I like quality and the older I get, the more I like it.
These days, I am also trying to buy less, andI don’t mind paying more if I know an item is going to work better and last longer.
Naturally, when I started keeping chickens, I invested in expensive galvanized metal water founts that would last me 20 years. They worked fine, except that when it froze they froze shut and I couldn’t refill them, they were hard to scrub clean, too heavy when full and when I added apple cider vinegar to the water as a health aid for the flock, they rusted and started leaching toxicity into the water. Sigh.
So then I tried plastic water founts. Everything from little cheap ones that hold a couple litres up to an expensive one that holds 10 gallons. The cheap ones are easy enough to scrub clean, but need refilling too often, are hard to screw closed, and freeze shut in the cold. The expensive plastic fount is much worse, with too many crannies that need scrubbing, a lid that is damned near impossible to put on properly (and needs to be tight to form the required vacuum), a rubber seal that wears out often, and plastic that gets brittle in the cold. Fail to gently lower it to the ground (and it is bloody heavy) and snap, it’s time for a new tray.
So I asked my Facebook chicken group what their favourite waterers were, and after reading the many responses, I have discovered and fully tested the best chicken waterer money can buy!
A six dollar five litre plastic bucket from the feed store. The kind I carry George’s grain in.
It is easy to carry, fills easily and sprays clean with only a light scrub required once a week. There are no issues with freezing because I dump it each night, and my birds absolutely love it. Not only is it by far the best option from my POV; it is much easier for them to drink from. I think the water must taste better too, than from the metal founts. I still use the little plastic ones when I have baby birds, but after the first six weeks I can start using the buckets again without worrying about drowning chicks.
I have learned a good lesson here, a lesson about simplicity.