The product is called HydroPet, its an automatic pet water bowl that refills with fresh clean water. In addition to being a chicken keeper I run a dog boarding facility -I know you are probably thinking that the two go together like oil and water. Actually, most of the dog guests find the chickens to be quite entertaining and will spend as much time as they can watching every movement of my hens through the fence. We keep our dogs and chickens each physically separated behind a sequence of sturdy fences.
In our dog areas I keep several buckets and large bowls of water for the dogs to always have access to fresh water while they play...or study chicken behavior. This requires that I hook up the hose several times a day to empty, rinse and refill the buckets and bowls. It's amazing how much 'stuff' manages to get in the water dishes from the dogs drinking out of them. For this reason, when HydroPet contacted me about testing their product I jumped at the chance.
The HydroPet bowl holds as much water as my buckets, but it does the rinsing and refilling job for me, leaving me more time to play with the dogs. Unlike auto fill floats that sit in a bucket and keep the water at a certain level (I have used them before) with the HydroPet the water level goes down because the dogs drink the water, and the automatic timer (set to how ever often I may need the bowl refilled) will come on, spray water from three points inside the bowl that rinses out the inside and flushes the debris as it refills the bowl with fresh cool water.
There is no complicated installation. I was able to have it up and running in less then 30 minutes, even with 4 curious dogs trying to help me. There are three methods of installation depending on your particular application. They are the 'hose bib connection', the 'sprinkler system connection' or the 'drip system connection' methods. Here is a short video from HydroPet that goes over the three installation methods.
I used the 'hose bib connection' method, it was super easy, but I do have a few tips no matter which method you use. First, have someone else occupy your helpful pets, my four dogs were so curious about what I was working on that it made it a bit of a challenge to do the installation, especially when one of them carried off the little bag of parts. I spent about 10 minutes looking for the parts before I realized that my big girl had stashed them under the patio chair. Another tip is to flush your hose out with water before you install the bowl. My hose apparently had some debris in it, which quickly blocked the tiny wire mesh filter in the adapter and caused the water flow to slow to a trickle.
At first I thought, "Wow, this thing really sucks, there is no way its going to flush out floating debris in the bowl if it only trickles out." I disconnected the hose adapter and cleaned off the filter screen (see pic above), ran water through my hose a moment then hooked it back up and Bang! Nice spraying flow of water that definitely had enough force (even with our low pressure water lines) to thoroughly clean out the junk my dogs deposited into the bowl.
Below is a video I made showing how quickly it refills. Note that our water pressure is not real high but there is still plenty of spraying power to clean out the bowl. Also note that I did not have the bowl sitting on level ground so as the water level filled, two of the jets were underwater. They were still spraying, you just cannot see it. The bowl has an overflow area where water is suppose to flow out when the bowl fills up. This helps to wash out debris and if the bowl is placed in the flower bed the overflowing water will water your plants. The amount of water that flows out will depend on how long you set the timer to run. I sat mine for 3 minutes. As you can see in this video, the bowl was full at about 2-1/2 minutes so the remaining 30 seconds cleans out the bowl and would water the flower bed, but not so much that it creates a soggy mess around the bowl.
You can purchase the HydroPet bowl by visiting their website HERE. As you will see there are a few different package bundles. Mine was the HydroPet Deluxe Bundle w/Timer. It sells for $67.50. You can get it without the automatic timer for just $34.95 and fill it yourself manually, or if installing it with an existing drip or sprinkler system. This is what came in my package:
It's the Chicken Hood...
I hope to be able to bring you an updated review this summer, I know I really want one for my chicks! HydroPet said the Chicken Hood will be priced at about $24-26 each and of course will be available in a bundle with the HydroPet Bowl as well. Here is a video about this exciting addition to the HydroPet bowl.
As if you needed any additional reason to love the HydroPet, here are a couple more...the bowl is BPA Free and Made In America!
Disclosure: First, I want to thank HydroPet for allowing me to try your awesome product, my dogs love it, and I hope to try your Chicken Hood later this summer. If you read through my previous reviews you will see that I give honest reviews -even at the detriment of the company that sends me a product that is not good. I received a product for free for testing but I was not paid for my opinion, nor was I told what I should say to my readers. The opinions expressed here are 100% mine.