Q: One of my drippers still drips a little after the birds drink from it, how do I stop it? A: Sometimes a little piece of “something” can get caught in the system and prevent the dripper from sealing up completely causing a drip. The fix is an easy one. I like to start by placing a colander under the dripper I’m working on in case I drop anything it’s easy to find. Just grab the dripper at the tip and unscrew counterclockwise, now don’t worry the dripper will split in half leaving one half fixed to the pipe and the other half will come off in your hand. Inside the half that comes off in your hand are two little pieces, a silver ball and a stainless steel rod that points to the birds. Also sticking through the half fixed to the pipe is a longer silver rod (or copper if you have the heater accessory kit). Take the ball out and wash it with some clean water. Also wash the inside of the dripper half that came off in your hand. Make sure that nothing is caught down in the dripper. Now just put it back together making sure the log rod goes back through the dripper half and points into the pipe. The short rod points out to the birds and the ball is inside the dripper. Don’t over tighten the dripper just snug it up.
Q: Are these units made in the United States? A: Every unit is hand built on our family farm in Davidson North Carolina about 30 miles north of Charlotte. We do our best to source our parts from US suppliers but the fact is a couple of parts are not made in the US and have to be purchased from overseas.
Q: How long will it take to get my fountain? A: We typically try to work on a 72-hour turn around time. Because we are a small family company we don’t have the resources to gear up during peak periods so the lead-time may be a little longer. We do our best to get your product shipped as quickly as possible.
Q: Why do the shipping charges seem so high? A: We charge our customers exactly what UPS charges us for the shipping of your product plus a $2.25 handling fee. This $2.25 fee helps us recover some of the cost of the box, packing material and printing along with any charges for pick up. We are constantly looking for alternative methods to save our customers money on shipping. We do not build “fat” into the price of our units so we can run “Free Shipping” offers as some companies do.
Q: How difficult is the unit to assemble? A: It is very simple and should take less then 15 minutes. Here is our new video on just how to do it. Assembly Instructional Video
Q: How often should I clean The Chicken Fountain™? A: That really will depend on how diligent you have been to keep the lid on the unit and supply it with fresh water. Ensuring no sunlight gets into the system by keeping it sealed will help stem the growth of algae. Only supplying the system with fresh clean water will ensure that the system stays fresh and clean.
Q: I want to clean my system, how do I do that? A: You will first need to empty the water out of The Chicken Fountain™. You can do this by either taking it off the hanger and dumping out the water or you can unscrew one of the drippers and allow the water to run out. Next you will need to make a mixture of 1/3-cup white vinegar, 1/3-cup household bleach and 2-3 drops of a mild dishwashing detergent along with 1.5 gallons of very warm (not boiling) water. Remove the red cap from your system and dump this mixture in filling it to the top. Allow it to sit for approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour ensuring that the flock does not have access to the system. After waiting the 45 min to 1 hour remove the unit from the hangers. Dump out enough of the mixture so that you can “swish” the remaining liquid side to side inside the system. Dump the remaining liquid out and refill and “Swish” again with clean water. Continue to rinse the system until no smell of bleach remains. Also make sure that your flock does not have access to the cleaning solution that was dumped out of the system.
Q: I need something a little different for my coop set-up, do you do custom systems? A: We would love to work with you to design a custom system for your needs. Just give us a call at 704-997-9426.
Q: I want to build my own unit and would like to use your valve do you sell just the valve only? A: I’m sorry but because the valve is modified for the specific pipe we are using we do not sell them to the public.
Q: How often do the drippers need to be replaced? A: By installing The Chicken Fountain™ in an area out of direct sunlight your drippers will last a long time. The internal moving parts are all stainless steel so wear is not an issue. In the unlikely circumstance that you do need a replacement they can be purchased on our website at www.chickenfountain.com
Q: Are there any retail stores selling your product? A: Currently our product is available in a small number of retail locations in the US. However our fountains are available on-line at www.mypetchicken.com as well as our own website at www.chickenfountain.com. We are working with a number of small Farm/Feed Stores around the country that will carry our product. As soon as we compile a listing we will post it on our website.
Q: Our chickens are pretty rough with things is The Chicken Fountain™ durable? A: We only use high quality materials in our systems. All of our piping and fittings are schedule 40 PVC and can withstand anything the flock can throw at it. We also use a braided stainless steel in-feed tube to ward off any aggressive birds that may peck at a garden hose, causing a leak. I think you will find that our product is designed to last a long time.
Q: Are the parts replaceable? A: Yes in the unlikely event that a valve or dripper fails they are replaceable in filed. Customers who have done this tell us it takes about 15 minutes to replace the valve and just a few minutes to replace a dripper.
