Quick Start Guide
If your unit has come partially assembled, please see parts list below. If you have ordered the unit fully assembled, please see (#8) under the Assembly/Installation Instruction heading below. It is recommended that you install your Chicken Fountain™ in a shady area of your coop that will allow easy access by your flock.
Please remove and inventory all items packaged inside of your carton. Your shipping carton should contain the following items:
- (1) One main housing unit containing the water flow valve
- (2) feeder arm(s) with red drippers. (MINI unit only contains 1 arm)
- (1) One 3” inspection cap with a red air valve installed
- (2) Two plastic hangers v. (1) Wire stabilizer
- (1) Water supply line with hose fitting
- (2) Rubber bands
- (1) PVC glue
- (1) Water inlet stopper cap
Hammer, level, tape measure, rag, garden hose
- Unpack and inspect for any damage during shipping. If any damage is noted please contact our office at (704) 997-9428.
- Place the main housing containing the water flow controller on a flat surface and ensure that both openings are clean and free of any packing material. Note the location of the alignment markings on the housing at the openings (black marking).
- Remove both feeder arms containing the red poultry drippers and ensure the ends are clean and units are free of any packing material. Note the location of the alignment markings on the end (black marking).
- Apply PVC Cement (supplied) to the inside flange of the opening on the main housing unit being careful to only apply it to the surface edge where the feeder arm will be installed. Be sure to applied sufficient PVC Cement to the entire circumference of the flange.
- Insert one feeder arm into the flange that has had the PVC Cement applied using a twisting motion to ensure the feeder arm is completely inserted and the alignment markings on the feeder arm and the main housing are aligned. Please note: You will have to work fast because the PVC Cement will set very quickly especially when the two items are joined .
- Repeat steps #4 and #5 with the other feeder arm.
- Allow the PVC Cement to set for at least 30 minutes prior to charging the system with water.
- Install the supply line to the water inlet valve on the main housing.
- Place the inspection cap with the red release valve on top of the main housing water reservoir, ensuring it is fully seated.
- Install the water supply line to the water inlet valve located on the main housing. Do not over tighten, hand tightening is all that is required.
- Place the inspection cap with the red release valve on top of the main housing water reservoir, ensuring it is fully seated.
- Identify a location for The Chicken FountainTM that is out of direct sunlight for the majority of the day. This will help keep the water cool.
- Hang the unit utilizing the supplied hangers and included nails, ensuring that it is level. The hangers are to be placed into the 3/4 inch channels on the main housing of the unit and snapped into place. You can also use wire (not supplied) to hang the unit from wire fencing but ensure that it is securely affixed. Please take special precautions to ensure that the red drippers are not damaged during installation. The height of the unit will depend on the type of birds contained in your flock. Hang the unit at a height so that your tallest bird will comfortably reach the poultry drippers without stretching to access. Typically the height of the drippers for chickens is between 12″ and 15″ from the ground but this will vary based on your flock. If you have varying size birds hang it for the tallest birds and use bricks, rocks or a similar “step up” for your smaller birds to reach the poultry drippers. The nails used for installation of the hangers are taped inside of each hanger, two nails are supplied for each hanger. Place the nail inside one of the holes on the hanger at a convenient level and drive flush with the plastic hanger taking precautions to not damage the hanger.
- Secure the center main housing with the wire stabilizer by inserting the ends in the hanger side holes and across the front of the main housing. This stabilizer prevents the unit from tipping forward. If you are not using the supplied hangers secure the main housing with wire (not supplied) to prevent it from tipping forward.
- Check to ensure that the unit is securely fastened and that the water line connection is hand tight on The Chicken FountainTM. Do not over tighten the waterline to The Chicken FountainTM.
- Attach a garden hose to the inlet and slowly turn on the water. You will hear air release from the pressure release valve contained in the inspection cap on top of the water reservoir.The water level has been set during the manufacturing process but sometimes may need adjustment. If adjustment is needed remove the inspection cap. Utilizing a long screwdriver, adjust the white knob or silver metal clip on top of the main water controller. Turning it to the right increases water level to the left reduces water level. Be very careful that you do not completely unscrew (counterclockwise) the water level adjuster, reinsertion is very difficult. The garden hose should remain on at all times to ensure that The Chicken FountainTM is refilled when your flock drinks from the system.
Training your Flock:
Birds are naturally curious animals and will be very interested in The Chicken Fountain once it is installed. The fastest way to get your flock to transition from their current watering process to The Chicken Fountain is by removing their current source of water. Be very careful during this “training period” and ensure that your flock is drinking enough water by helping them learn the process. Supplied with your fountain are two wide rubber bands. These bands are used to help hold the dripper open allowing it to release droplets of water. Place a rubber band around the feeder arm and slightly pull the band over the dripper opening the valve. The droplets of water will attract the birds and they will soon begin to peck at the poultry drippers. This pecking action will open the poultry dripper valves and will release water for the birds. Placing their feed close to The Chicken Fountain will also help them become familiar with the device.
