Avian Aqua Miser: Automatic, poop-free chicken waterers

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A chip off the old rooster block

Australorp roosterDuring the summer, I take responsibility for our chicken flock.  I rotate them through pastures carefully to keep the food fresh, then give them snacks if the pasture looks bare.  In the winter, though, I let them out into the woods and cede the management responsibility to our rooster.

This year's rooster is a different bird than his father was last year.  The two look identical, but 2011/2012 rooster was a seeker of sun, always bringing his ladies down to the spot where the light first hits on a winter morning.  In contrast, 2012/2013 rooster seems to like hanging out in the shady spot behind the barn, probably because he feels safer there.  (A hawk did nearly get one of our hens while they foraged in the sunny open last winter, so 2012/2013 does have a good point.)

Rhode Island Red on pasture

The roosters are identical in another way, though --- they like younger women.  Those Rhode Island Reds are still being picked on by the hens who have been with us longer, but they feel safe while nestled up against our rooster's side.  It's not that he prefers redheads, either --- he gives the one Australorp pullet we saved back from last spring's hatch just as much attention, while ignoring her mother and aunts.

Only time will tell whether this year's rooster will survive the spring rush of hormones or whether he'll get ornery and end up in the pot like his dad.

Our chicken waterer is the POOP-free alternative to traditional, filthy waterers.

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