Q: Will The Chicken Fountain™ freeze in the winter? A: Yes the fountains will freeze unless steps are taken to prevent this. Our optional Heater System and an API 250D heater will help prevent freeze ups but precautions must be taken to prevent the garden hose and in-feed line from freezing. Also if the unit is stored for the winter months the system must be stored in am=n area not susceptible to freezing.
Q: I don’t have access to a garden hose can I still use The Chicken Fountain™? A: Yes you have two options. The first would be to manually fill the system on an as needed basis. Simply remove the cap and pour water inside the unit. The second option would be to purchase our Gravity Flow Adapter and feed the system from a low pressure water source such as a 5 gallon bucket or a rain barrel. As a reminder ensuring that the source water is clean and not contaminated is very important to the health of the birds and the operation of the system.
Q: How much water pressure does it take to operate the system? A: The Chicken Fountain™ operates on a wide range of water pressure. It is important to ensure that you have at least 40 PSI to properly activate the valve and no more then 90 PSI. Operating outside of this range can result in your fountain malfunctioning. Typically the normal household water pressure in between 60 PSI and 75 PSI so this normally is not an issue.
Q: I don’t want my garden hose running all the time can I just turn it off and on manually? A: Yes you can do that but the beauty of the system is to allow it to automatically refill when it is needed. You garden hose will only run when our control valve detects that the birds have consumed water. Then our control valve opens up and allows enough water into the system to refill the reservoir. Once the unit is filled the control valve shuts off the flow of water and waits until the next time it detects the birds have drank water.
Q: The water in the hose gets really hot how does the water in the system stay cooler? A: Our control valve only allows a small amount of water into the system each time it opens. This allows the warmer water to mix with the cooler water inside the system. In turn the systems design helps to dissipate some of the heat making the water cooler for the birds. It is always a good idea to shade the hose by running it under bushes, burying it in mulch or hiding it in tall grasses ore flowers. Also installing The Chicken Fountain™ in a shaded area helps to keep the water cool.
Q: Can I add ice to the system to keep it cooler? A: You sure can, just remove the red cap from the unit and fill the vertical pipe with ice. Just make sure when doing so no dirt or foreign objects get down inside the system.
Q: Can animals other then chickens use the system? A: Yes we currently have quail, pheasants, peafowl, turkeys, ducks and geese on the system. We also have customers using it with rabbits, ferrets, rats, guinea pigs and barn cats.
Q: How do I clean the exterior of The Chicken Fountain™? A: A light solution of a mild dish washing soap and a little elbow grease works wonders. If you want to restore the shine to the unit you can use a spray on car wax to the exterior of the system. Just make sure you keep the wax away from the silver activator rods on the drippers.
Q: I have birds of different sizes in my flock how can The Chicken Fountain™ accommodate them all? A: Birds of different sizes inside the same flock are no problem. Just install The Chicken Fountain™ for the tallest birds and then provide a stable “step up” like a brick or stone to allow the smaller birds to reach the dripper. The larger birds can easily reach around the step up to get their water.
Q: How high should I install The Chicken Fountain™? A: The height at which you install The Chicken Fountain™ is very important. Installing it too low will result in water spilling from the birds’ beak onto the substrate. Installing it too high makes it difficult for the birds to drink. Typically a standard breed bird like a RIR or Barred Rock will need the system installed between 16 to 20 inches from the substrate. The measurement is taken from the tip of the dripper to the top of the substrate. The best way to judge the correct height is to observe your birds. You want your birds standing tall and reaching their necks out fully to reach the dripper. Their heads should slightly tilt up to activate the drip head. Having them in this position limits the “spillage” from their beak that can cause longer times at the fountain and wet substrate. Birds naturally need to stretch out their necks to swallow; you want them already in that position when they drink from The Chicken Fountain™. If you observe them dipping down or tilting their heads to reach a dripper then you may want to consider raising the unit a little. Installing the hangers with screws instead of nails makes this process much easier. If you have a young flock that is still growing you may have to readjust the height weekly until they are full-grown. Installing at the correct height is very important.
Q: How do I train my flock to use The Chicken Fountain™? A: That’s easy! Just follow the included instructions using the training bands we provide inside the packet in your box. It normally takes less then an hour to get the flock using the system. If you have any problems just give us a call and we can help.
Q: Can I use Apple Cider Vinegar in The Chicken Fountain™? A: Yes you sure can. All of our internal parts are stainless steel or copper and are impervious to the acids in Apple Cider Vinegar. It is important that you do not over due it. A ratio of one ounce to one gallon of water twice per week should be sufficient. It will not only help with the health of your birds but will help in keeping The Chicken Fountain™ fresh and clean.