PLEASE NOTE: It is very important that for the next several day you watch your flock closely to ensure that they are receiving sufficient water. If they are not utilizing The Chicken Fountain briefly supply them an additional water supply, but quickly re-start the process again. It may take a day or two but once they have it there is no stopping them!
Adding Wormers and/or Supplements:
Your new Chicken Fountain is a semi-sealed system allowing the introduction of wormers (i.e Wazine-17) and supplements to the water. The fully charged system holds approximately 1 US GAL of water (Standard size unit). Using the mixing chart on the bottle or packaging of your wormer or supplement determine the correct amount of product to be mixed with 1 US GAL. Remove the inspection cap on top of the water reservoir contained in the main housing. This cap will have a red pressure relief valve similar to the poultry drippers in the center of the cap. Deposit the correct amount of wormer/ supplement into the water reservoir and replace the cap. To avoid the wormer/supplement from becoming diluted, it is recommended that you shut off the water supply line and allow the flock to drink down the water contained in the system.
PLEASE NOTE: It is very important that your system does not become completely dry because your flock will not be receiving any water if allowed to do so. Once you are confident that your flock has ingested the wormer/supplement slowly turn on the water to recharge The Chicken Fountain.
Cold Weather Operation
Your Chicken Fountain is designed to operate in above freezing temperatures. A optional heater system is available that will help keep your Chicken Fountain operational year round. Caution should be taken to prevent the water supply line(s) from freezing. The heater system does not protect the inlet lines from freezing additional precautions must be taken. The optional heater system is comprised of a 44 watt foil heater with a additional access cap allowing the heater plug to be conveniently channeled out of the system. Remove and retain the supplied access cap, this cap will have no electrical cord cut out. The heater is placed inside of the water reservoir and completely submerged (should the water level need to be adjusted please see step #16 above). Utilizing the access cap that is supplied with the heater system route the electrical cord out of the top of the reservoir. Plug the unit into a properly grounded extension cord. It is recommended that the unit be plugged into a approved ground fault receptacle to prevent shock. If possible it is best to place the unit inside of your coop during the winter months will assist in preventing from freezing.
Manual Mode Operation
The system can be used in the manual mode during the winter months to avoid the possibility of the inlet hose freezing or at any time a garden hose is not readily available. To operate in the manual mode remove the hose connection at the base of the unit. Screw on the supplied cap ensuring that the rubber stopper is in place to prevent the unit from leaking. The unit can be manually filled through the access cap on the top of the reservoir.
*IMPORTANT* Ensure that there is adequate water to completely cover the heater system if utilized. When operating in the manual mode it is imperative that the water level be checked several times per day to ensure there is adequate water for your flock.
Heater System (optional):
The optional heater system is designed to help keep water flowing to your flock during the winter months. Because of large variations in temperature it is imperative that you take precautions when installing your unit to protect it from snow drifts, high winds, shade as well as any other location that would cause the unit to be subjected to extreme conditions. If possible units should be installed inside your coop during the winter months to help protect it from freezing. You must check The Chicken Fountain daily to ensure that the unit has not stopped working due to freezing. If this has occurred you flock will not receive water and you may damage your unit. While our heater warms the water in the reservoir and transmits that to the feeder arms it does not prevent the inlet hose or garden hose from freezing. A insulating cover is provided for the inlet hose but additional heating may be required based on the ambient temperature. Additionally you must take precautions to prevent your garden hose and house spigot from freezing. There are many after market products available that can help with this, see you local home improvement store for details.
Some people have chosen to operate the system in the manual mode during the winter months. This is easily accomplished by disconnecting the garden hose and inlet feed tube and inserting the rubber stopper and inlet cover screw provided with your system at purchase. The manual mode requires you to manually refill the unit on a daily basis ensuring the heater is properly covered with water and the flock has sufficient water available.
The foil heater is designed to be inserted into the top of the water reservoir (see below) and covered with water. Water level adjustments may be needed to ensure that the unit is properly covered with water at all times. While it is acceptable for the water levels in the reservoir to drop while your flock is drinking, when the unit refills water must cover at least 80% of the heater. Water level adjustments can be made by turning the white knob (some units have a silver clip) on top of the water control valve. clockwise raises the level, counterclockwise lowers the level. Be careful when making these adjustments, a long screwdriver or a person with a small arm are best to help make these minor adjustments.
To install the heater, remove the “summer” reservoir cap and save for warmer month operation. Place the heater inside the system and utilizing the “winter” access cap channel the electrical cord out the top of the unit. Ensure the heater is properly covered with water and plug into a properly grounded electrical outlet. The heater will operate at all times unless an optional Thermo Cube has been purchased. This Thermo Cube will turn the unit on at 34 degrees and off at 43 degrees saving electricity and extending the life of the heater. (PLEASE NOTE: The Thermo Cube must be subject to outside temperatures to operate properly.) Cover the inlet feed tube with the provided insulating material. This insulating material is self sealing but you may find it necessary to completely close it with zip ties or tape. Remember this system will not prevent your garden hose or house spigot from freezing during cold weather.