Best Chick Waterers To Prevent Drowning

Best Chick Waterers To Prevent Drowning

From the day your chicks hatch, they will need a good chicken waterer to help them have 24 hour access to water. 

 

You don’t want them getting dehydrated!

 

There’s lots of options, which are all equally good. Whichever you decide, you’ve got to pay attention to the amount of water and the size of the waters as your chicks grow older. 

 

I’ll introduce the best options out there(at least I think they’re the best options), but towards the end, I’ve even thrown in another option for your consideration.

 

 

In this article, we’ll answer the commonly-asked question: “What is the best waterer for my baby chicks?”

 

(For a full review of several waterers out there, you can read this article.)

 

Mason Jar Waterers

Mason jar waterers are good when you have itty bitty chicks that are day-olds. I like these because they’re shallow, and with anything deeper, your chicks might fall in the water. 

 

Earlier this year, we actually did have somebody fall in the water (even though we use mason jar waterers). It was quite the tempest in a teapot with that chick, and although it was unharmed, it was very upset. We actually had to blow it dry to make sure that it was warm enough.

 

The problem with the Mason jar waterers is that your chicks will outgrow them pretty quick. But they’re cheap and easy to find at your local farm store, and they’re what I recommend using the first couple weeks of your chick’s life.

 

Bell Waterers

You will see bell waterers for sale at farm stores. I call them bell waterers. I’m not sure what everyone else calls them, but that’s what I call them because they’re kind of shaped like a bell. 

 

You can use those with day-olds, but are really good all the way up to 16 weeks, which gives them a bit more of a lifespan.

 

The problem with bell waterers with the day-olds is how deep they are. They’re about an inch and a half deep. 

 

It’s important to remember that when your chicks just come out of the incubator, they can’t walk very well. So, they can fall into it. 

 

The other nice thing about these waterers is its handle. You can hang them, and your chicks won’t kick shavings in their water. (The only time they’re not going to get shavings in their waterers and feeders is if you use something like newspaper, which isn’t the best bedding out there.)  

 

You will want to use a bell waterer if you have a lot of chicks. If you have 30 chicks, for example, the little mason jar waterer probably isn’t going to cut it after a couple of days. 

 

It’s just going to be not enough water and not everybody can get to it. In that case, the bigger bell waterer is better. 

 

Kitchen Pan

Sometimes, I have more chicks than waterers, so I need to find a pinch hitter. I’ve found ceramic kitchen pans and baking dishes to be good options. They’re also free and you won’t need to buy extra equipment.

 

I prefer a ceramic baking dish that’s no more than 1 inch deep. That’s shallow enough that the chicks can’t fall into it, and they can easily access the water (this works great with ducklings, too). 

 

If they DO fall into it, they can easily get out. Additionally, they can’t tip it over, since the baking dishes are relatively heavy. 

 

If we want to use a water from the kitchen, just like a bowl, that’s what we use because it’s just simpler.

 

Keeping Chicks From Falling Into Waterers

Yes, chicks can drown, especially if they’re weaker or they’re getting trampled. But you can easily prevent your chicks from falling into their waterer by putting a bunch of rocks in there. 

 

Many farm stores use rocks they found outside, but I think it’s best to use smooth river stones that you can buy at the store. Your chicks can still get to the water, but they won’t try to climb in, and if they fall in, they won’t fall very far.

 

You can remove the stones after a few days. 

 

So how many stones? Well, it depends on how deep your waterer is. 

 

A single layer of stones is usually enough, especially with mason jar waterers. I’ve just found that with the mason jar waterers, you don’t really have to put in as many stones. 

 

Personally, with the mason jar waterers, I don’t use rocks, and I’ve never had a chick drown in one of those smaller waterers. 

 

In some cases, it can actually prevent them from drinking, and I want my day-olds to be able to get to the water all the time. But with the bell waterers, you can do that. 

 

So there you have it! There’s 3 different waterers for chicks that’ll keep your new flock hydrated and happy!

 

Are My Chicks Too Cold Or Too Hot?

Are My Chicks Too Cold Or Too Hot?

 

 

Main Takeaways:

  • If your chicks are walking around, eating, etc, their brooder temperature is probably okay.
  • If they’re huddling under/near the heat source, they’re probably cold. (Might also hear loud cheeping).
  • If they’re scattered way away from the heat source, they’re probably too hot.

 

More reading:

How many chicks should be in a brooder

 

Early Signs Your Chick Is A Rooster

Early Signs Your Chick Is A Rooster

 

Main Takeaways:

  • You can try feather sexing as early as 3 days
  • Look for prominent combs at about 4 weeks (breed dependent)
  • Crowing at an early age is a strong sign (rarely alpha hens crow as adults but not as chicks under 16 weeks old)

 

More reading:

7 Ways To Sex Baby Chicks

 

Are Chickens Good Pets?

Are Chickens Good Pets?

 

Other Reading:

What To Feed Chickens

Treats For Backyard Chickens

Can Chickens Eat Grapes?

Can Chickens Eat Grapes?

You might wonder if baby chicks can eat grapes.

 

I’ve had many chickens, and with my chicks, I love feeding them treats. Over the years, I’ve gotten a number of questions about what to feed backyard chickens, as well as queries about what treats are safe for baby chicks.

 

 

A common question I get regarding treats is “Can my chicks eat grapes?” We talked about a number of things that they can eat in another video, but I specifically wanted to talk about grapes because it seems to be a very common question now.

