When we first started keeping chickens, we learned pretty quickly that their water gets really filthy, really fast. I mean, filthy would call this “filthy”. Whenever the herd of chicks went tottering past the watering container, they naturally kicked up all kinds of shavings and (ahem) other stuff that would fly into the water. I asked them to slow down and walk and…well…they’re chickens. I also asked them to stop pooping in their water….again…chickens.
So, on one of my favorite websites Fresh Eggs Daily, someone mentioned that it’s best to keep the water up off the floor.
Honest to Pete, that never ever even occurred to me. Genius!!
We tried a variety of things to set the water container on and when the chicks moved out to the coop, we were using two stacked, plastic hardware organizer boxes. I know you’ve seen them…opaque white plastic…lots of little squares inside for little parts? Anyway, Tom had extra ones hanging around in his shop, so we stacked up two and set the water container on there and VOILA. Clean chicken water for more than 15 seconds. This might actually stay clean for possibly an hour! I felt like I’d made a huge breakthrough in my quest to be a responsible chicken keeper. Yay me!
We change the water frequently and when ever we do, the weirdest thing happens CONSISTENTLY. When we remove the water container from the stack of plastic boxes, the chickens hustle over and start pecking it…TAP…TAP…TAP…TAPPITY…TAP.
It happens every single time! And it’s not just a curious TAP and then they walk away. It’s several of them and they gather around that box and tap their beaks like they’re on the Titanic sending frantic mayday messages.
They TAP and TAP and TAP until we finally either shoo them off so that we can put the water back down, or I show up with a handful of chicken scratch to distract them. Watch this video…it’s short…and then explain to me what the heck is going on, because I’ve got NUTHIN.
It’s like a live chicken performance of Blue Man Group.
Me. Always the weird animals…ALWAYS.