Keeping Cool with a DIY Mister

In this post, due to the interest some Instagram (@realhensofoc) followers showed, we invite Lady Human to demonstrate how other chickens and keep their cool like the Real Hens of Orange County.

 

While Southern California has great weather, we are plagued with some nasty heat waves in the Summer and Fall. After shopping around, I decided to DIY a misting system instead of purchasing a commercial mister like this one because DIYing allows me to make it according to my needs cheaply. An added benefit is that I can adjust it as needed, and it won’t take up space. Plus, I already had some tubing and connectors from doing drip irrigation for our veggie beds.

I like to mount the mister under the shade of some trees in the chickens’ favorite hangout area. It significantly decreases the ambient temperature and will prevent your animals from overheating.

My DIY mister is made out of materials found in the irrigation and/or plumbing section of your local hardware store. You may have to go to more than one store to get everything you need (c’mon, it’s always the case when you DIY). Don’t let the DIY intimidate you. It’s actually really easy. Putting the mister line together is like building something out of Legos or Knex, and you just screw it to your garden hose! If you don’t already have some supplies, buying them new is still cheaper than a commercial mister, and you can adapt and adjust as needed (you probably will if you have a chicken math problem) for only the additional cost of $2 per misting nozzle! So, without further ado…

Materials & Tools Needed:

(Note: I’m only listing the materials I used and their cost in the Greater Los Angeles area. Obviously you can build this using other sizes or parts; just make sure you get the correct fittings for your project.)

  • 1 pack of 1/4″ irrigation tubing ($ 4.27 for 50 ft) – a 50 ft pack is more than enough, unless you intend to run your lines really far and long.
  • 1 pack of tee barbed connectors to fit 1/4″ tubing ($1.67 per pack of 10)
  • 1 to 6, or as desired, of 2 GPH extra fine misting nozzles with 1/4″ memory flex tubing ($1.98 each) – select ones that spray at 2 gallons per hour or less; misters that spray at 4-7 GPH are release too much water and just end up being too drippy and wet
  • 1 hose thread faucet adaptor with filter for 1/4″ tubing ($2.48)
  • 1 pack of 1/4″ inline shut off valve (optional, $3.59 per pack of 10)
  • scissors – to cut tubing
  • wire, twist ties or gear ties (optional) – to help position and mount mister

FullSizeRender_4  FullSizeRender_2 FullSizeRender easy DIY misting system for chickens easy DIY misting system for chickens

 

Instructions:

It’s easy peasy, like putting together Legos.

  1. Put together the hose adaptor and filter as instructed on the package. Using scissors cut the 1/4″ tubing to desired length (I like about 4 ft –  6 ft long) as straight as as possible. Insert about 1/2″ of the tubing into the tube of the hose adaptor.
  2. Select the mister you’d like to make from the diagrams below and connect as indicated. Or, make up your own configuration. Make sure you cut all tubing pieces as evenly as possible and push in the connectors as far as you can go (see photo below). I didn’t indicate length for the tubing, because it’s all a matter of preference and what you need for your own space. When in doubt, cut each section a little longer than you think you might need.  Use a towel or gardening gloves to help your fingers to push in connectors and tubing together. Doing this can hurt your fingers!
  3. Mount to a tree, outside the coop or whereever! I used galavanized wire and gear ties to help secure some of the tubing in place. Then adjust and direct the nozzle sprayer as desired.
  4. Hook the hose adaptor to your garden hose and let your chickens or other animals enjoy!

mister assembly
DIY mister - diagram

Project Cost (if everything purchased) for Simple Mister for 3 to 6 chickens:  $10.40

DIY mister - diagram

Project Cost (if everything purchased): Mister for 5-10 chickens:  $12.38; Mister for 10-16 chickens: $14.36

DIY mister - diagram

Project Cost (if everything purchased) for Mister for lots of chickens with shut-off valve: $20.97

Basically, this is a very affordable project, and the configurations can be endless. I’ve made almost all the configurations I have shown you in the diagrams. I have a 2-nozzle configuration mounted in the coop to keep any hens laying eggs cool, though technically, one of the nozzles is directed outside of the coop, at the entrance. I have a single-nozzle mister on the patio, for our special needs chickeny rooster. The most complex one, shown in the last diagram, is strung up between two trees. The shut-off valve allows me the option to run just 3 nozzles when it’s not super hot, but yet I want to keep the chickens somewhat cool. And of course, when it’s piping hot, I run all nozzles and all misters.

The water cost is not high either, because these nozzles only emit 2 GPH. You just turn on your hose and mist! If you are not home and don’t want the mister to run all day, or just to be lazy, you can purchase a hose timer (about $15 – $50, depending on brand and model) and program the mister to run itself. Mine can run up to 4 hours each time, repeating every 6 hours.

I even made a 2-nozzle one for a friend and installed it using twist ties:

Stay cool!!

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