Sunday, August 3, 2014

Product Review: BriteTap Chicken Waterer ~ Traveling with Chickens

BriteTap Chicken Waterer
BriteTap installed on 2 Gallon Rubbermaid Cooler Jug
*Note, the link above takes you to Amazon to purchase the cooler alone.
When I bought mine they were only $9.97 each, shipped Prime.
If that price is higher now it may be peak season, so shop around.
Those of you who know me personally know that I spoil my chickens rotten.  They are not just livestock or egg producers, they are my pets.  Every one of my 17 'girls' has a name, not that she responds to that name, but she has one.  Like my pets that live inside the house, the 'girls' go with us when we go on vacation.  Yes, we take all 17 chickens with us.

How do we do that without looking like the Beverly Hillbillies?  Easy, my husband and I converted an old tool trailer into a mobile chicken coop trailer.  It has 6 nest boxes, 24 feet of roosting area, 72 sq ft of deep litter floor, and a pop door, just like at home.  We installed a roof vent that is covered so it lets warm are out and if it rains the girls don't get wet.  We also installed special vents on opposing sides of the trailer to create airflow without turning the insides into a dust bowl.  I personally tested this by riding inside the trailer while my husband drove down the highway (Don't try this at home its not safe and probably not legal either). I just wanted to know what the ride would be like for my girls.

The evening before we are heading out on our trip we close up the home coop and let the girls free-range by the trailer.  I open the pop door and toss in some treats and they voluntarily go to bed in the trailer.  I close the door and open the vents.  The next morning we hook up the trailer and head out.  The girls spend the day inside while we are on the road.  If its very warm outside I also place about 5 frozen water jugs on the floor.  They huddle in the front of the trailer on the floor while we are moving.  Sitting near the jugs combined with the air vents keeps them from overheating.  When we make stops I open the pop door and give them some special treats while they stretch their legs a bit.  I usually collect eggs at each stop too because they will periodically go sit in a nest box as the urge hits them while en-route.

When we reach our destination, (our cabin in Colorado) I pull the trailer up to our pre-constructed run area, pull the two chain-link fence end panels up against the front and back corners of the trailer. These panels have a piece of fencing attached at the bottom which blocks access to the area under the trailer to make a secure run.  Then I open the pop door and put their ramp up to the door.  They come out in the new location and are as good as home.  We have made this trip several times this year.  I think we have perfected the system by now.  The girls don't seem to be stressed too much because the trailer is just like home.  They do get a little cranky from sitting in the trailer all day (it's an 8 hour drive) but they get over that pretty quickly when I let them out to catch all the new bugs that moved into their run since their last visit.

My baby Miss Hollywood is the unofficial chicken guard.
One thing that I use to make traveling with my chickens so much better is the BriteTap Chicken Waterer installed on a Rubbermaid Cooler Jug.  The girls have a Chicken Fountain at home so they are accustom to getting fresh, clean, cool water from chicken nipples.  Since I don't want to transport my Chicken Fountain, I purchased the BriteTap Chicken Waterer (actually two of them) along with a 2 gallon cooler jug for each.  This way I can strap one jug inside the trailer while we are driving, and have two of them set up in the run once we are at our destination.  Each morning I just refill the jugs with water, add an ice block on warm days to keep the water cool all day long, and put them in the run on a couple of cinder-blocks.  I can also easily add electrolytes or other liquid supplements during the trip and the day before heading home to help the girls deal with any stress from the trip.

I love the BriteTap Chicken Waterer because it was designed to fit on the cooler jug, (it can be installed on other containers too, see the pics below).  You just remove the spout at the bottom of the cooler and replace it with the BriteTap Waterer, all the hardware you need is included.  The cooler jug insulates the water so it helps keep it from getting too hot or too cold, depending on the outside temperatures.  They are easy to clean when needed and the girls always have access to cool clean water.  The handle on the jugs also makes it very easy for me to carry in and out for refilling or cleaning.  You could just open the top and use a hose to refill them but I take them inside and clean & refill them in my kitchen each morning.

Other methods ways of installing BriteTap, but they do require some drilling.

You could probably make something similar yourself using the bulk chicken nipples.  I have tried, but when I install the nipples on the bottom of a 5 gallon bucket (which is an additional system I have at home too) you had to find a way of securely hanging the bucket so the chickens can get underneath to drink from the nipples without fear of it falling on them.  The BriteTap Waterer allows me to just set the cooler on a cinder-block with the BriteTap hanging over the edge.  I just found this to be a much better mouse trap for our needs.  It isn't cheap, but I feel it was well worth the price paid.  I will get years of use out of this product not just when we travel, but here at home if I need to quarantine chickens and therefore need additional waterers or if I have babies that need their waterer height adjusted as they grow. 

To Sum it up:

  • Would I recommend this product to a friend?  Oh Yes
  • Did it do what it was advertised to do?  Absolutely!
  • Was it worth the cost? Yes - pricey, but worth it.

*This was an unpaid, unsolicited review of a product that I purchased myself and the opinions expressed here are solely my own. The owner of this product has no advanced knowledge about this review and will only see what I have written after this post goes live.   I have included Affiliate links in this post, please see my Full Disclosure here.

Keeper of 1 husband, 2 grandkids, 3 dogs,
3 cats, and 17 Chickens!
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