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Chicks, drinkers and holidays?

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I have 3 chicks( with mother hen :wink: ) who will be 5 weeks old when we go away for a fortnight. My lovely neighbour will be looking after the chooks as usual, but I always make it as easy as possible for her- I have 2 30 litre tripod drinkers that each last 2+ weeks when full, so all my neighbour has to do is top up the food, chuck in some treats and collect eggs.

At the moment Muppet and chicks are using a plastic fountain drinker and it gets on my nerves. Though it holds plenty of water, the 'moat' is getting clogged with debris and needs cleaning on a daily basis, not something I'd expect my neighbour to do- and it's a fiddle to refill as well, I wouldn't relax if she had to refill it while we were away.

I was thinking if I were to provide them with a step ( their bantam 'mum' needs one anyway) do you think 5 week old chicks would be ok with one of the tripod drinkers? Would you be worried about them taking an impromptu dip? I thought I could put a cylinder of wire mesh either vertically around the central/deepest part or lay it just under the water surface so they couldn't fall in? What do you think?

This is the drinker I have. http://www.regencypoultry.com/drinkers/PlasticDrinkers/plastic_leg_drinker.htm

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If it was me I'd probably trial run it for a few days while I was there to watch them. If they jumped up

& perched on the edge & slipped in, is it deep enough that they could be trapped? (thinking of the sloping

sides) If so the wire would be a good idea, or pebbles/marbles maybe.

I think personally I'd still want to have the water changed after a week so no green bits formed in it.

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