Avian Aqua Miser: Automatic, poop-free chicken waterers

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Black Australorp chicks on pasture

Chicks on pasture

Chick eatingWhen they reached the ripe old age of 2.5 weeks, I decided to take down the cardboard barrier separating the chicks from the rest of the coop.  They quickly started exploring the coop, and then slipped through holes to range out in all directions into the outside world.  At this age, chicks are small enough to fit through just about any hole, and they had no trouble popping through the chicken wire fences to wander from pasture to pasture, but they mostly stayed together and close to home.

Yellow chickYou might remember that I was disappointed in the foraging ability of our Dark Cornish broilers last year, so I was trying not to get my hopes up too high about this round of chicks.  I shouldn't have bothered curbing my enthusiasm.  Our homegrown chick is pretty good, but the Black Australorps are pros.  A fly buzzed into their coop and within seconds two chicks were set on a collision course like baseball outfielders.  (The chicks didn't hit each other, but one did catch the fly midair and gulp it down.)  Once the chicks expanded their range, they were soon chowing down on worms, insects, and lots of greenery.

Chicks in weeds

I did notice that the chicks don't seem to be as discerning as our older chickens.  Everything looks edible to their little chick eyes, from Japanese honeysuckle leaves to poison ivy, and I can only guess that they learn which foods are more tasty over time.  Still, I can't help thinking that their meat is going to be tasty (and nutritious) with all of this wild food from an early age.

Our chicken waterer provides clean water and keeps our chicks healthy.

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