When raising baby chicks, keeping the water clean in their brooder can be a major challenge. Busy chicks kick shavings into the waterer and always find a way to poop in it. By far, my preference is to use poultry nipple waterers, however, it is not always possible to hang a bottle of water from the side of the brooder, particularly when utilizing a cardboard box.coccidiosis. Cocci is the #1 killer of baby chicks and proper brooder management is critical to keeping them alive and healthy. When I saw the platform below, I thought it was ingenious, BUT it's much too large for most cardboard box brooders I use.
When my two, Wheaten Marans hatched a month ago, I decided to fashion a smaller, simple riser to test out the platform concept. I made four bends in a piece of hardware cloth to create the riser. The riser measures 4 inches from the floor, low enough for the chicks to be able to hop up onto and not walk underneath. The surface is only large enough for the feeder and waterer and chicks to fit on it at the same time- no extra room for playing. I wasn't sure if the hardware cloth alone would be strong enough to support a full waterer, feeder and two chicks, but it is!
I placed a sheet pan on the brooder floor, lined the sheet pan with shavings and placed the hardware cloth riser on top of the sheet pan. The sheet pan and shavings catch any spills and the chicks are unable to play on or eat out of the wet shavings. Most notably, they have been unable to find a way to poop in the water 99% of the time! Right on!
The chicks are 4 weeks old today and are tall enough to reach the water without climbing onto the riser and their water stays clean!