Avian Aqua Miser: Automatic, poop-free chicken waterers

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Best automatic chicken feeder

Treadle chicken feederIf you're looking for an automatic chicken feeder, you're probably trying to solve several problems at once.  Automatic feeders make it easier to leave the flock alone for a few days (or just to cut back on your chicken chores), but poorly designed feeders introduce a slew of other problems such as spoiled, spilled, or stolen feed.  The feeders profiled here are the best I've seen so far for preventing automatic feeder problems.

Storebought feeders
The majority of our readers agree that treadle chicken feeders are the best option if you have the cash (or time to build your own.  Linda Cariri took the photo above of her hen eating from Grandpa's Feeder ($210).

PVC chicken feederOther purchased options include programmable pet feeders and the cheap gravity feeders you can find in most feed stores.  The previous link also includes a lot of tips for making low budget options less wasteful of feed.

Homemade gravity feeders
Darren Simmons' PVC pipe feeder (shown to the left) is the winner of our automatic chicken feeder contest because we feel like it is easily replicable and will do the job better than any of the other options.  Follow the link for complete construction tips.
Homemade gravity chicken feeder
Alternatively, if you simply want to save some cash and are willing to put up with the problems posed by cheap gravity feeders, these homemade versions may hit the spot.  Or check out this weatherproof gravity chicken feeder.

The best is yet to come?
Even though I like the automatic chicken feeders that have come across my desk so far, I think an even better solution is out there.  If you've found it, feel free to email your design to info@avianaquamiser.com so we can show it to our readers.  Thanks for sharing!

Be sure to round out your low-work chicken coop with an automatic chicken waterer, available with heated options for easy winter care.

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Hey, is that a silver laced Wyandotte in the upper photo? I got a single odd chick and that's what I think she is- she looks like the photo. My granddaughter named her Hermoine, after Harry Potter... This comment doesn't necessarily apply to this post, but I wanted to tell you that I slaughtered my first bird today, using the instructions in your book ,Eating the Working Chicken. I have never killed and dressed any kind of animal before, I'm not sure I even cut up a whole bird ever, or at least not in recent memory. I was able to do it following the book, which I have in ebook form, and had to prop my iPad on my worktable so I could refer to it during the process. ( and then had to disinfect the screen from having to constantly refresh screen and turn pages!) It wasn't perfect, but I managed, and didn't nick any internals.. I was surprised how quickly the carcass got really stiff, but it is only in the 40's today, and the rinsing water that comes from our well is quite cold. So, thanks for writing the book and making the Instructions and photos easy to follow.
It wasn't enjoyable, nor do I think it should be, but there is a certain strength that comes from knowing how to do this, and doing it, and a sense of connectedness with the whole circle of life. Ps. This is an older bird. I have read that marinating the bird in a brine overnight produces a much more tender and moist meat when roasted. That's my plan.
Pss. The biggest takeaway from this is that I need a better knife. Anyone have suggestions on a good basic knife for slaughter? Thanks.

Comment by Deb Monday afternoon, November 19th, 2012

Deb --- I'm not positive, but I think the photo at the top of this post is a Speckled Sussex.

I'm so glad the ebook could help! We're still searching for the best slaughtering knife ourselves, so hopefully someone else will chime in. Meanwhile, you might enjoy these posts about cooking old chickens so they'll end up tender and then how to use the meat.

I agree that killing chickens isn't precisely fun, but it can be a spiritual experience. Welcome to the food chain!

Comment by anna late Monday afternoon, November 19th, 2012

Great posts! I might try the Dutch oven! I am p,anning on purchasing a solar cooker also, and I think that might work as well, as it cooks at a lower heat.

Comment by Deb Monday evening, November 19th, 2012

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