Please note: The Avian Aqua Miser is no longer available!
What’s so special about the Avian Aqua Miser?Watering used to be our least favorite part of chicken care. As we pulled our chicken tractors over uneven ground, watering containers would tilt and drain dry leaving our chickens thirsty on hot summer days. Our chickens pooped in the waterer reservoirs and on top of the handles — nasty for us and them! The Avian Aqua Miser solved all of our problems. Our hens now get to drink nearly unlimited clean water! Plus, in the summer we can pamper our hens by putting ice cubes in the Avian Aqua Miser for hours of cool drinks.
How does my chicken drink out of the Avian Aqua Miser?
The chicken nippleat the bottom of your Avian Aqua Miser is designed to release water from the reservoir when touched. Your chickens will quickly learn to peck and lick at the nipple because of their attraction to the color red. If they don’t catch on right away, poke the nipple a few times with your finger, letting the water drip out onto the ground, and your chickens will soon figure it out. Instructions that ship with your waterer will give you a more detailed approach which works for recalcitrant hens. Our hens figured out the nipple in less than five minutes!
How many Avian Aqua Misers do I need?
An average chicken drinks 100 mL of water (a little less than half a cup) on a cool day, but can drink three times that or more on a hot summer day. Older chickens also tend to drink considerably more water than younger birds. Since the pre-made Avian Aqua Miser holds 2,000 mL of water (about half a gallon), we recommend purchasing one unit for every five hens. Buy an extra if you want to be able to go out of town for the weekend!
Folks with large flocks have had good luck buying our DIY kits and installing the nipples in the bottom of a five gallon bucket, or using one of the innovative designs we highlight on the CD that ships with each kit. If you use a large enough reservoir, you only have to make sure your chickens don’t fight over the nipples — provide at least one nipple for every 17 birds. If you have one mean hen, it can be handy to provide two different waterers on opposite sides of their living area, and I like keeping a spare waterer around in case I need to isolate a sick or broody chicken.
Where should I hang my Avian Aqua Miser?
The Avian Aqua Miser should be hung so that the base is approximately 18 inches above the ground. (We sometimes recommend hanging them lower for the first day so that your chickens are sure to notice them.) We’ve hung premade waterers from the top of chicken tractors, mounted them on the side of brooder walls, and used many different techniques to mount bucket waterers. The attached hanger makes it easy to hang your Avian Aqua Miser from just about any surface; it’s flexible and can be bent a few times if you need the hook to face in the other direction.
How should I care for my Avian Aqua Misers?
Aqua Misers require very little care. Rinse every few weeks with warm water and your chickens will be drinking clean water all day long!
Does the Avian Aqua Miser work in the winter?
The Avian Aqua Miser shouldn’t be frozen, so we recommend taking it in on winter evenings then putting the refilled waterer out the next morning. On extremely cold days, you may need to swap your cold
unit out for one full of warm water during the day. Alternatively, our do it yourself kits come with tips for building heated chicken waterers that make winter care even easier.
Is the Avian Aqua Miser’s plastic container safe for my birds to drink out of?
We use food-grade plastic in our Avian Aqua Misers to protect your chickens’ health. However, adding vinegar to the water could cause the plastic to degrade.
Why haven’t I seen anything like this before?
The Avian Aqua Miser is based on the method big chicken farms use to water their birds. On the industrial farms, multiple nipples are attached to a long hose so that each bird has a way to drink clean water in its own cage with no spillage. Unfortunately, the hose setup is hard to carry over to the backyard chicken operation since many nipples require high water pressure to work. We developed the Avian Aqua Miser to be the best of both worlds — clean, fresh water for your chickens to drink, but no hoses to drag behind your tractor or clutter up your yard.
Will the Avian Aqua Miser work for ducks? Geese? Turkeys? Quail?
Yes to all of the above! We’ve had reports that our waterers work perfectly for pigeons, turkeys, guineas, and even waterfowl. However, ducks should also be given a wading pool or other body of water to swim in (or at least to clean their eyes).
You may need to mount your waterer higher or lower than the height listed in the instructions depending on your birds’ stature — the goal is to have your birds reach up to the nipple in the bottom of the waterer, but not to have to strain to reach it. Your birds may also drink more or less than the amount listed above depending on their size — use your common sense and assume a full grown turkey drinks a lot more than a duckling.