Rain, Rain Come Our Way

We are always looking for ways to be a little more environmentally conscious.  And although we are no where close to being “off the grid” or anything, we like to think that the little things we do around our house help in big ways.  For example, we strive to recycle as much as possible, we reuse/repurpose lots of items, we switched to using cloth “paper” towels, we switched our light bulbs to LEDs, and last weekend we added a rain barrel!

With 9 chicks and a horse, we were looking for an easier way to keep them watered.  We have some plans to make this process easier, but to begin we needed a container to collect rain water.  Mr F found a seller on Craigslist who had rain barrels already assembled for a reasonable price.  The price was within our range and seemed to outweigh the process of buying and putting together all the parts ourselves (plus it was a time saver!)

Since the chicks live out by the barn and Sherry lives in the pasture, we opted to install the rain barrel right by the chicken coop.  We added a small section of gutter to the barn roof for water collection (about 1/2 the length of the roof) thinking we could always extend the length later if necessary. 
rain barrel beforeOnce the gutter was installed we tested its ability to actually drain the water in the right direction.  
IMG_3019And here’s what happened:
IMG_3024Waah-waah.  So my handy and ever-so-patient husband readjusted all of the brackets to put more of an angle on the gutter.  Finally, we had success.
IMG_3023We constructed a small stand for the barrel just to make sure it was off the ground a little.  This will make it easier to access for water drainage once we get it set up to automatically water the chicks and horse.
IMG_3014(Really this picture is just to prove that I do actually help with the projects and am not just the resident photographer!…although I’ll admit, I mostly act as the lovely assistant for my super-skilled husband!)

We finished up just in time for a quick afternoon rain shower.  We ran out to check our barrel and couldn’t believe how quickly it was filling with just a short shower!
rain barrel water levelWe were close to the half-way mark of a 55 gallon barrel!!  We got more rain through the night and by the following morning the barrel was full.
rain barrel before    rain barrel after
We had lots of assistance from our other resident animals.  Luna came to inspect our progress…

IMG_3010while Pearl made sure she rounded up the chickens to keep them out of our way.

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