Filling chicken founts up everyday and sloshing water down your leg is a total drag! We love the automatic chicken waterer that we set up in our garden chicken pen so it was time to outfit the new hen pen with one too. Lee built a stand out of scrap wood in a few hours and set me to work painting it. If you take the trouble to build something you might as well paint it so it lasts longer. Lee said the stand looked Gothic to him and I said it looked whimsical.
We retrofitted the barrel that we had set up for our pig waterer last year, and poof, we had a chicken waterer fit for a king.
The picture below is an overview of the structures in the chicken pen. The reconfigurable chicken house in the middle is set up as a roosting house now. I think we need to lower the roost bar a little bit, as not all the chickens are too keen on using it at the moment. The reconfigurable range shelter to the left only has food and nesting boxes in it now. The nesting boxes at this moment are cardboard ones as some of the hens have started laying (willy-nilly around the pen) and Lee hasn’t got a chance to build real ones yet. (Actually, in this picture I had just put the nesting boxes in the shelter. Almost every chicken crammed themselves into the shelter to watch a hen use a box.)
I’ve been bringing scratch corn to their pen every day to train them into coming to me. Like most chickens, they are all corn addicts. It’s especially useful training for the Lakenvelder hens. If they fly out of the pen, we’ll have to lead them back with corn because they are too fast to catch.