Keeping chickens off watering cans : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

Lately, I have a couple of hens and a rooster that like to perch on their watering can in the hen house. The problem is droppings in the water pan. Any suggestions on keeping them off, besides an axe?

-- Derrick Comfort (, December 05, 2000


Maybe you could hang it from one of those squirrel baffle cones for birdfeeders? Or make one out of flashing? I don't know if it would work,it's off the top of my head,not something I tried.

Be needing a good chicken N dumplin soup recipe?

-- sharon wt (, December 05, 2000.

That's why we went to the buckets for the adult birds. No matter what we did we could not keep them from roosting on the watering cans. They have never attempted to roost on the buckets. They had plenty of roosting space so I know that was not the cause. In five years I have had one chicken drown in the bucket, and it was a young one that should not have been in the pen with the bucket. diane

-- diane (, December 05, 2000.

Diane, I've had good luck with the buckets too, also use an old, big, roasting pan for a waterer. Never care for the regular waterers, too hard to keep, and get, clean inside. Annie in SE OH.

-- Annie Miller (, December 05, 2000.

To tell you the truth I never much worried about droppings in the chicken water. We always used odd pans, buckets, etc. as chicken waterers. I always just slosh them out real good everyday and refill them with clean water. Occasionally I take an old broom and scrub them out. This is how we've done it for as long as I can remember. Not much trouble to rinse them out really.

-- Amanda in Mo (, December 05, 2000.

You might try hanging them from the ceiling on a wire or chain, just a couple of inches off the floor, they won't have room to perch and/or the motion will keep them off.

-- Hendo (, December 06, 2000.

I was just talking to the wife about this this morning. 1 of the hens has decided she likes to perch on top of the watering can this week, and mess the water up. And there is PLENTY of roost space available too. Have gone to a pan of water for now, but my hens keep throwing litter into it. As soon as I can figure out how to hang the watering can, or build one that can hang, I'm going back to that. Am thinking about taking a galvanized dog food pan (like the type made by Blitz and sold at Wal-Mart) and drilling 4 holes just under the lip and hanging the pan from a chain, like I do with their food.

For the food, I scrounge up a 1 gallon gatorade or apple cider jug, a plastic plant dish larger than the gatorade jug, and a good stiff coat hanger. First, I cut four holes in side of the jug just above the curve of the bottom (roughly 1/2" high x 1" long). Then I drill a hole through the center of the dish and the jug, and using some fender washers and 1/4" bolts, bolt the dish to the jug. Next, I drill 2 small holes about 6 inches down from the top, clip the botton off of the coat hanger and bend the ends into a "J" shape and slide into the holes I drilled. Then hang from some chain.

-- Eric in TN (, December 06, 2000.

Been thinking about this all day and may have a solution... I'm adding some nest boxes to replace the buckets I'm using (the rooster and another hen decided they like to perch on the edge of the buckets and mess the buckets up...). So what I'm going to do is build a platform 1 foot off of the floor and cover it with hardware cloth. Then mount my next boxes above this platform low enough where the birds can't perch on top of the waterer. Hopefully my sketch will be posted below here... If not try the following link:, December 06, 2000.

Ok, I screwed up... the correct link should be:, December 06, 2000.

One more try at getting the image in here, then I'm going to bed...

-- Eric in TN (, December 06, 2000.

Cool idea! (I wish I could figure out how to make my computer do things like that.) I was going to suggest making a cone out of chicken wire and putting it on top.

-- Dee (, December 06, 2000.

Thanks for the great suggestions. Eric the drawing and idea is great. After the first two posts, I put two buckets of water in the henhouse and a sectioned area which I keep the males for meat. So far it has worked well! The one rooster who used the watering can for a roost has been stopped! He also used it for a launching pad to fly up in the rafters to get out with the hens. I had thought about some of the ideas, but was looking for a lazy way to handle it with everything else I'm doing. You've inspired some good ideas. Thanks!

-- Derrick Comfort (, December 07, 2000.

This is what has been working well for me. First cut out a "donut" from chip board, plywood, etc. with the hole of the donut the size of the largest diameter of the waterer. Then make a bunch of wood strips (1" x 1"'s) the length of the height of the waterer plus 1". With construction screws or nails, nail or screw the strips to the donut about two inches apart so the inner edge is flush with the inner edge of the donut hole. Attach a larger piece of plywood etc. to the top of the strips in the same way. Assembled it acts like a cage around the waterer that the birds can get their heads thru to drink. When you need to ad water just lift it off, ad water, then replace it. Works great and keeps the water clean.

-- john leake (, December 08, 2000.

I don't know what they are called, but they are available at your building supply store. They are metal wire pieces designed to fit between 16" oc or 24" oc joists to hold fiberglass insulation in place. If you take several (say 10 or 12) and make a "tipi" by holding the top together with concrete reinforcing wire, or florist's wire, or any malleable wire, and place the tipi on top of the waterer, it will baffle the hens, who are, in the final analysis, nearly as stupid as Palm Beach democrats. GL!

-- Brad (, December 12, 2000.

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