As someone who has raised chicks before, I can relate to the frustration of constantly finding pine shavings in their waterer. It seems like no matter what I did, those little fluff balls always found a way to make a mess.
After trying a few different methods, I found some effective solutions to keep my chicks from filling their waterer with pine shavings. Here are some tips that worked for me:
Use a different waterer
If you have tried all the above methods and still can’t prevent shavings from getting into the waterer, it may be time to switch to a different type of waterer. Nipple waterers are a popular choice for preventing shavings from contaminating the water, as they only dispense water when the chicks peck at the nipple. This means that there is no open water surface for shavings to fall into. Gravity-fed waterers are also a good option as they have a narrow opening that prevents shavings from getting in.
When selecting a new waterer, make sure to consider the number of chicks you have and their age, as well as the size of your brooder. Some waterers may not be suitable for very young chicks or for brooders with limited space. It is also important to regularly clean and sanitize the waterer to prevent the spread of bacteria and disease.
Switching to a different waterer may require some training for your chicks to get used to it. Make sure to monitor their behavior and ensure that they are drinking enough water. With the right waterer and proper maintenance, you can ensure that your chicks stay healthy and hydrated without any shavings contaminating their water supply.
Elevate the waterer
Elevating the waterer is a simple and effective method to keep pine shavings out of it. To do this, you can place the waterer on two pavers or bricks, which will raise it off the ground. This creates a barrier between the waterer and the shavings, making it harder for the chicks to kick shavings into it.
If you want to make the waterer even more elevated, you can add a cookie sheet rack on top of the pavers or bricks. This will create a higher barrier and make it even more difficult for the chicks to access the waterer with their feet.
However, even with this elevation, there is still a chance that some shavings may get into the waterer. Chicks are notorious for being messy and curious creatures, and they may find ways to make a mess despite your best efforts. Therefore, it’s important to check the waterer regularly and clean it out as needed to ensure that it stays clean and free of debris.
Use a brick or pedestal
Another effective solution to prevent pine shavings from getting into the waterer is to place a brick or pedestal on top of it. By doing so, the chicks will find it harder to access the water and won’t be able to kick shavings into it as easily. However, this method may not always be perfect since chicks are naturally curious and have a tendency to be messy. Even with the brick or pedestal, some shavings may still find their way into the waterer. Therefore, it is important to regularly check and clean the waterer as needed to ensure that it remains clean and free of debris. While this solution may not be foolproof, it can certainly help reduce the amount of pine shavings that get into the waterer and make it easier to maintain a clean and healthy environment for your chicks.
Raise it on blocks
To keep pine shavings out of the waterer is to raise it on blocks or bricks. This involves placing the waterer on top of a structure that is high enough for the chicks to drink from, but not so high that they can step into the water. By doing this, it becomes more difficult for the chicks to kick shavings into the waterer since the barrier created by the blocks or bricks acts as a buffer.
This method can be particularly useful if the waterer is larger and more difficult to elevate. However, it’s important to note that chicks are naturally curious and can still find ways to make a mess, so it’s important to regularly check and clean the waterer to ensure it remains free of debris.
Raising the waterer on blocks or bricks can be an effective solution to prevent pine shavings from getting into the waterer, but it’s not foolproof, and other solutions may need to be employed in conjunction with this method for optimal results.
Use a cooling rack
To prevent pine shavings from getting into the waterer is to use a cooling rack. This involves placing the waterer on top of the cooling rack, which serves as a barrier between the waterer and the shavings. By doing this, the waterer is elevated and harder for the chicks to access with their feet, which reduces the likelihood of shavings getting kicked into the waterer.
Additionally, any shavings that do fall will land on the cooling rack instead of the waterer, making it easier to clean up the mess. This method can be particularly useful if you already have a cooling rack on hand, as it’s a simple and cost-effective solution. However, it’s important to note that chicks can still find ways to make a mess, so it’s important to regularly check and clean the waterer to ensure it remains free of debris.
Using a cooling rack is an effective way to prevent pine shavings from getting into the waterer, but it’s not a foolproof solution and may need to be used in conjunction with other methods for optimal results.
Use puppy pads
Puppy pads are absorbent pads that are commonly used for house-training dogs. However, they can also be useful for preventing shavings from getting into the waterer when raising chicks. By placing puppy pads around the waterer, any spills or drips from the waterer will be absorbed, keeping the area clean and free from shavings.
In addition to using puppy pads, you can also raise the waterer on a pedestal or blocks to make it more difficult for the chicks to get into the water. This will help minimize mess and keep the waterer clean.
Hang the waterer
Hanging the waterer is a useful method to prevent chicks from getting shavings into it. To do this, you can use a hook or wire and hang the waterer from the top of the brooder.
By doing so, you create more floor space in the brooder for the chicks to move around and play. Additionally, hanging the waterer makes it more difficult for the chicks to access it with their feet, which reduces the chances of them kicking shavings into the water.
However, it’s important to ensure that the waterer is hung at a height that is accessible to the chicks, so they can drink from it easily.
There are several effective ways to keep chicks from filling their waterer with pine shavings. Elevating the waterer, using a brick or pedestal, raising it on blocks, using a cooling rack, using puppy pads, hanging the waterer, or using a different waterer are all viable options. However, keep in mind that chicks are notoriously messy, so it may take some trial and error to find the solution that works best for you.