Yesterday I made my first financial commitment to getting chickens. It’s been 20+ years since we’ve raised them.
The first time around went fine, with the occasional rough patch (predators, rodents). This time I’m a little older, and I realize that though I’ve read a lot more about poultry raising, experience is still the best teacher. So I look forward to relearning.
The worst part of raising chickens that sticks in my memory is the frozen, dirty waterer, and worrying about starting a fire after we got a water heating element.
So that’s where I’m starting. After trying to distill the different theories and opinions on the subject, I settled on this sturdy-looking heated water bucket, into which I’ll install four poultry nipples.
The idea came from this video:
The benefits seem unbeatable. It’s off the ground, it’ll have a cover, it looks very sturdy, there won’t be spilled water, and the heating element isn’t exposed as a fire hazard. It’s a little pricey and there’s a risk I could screw up adding the nipples, but I still feel pretty good about the concept.
The second financial commitment was smaller, and again I won’t know if it’ll work until I try it. With the limited space inside our converted outhouse I had to scour the Internet for feed storage ideas. Galvanized cans were pretty much out; either too big for the space or too small to hold 50 lbs comfortably.
I settled on this recycling bin, which is sized just right for the space I have, should hold a bag of feed, and be convenient to get to.
The concern I have is whether it’ll be rodent-proof, but since it was only a few bucks, it’s worth a shot. But it should fit my needs so nicely; boxy shape rather than long or tall, hinged lid for scooping out feed, the right size for a bag of feed to fit.
Just a pebble in the ocean of what needs to be done, but making the first commitments feels good.