The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Coldest automatic chicken waterer

coldest automatic chicken watererLittle house in the suburbs dot com is hands down the coldest automatic chicken waterer I've seen so far.

I can't prove it, but I feel like all chickens can appreciate the simple comfort of a cool drink on a hot summer day.

We've got side by side Avian Aqua Misers and one day last summer I put a handfull of ice in one of them and noticed how our Plymouth Rock hens favored the colder water.

I know it's not a scientific test, but maybe I can expand the parameters next summer to see if there's any truth to this crazy hypothesis?

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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I have to build my first tractor (my girls live in a nice house and free range) for my brother that lives in town. He wants 3 hens. I would like your opinion on dimensions. Overall height, length and width, size of the nesting box? As my girls have ample room in their house and open range, I have no idea how much space they actually need. If you have already posted this please forgive me and point me to it.


Comment by Erich Fri Feb 5 23:47:54 2010

I'll let Mark reply with the actual dimensions, but I'm awake and he's not so I thought I'd give you my two cents worth. :-) I've watched people new to chicken tractors, and myself, and noticed that the one factor that leads to a chicken tractor turning into a stationary run is size/weight. It may seem like bigger is better, and in a way it is, but once the weight tips above the easy to move mark, you don't move it. What might be easy to move in the summer on flat ground can become a lot harder in the snow or mud, uphill. Make it light!!!

You might also enjoy browsing through the chicken tractor construction series on our chicken blog. It's not any hard and fast information, but you can see Mark making his tractors out of found materials, which might give you some ideas.

I hope that helps! Stay tuned for actual info from Mark. :-)

Comment by anna Sat Feb 6 07:59:45 2010

Yes...the series Anna pointed you towards is my latest incarnation which holds 3 hens with a little bit of extra space.

I really like this shape, but would have raised the nest box and roosting area so that the girls can walk easily underneath if I had a chance to do it over.

I also might consider taking a large PVC pipe and splitting it down the middle to make smooth plastic runners to be dragged on the ground easier.

One thing I'm convinced of is the need for additional roosting areas to provide multiple places to hang out during the day.

I hope the series has enough details for you. It's really not that hard to build and very satisfying when you get it done.

Of course I would not design a chicken tractor today without making a couple of good mounting areas for 2 Avian Aqua Misers for each unit.

Hope this helps. Feel free to ask any questions that come up and we'd love to see some pictures of your project as it progresses.


Comment by mark Sat Feb 6 11:22:50 2010

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