 

Before we talk about grapes, just remember that you really want to limit treats to 10% of your chicks’ diet, at most. You want them eating that high-protein chick starter that will give them all the nutrients that they need to grow. But – if you’re like me – you’re gonna want to give treats. 

 

In this article, I’ll answer that question, as well as provide ways to safely feed grapes to baby chicks (and what to avoid).

 

Main takeaways:

  • Yes, chickens can eat grapes
  • It’s best to cut the grapes up so they’re tiny or smash them
  • Stay away from preserves, jams, jellies, or any grapes with added sugar

 

Other reading:

What do chickens eat?

Can chicks eat strawberries?

Can Chicks Eat Grapes?

Yes, your chicks can eat grapes. Always make sure the grapes are fresh – never feed rotten food to your chicks. You only want to feed them very fresh grapes.

How to Feed Grapes

To reduce the chances of choking or impacted crop, always crush the grapes. You don’t want them getting chunks of grapes or any other fruits stuck in their throats, because that can cause the chicks to choke. 

 

Similarly, you also don’t want these humongous chunks of fruit in their crop, because can lead to impacted crop and other digestive issues.

 

I try to crush them really, really well. If you don’t want to crush them, you can chop them, but crushing them doesn’t take that much effort. You put them in a bag and take a rolling pin or a can and just roll it.

 

There’s really no reason that they can’t eat it other than just the size, so as long as the grapes are crushed, mushy, fresh, not rotten in any way, your baby chicks can definitely enjoy them. 

 

Steer Clear of Jellies, Jams, & Preserves

Fresh grapes and grape jelly are not the same thing in terms of the nutritional value for your chicks. 

 

Fresh grapes have a lot of vital nutrients and vitamins. Grape jelly, on the other hand, likely has a lot of sugar in it, so it’s best avoided.

 

Your chicks don’t need sugar, and they certainly don’t need the preservatives and feed additives in commercial grape jellies. Fresh is always best!

 

So yes, chicks can eat grapes. Just be sure to follow the guidelines in this article!

 

Do Chicks Need Mother Hens?

Do Chicks Need Mother Hens?

In this installment on how to raise baby chicks, I will answer a question we frequently receive. Why can baby chicks be separated from their mothers, the hens, so early in their lives.

 

As we mentioned previously, you can purchase these little chicks online and have them shipped to you. When you receive them, you’ll probably notice the hen is not included in the package. Thus, many people email us with worry that the chicks won’t be okay, or they’ll get separation anxiety. Let me delve into this further for some perspective. 

 

Baby Chicks Are Born With Instincts

Unlike us mammals, baby chicks instinctively know what to do when they’re hatched. They understand where to find food. Well, at least as much as a baby chick can. In addition, chicks know where to find water. Therefore, all the needs of basic self-sufficiency are met a lot faster than mammals. 

Chicks also mature much quicker. You may have noticed this when your teacher hosted them at your school. One week they were cute and fluffy. One month later, they had grown considerably. In fact, chicks reach their maturity levels around 16 weeks. Due to this, their mothers aren’t needed as much.

 

Chicks Are Self-Sufficient

Plenty of baby chicks stay with their mothers. When this happens, the hens do contribute to the growth and survival of their young. Yet, while they provide basic needs, hens don’t do as much as mammal mothers. 

Right before they hatch, the baby chicks absorb the egg’s yolk sac. This provides them enough nutrition for the first 72 hours of life. It’s true they will be okay at this stage. Nevertheless, we like to feed and water them before that for the extra push. But if they’re not fed by humans, they know where to find food and water.

 

Separation Better Ensures Survival

Separation from the hens not only promotes the chicks’ autonomy. It also helps protect them from the predators found around farms. For instance, we have skunks, opossums, and coyotes. All predators that don’t have any qualms in taking chicks. On top of this, other chickens or roosters might bother them. 

To add an extra level of protection, you can show the chicks where the water and food are. At our farm, we pick them up and gently dip their beaks into the water, so they get that first taste. Then we do the same thing with the food. 

If it looks like they don’t quite understand, we sit there and finger-scratch the food and water. They tend to grasp the concept after that.

 

Chicks Already Understand How To Socialize

With these survival skills also comes a set of good habits in the form of social skills. Granted, these won’t stop them from being bullied by other chickens, but it does allow them to interact with each other and safer animals around them. 

This is not the case with mammals like horses. Though they seem to come out ready to walk, they don’t have the necessary social skills to go out on their own. The mothers need to instill these traits in them, so they act properly around other horses and humans.

 

Conclusion

In the end, don’t worry if the chicks feel homesick once they arrive at your doorstep. By the time you receive them they have already established their own paths to food and water. Furthermore, they have the social skills to interact with you and the other chicks. Granted, this might not stop a chick from wandering off. Yet, they’ll be back when they require food and water.

If you still feel uncomfortable when you first get the chicks, introduce them to the food and water stations by picking them up and softly dipping their beaks into the products. They chicks should be smart enough to understand for the next time.

Overall, enjoy their independence. Before you know it, they’ll be mature and ready to be among the other hens in your yard.

 

Main Takeaways:

  • Chicks don’t need mother hens because they instinctively know how to find food and water.
  • Hens provide some protection, but not very much. They can’t stop a predator from eating their chicks.
  • We usually separate chicks from mother hens on our farm to provide better protection.
  • Chicks instinctively know social behaviors (unlike other species), so their mothers don’t need to teach them.

 

Other reading:

Easy Tractor For Chicks