Q: I have installed The Chicken Fountain@ in an area that is not easily accessible but want to put additives in the system. Do you have anything that can help with that? A; We sure do, our optional Remote Additive System allows you to put additives directly into the system without even taking the top off the unit. Simple place the additive in a irrigation syringe and shoot it into the in-feed tube from outside the coop or run. Our tubes come in 3 foot, 5 foot and 7 foot lengths. You can view this product on our website at www.chickenfountain.com
Q: I purchased some of the Brooder Bottle Caps™ but don’t know how to hang the bottle in my brooder, can you help? A: We sure can! One of the easiest ways to hang the bottle is to simply make two holes at the base of the bottle on each side about ½ inch from the bottom. Then take the wire from unpainted coat anger and slide it cross-ways through the bottle forming a hook that you can slip over the edge of the brooder. Also please visit our Facebook page for many more creative ideas submitted by our customers. You can find us at www.facebook.com/thechickenfountain
Q: I purchased the Brooder Bottle Caps™ but they will not fit my water bottle? A: Our Brooder Bottle Caps™ will only fit a carbonated soda bottle. The threads on a water bottle will not accommodate the threads on our caps.
Q: What size soda bottle will the Brooder Bottle Cap™ fit? A: The Brooder Bottle Cap™ will fit any size soda bottle with the exception of the new 3 liter bottles. Remember, the Brooder Bottle Cap™ will not fit most water bottles.
Q: Water does not seem to be coming out of the dripper on my Brooder Bottle Cap™? A: It is very important that you poke a hole in the bottom of the bottle to allow air to enter the bottle as the birds draw water out. Failure to do so will result in an “air lock” where no water will be released from the dripper. To tell if the hole is large enough simple place your finger over the hole, fill the bottle with water, invert the bottle and remove your finger from the hole. If the water comes out of the bottle in one column of water the hole is large enough, if the water “gurgles” as it comes out of the bottle you will want to make the hole a little larger. You may want to do this test in a sink or outside.
Q: My chicks don’t seem to know where the water is how do I teach them? A: Gently pick up a chick placing its head between your thumb and forefinger. Now slowly lift the head and touch the chick’s beak to the tip of the dripper activating the drip hear so water flows to the chicks’ beak. You may have to do this a couple of time but usually once is sufficient. Q: The chicks are sloppy with the water what can I do? A: The first thing to do is check to make sure that the Brooder Bottle Cap™ is set at the correct height. You want the chicks reaching for the dripper not bending to get water. Chicks grow very fast so you will need to adjust the height several time. As they are learning they can spill more water then normal. An easy solution to this is to bury a short walled bowl directly under the Brooder Bottle Cap™. Fill the bowl with substrate (shavings, sand etc.) so the chicks can walk right over the top of it. As the water drips from their beaks it falls into the substrate that’s contained in the bowl and the bowl will keep the water from spreading. Once per day simply wipe out the bowl and refill with new substrate. Some customers even put small pots of live plants under the Brooder Bottle Cap™. When the chicks drop water it waters the plants that in turn provide the chicks with fresh greens.
Q: How many Brooder Bottle Caps™ do I need for my chicks? As young birds we like to limit the ratio of chicks to drippers to 12:1. As the chicks get older we reduce that to 6:1. You will find that when fresh clean water is always available to them there is no crowding at the Brooder Bottle Cap™ to get as drink. It is always a good idea to have too many instead of not enough.
Q: Can I use the Brooder Bottle Cap™ in my coop? A: Many of our customers use the Brooder Bottle Cap and a 2 liter bottle as a back up source of water for their flock. The original design for the Brooder Bottle Cap™ was for chicks and adult birds in isolation cages or sickbay. While we do know that the Brooder Bottle Cap™ does work well with adult birds we have done no formal testing as to the durability of the caps under the constant pecking of adult birds.
Q: Can birds other then chickens use the Brooder Bottle Cap™? A: Yes we have many people using the Brooder Bottle Cap with poults, cheepers, pheasant and many other birds.
Q: Can I mix “Save-A-Chick” or other supplements in the bottle while using the Brooder Bottle Caps™? A: Yes you can. The internal parts of the Brooder Bottle Cap™ are stainless steel and are impervious to the chemicals found in these products.
Q: Have Automated Poultry Watering Systems been in use a long time? A: Yes there are many types of Automated Poultry Watering systems in use in the factory farm industry. We have just taken that concept and scaled it to meet the needs of the backyard flock owner and small farm operations.