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Poultry Feeders and Drinkers ... Do you have one... if not.. do you need one?
We had a chat with our Produce Team to understand the benefits of Drinkers and Feeders.
Some of the questions we asked are for people, like me, novices just starting or considering starting with birds.
While most of us potentially think about Drinkers & Feeders just in terms of poultry and mass numbers, they are beneficial for more than just Hens.
Feeders and Drinkers are available in Stainless Steel or Plastic.
Both have good points. It will come down to your personal preference.
Stainless Steel will last longer. Plastic allows you to easily see the volume of water / feed remaining.
What size birds can you use Drinkers and feeders with?
There are several different sizes available, meaning that a large range of birds can use them.
We found out that
- the smaller size 1.3L work better for smaller birds like Chicks and Silkies
- Larger sizes are for larger birds from the backyard layer Hens through to Pigeons, Budgies (can use either size), Peacocks and others in this size range.
- If you have a large flock of Hens or similar size birds, there is a larger treadle style feeder that will hold up to 5kg of feed. Your birds will need time to learn to stand on the treadle to lift the lid to access the food.
Why and when would a drinker or Feeder need to be considered?
Firstly, there's convenience, and oh, did we mention convenience! Even if you only have one or 2 hens.
- Drinkers are less likely to be knocked over and spilt.
- This helps ensure your birds have a steady, constant supply of water. It helps keep their drinking supply fresh and less likely to be muddied, contaminated.
- ensures birds have ample water. In summer, they will drink quite regularly. While they won't drink quite as much in winter or cooler weather, it maintains access to fresh water.
- are designed to be hung, and ideally about head height, for hens, approximately 6 inches from the ground. (If you can't hang up your drinker, it has been suggested to consider placing it in a milk crate or similar. This will stop it from being knocked over and allow the birds to access the drinker through the milk crate holes.
- Helps to keep their feed fresher and cleaner
- less likelihood of being contaminated and allowing faeces/ poop to be consumed inadvertently ( which leads to a whole mess of problems)
Drinkers will need to be checked and topped up regularly.
Like our own water bottles, Drinkers need to be kept clean.
Depending on the weather, they will need to have the inside cleaned approximately weekly to reduce the chance of slime/ mould growing inside the Drinker.
What size do you need?
A 3-4L Drinker should comfortably Water around 10 birds in summer.
We suggest monitoring initially to get an idea of the drinking needs of your birds and the frequency needed to top up the Drinker.
Hens, each will eat on average a cup of seed a day.
If you have 6 hens, then a 1.5kg Feeder should cover their seed feed needs for the day.
Using a feeder also allows you to see what may not be getting eaten and potentially change your feed purchase to suit.
For example, some hens do not like sorghum, a feeder and seeing all the sorghum left would allow you to modify your purchase to a Sorghum free feed.
Want to find out more?
That's what our Produce Team are here for.
We also carry a range of different sized Drinkers and Feeders.
Why not give us a call 5498 5200 or pop in for a browse and a chat
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