line again $$$ to do but very neat idea and I would also insist again on a hand pump for this thingie as well

Option 3

Is a less permanent less labor intensive technique and that is to simply build the chickens a gravity fed waterer like the one for the pigs but without the pig nipple on the end

on the end instead set up a faucet that would slowly drain water from the large barrel (in our case a big plastic garbage can) the water would drain into a watering pan inside the chicken yard.

I can see some flaws with this plan and NO heating the water is not one of them

the first flaw is that we would need two watering pans one that is clean in the barn to replace the dirty one so every day as the pan needs cleaning we can take out the dirty one and replace it with a clean one

not that big of a deal

the other issue is that during the winter time when the chickens are inside (from late December roughly till early March due to cold and the extreme deep snow in thier yard) the waterer would be out of commision

Keeping the water from freezing is not too difficult we have a heater that goes inside the large bin for the pigs so we would use that for chickens(pigs are not gonna be around here come winter time)

So total cost for the gravity fed waterer is roughly 25$
Materials for this project are

A large garbage can

Some screening material (to keep bugs and debris out of the water)

a bungie cord to keep screening material in place

A faucet

Some tires to raise this thing off the ground (I am really into using tires lately)

a small section of hose going from the faucet to drain into the pan

Like I said we use one already for the pigs and it works great they have access to water at all times and we fill it up as needed if the water looks bad we simple empty it into the pen to give them a nice mud hole (they love that) and then we haul it up the house to rinse it with the hose and we fill it about 1/4 of the way and drag it back to the barn and then fill it with the gallon jugs

every time it rains they get more water

so in a way it is the best solution for now

of course I also want more rain barrels like this in assorted places I would like about 3 of them lined up by the barn to catch the rain off the roof but I would like them campflaged in some way to make them not look like ...well garbage cans on top of tires

so I was thinking again (a dangerous thing as you can see)

what I would like to do (Dave will hate this) is to take the rocks that we have plentiful around here and using soil or preferably using morter stack the rocks around making a pillar like structure that has a faucet coming out of it

Reason why Dave would hate this ? it is too permanent of a temporary solution

I think it would make it look more rustic and natural and still be cost effective and workable

and not look like a garbage can on top of tires

the reason this "look" bothers me so much is our property borders the road and everything is in the open and visable to passers by I am sick of my yard and farm looking like ...well white trash dump site


Freitags said...

Sue, our garden is far from our water source too. We bought a splitter spout for our outside faucet. We can hook up two hoses. One short one for around the faucet area. Another 200' hose consisting of 2 hoses connected together to reach our garden. It works really well and would probably be fine for 300'. Might be the easiest way to get your water where you need it. Though winter would likely pose some problems. I wonder if you can bury pvc pipes like they use in sprinkler systems?

Sue said...

Our hose connection that does not leak (another one of those projects on Dave's to do list LOL) is on the other side of the house

we use the water jugs cause it costs less than hose at this time

I know we have 150 feet of hose and it barely makes it to the garden I have a sprinkler system for the back garden and the front garden we water using the hose

for a sprinkler system burying PVC would be a neat idea but with the distance the water would have to travel I wonder if it would have enough pressure to make it all that way the PVC would have to be about 3 feet deep to avoid freezing. I don't think Dave or the boys would go for digging that far